Trying to define what a novelist does isn’t the easiest thing in the world. Despite the fact that we are people who work with words and a precise expression of thoughts, for some reason, we aren’t able to come up with a single sentence that would describe a novel writing. While trying to wrap up our minds around various tasks and responsibilities which come with our calling, we always end up writing essays and other long philosophical texts, sometimes even books.
I am currently reading The Story Solution by Eric Edson and I stumbled upon something that easily could be the most condensed definition of the novel writing process.
While trying to compare the screenwriting with the novel writing process, Edson said:
Any tale told in a novel can only be experienced sentence by sentence. It must focus on one thing at a time: the description of a sunset, how someone lifts their coffee cup, or what a particular character feels at the moment. Then a writer moves on to describe the next single detail.
And, that’s exactly what we do. We describe thing after thing and we need to choose these things carefully because we don’t want to have anything redundant. Also, we need to put these things in a specific, attractive order.
Therefore, in order to equip yourself for the novel writing, you need to learn how to efficiently describe a single thing; then repeat.