Writing – How To Convert Your Idea To A Novel

I was searching for this on google and many of the responses that I found were similar to tips and ideas that were in my previous post. I wanted something more substantial, something that would allow me to convert my idea from a highway to a twisting web of backstreets, underground tunnels and dark alleys. I’ve found one such page so far…

How to Expand an Outline Into a Novel

from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Have you ever wanted to write a novel, but couldn’t figure out where to start? Well, why not write a simple outline, then go through it and make it longer multiple times until it is a finished book?


  1. Think of an idea for your novel. You will need to have a plot, climax, characters, etc. already thought out. If you can’t think of much, try basing some of your characters on people you know or taking settings, plot info, etc. from real life.
  2. Separate your idea into three parts: the beginning, middle, and ending parts of your novel. Write a couple of sentences to summarize each part. Don’t make them very descriptive, but make them tell more about the events that happen. You want to make it short and sweet.
  3. Split each part in half, and make a paragraph about each of the six parts. This way you can summarize each half of the beginning part, middle part and end part, leaving more room for details.
  4. From there, go into separate descriptions for each chapter. You have planned out events in six parts, so now you must divide those into chapters. For the first chapter plan-out, only write 1-2 sentences about each chapter. You want to start out small, then grow from there. Only write about the main event in the chapter.
  5. Go back through your chapter outline and double the length of the chapter summaries. So, you should make it 3-4 sentences this time for each chapter summary. Again, only write about the big things in the chapter events.
  6. Go back again and double that, making 7-8 sentences for each chapter summary. This is when you can start adding minor details about the events in the chapter.
  7. Now is where you start adding dialogue and descriptions. Make each “chapter” 20-25 sentences, adding only the important quotes and descriptions to only the most major events in the chapter. The rest of it can be just plain summary. It will be kind of blocky and inconsistent after this step, but keep in mind that it’s not the resulting chapter.
  8. Now change all the “plain summary” parts in the chapters into descriptive writings with dialogue. Remember to only add the most important quotes and descriptions. After this, each chapter should be about 500 words.
  9. Add a little bit more quotes and descriptions to each chapter. You’re still building the body, so don’t add anything too minor. Just get everything important in there first. When you are done with this step, each chapter should be somewhere around 1000 words.
  10. Finally, you can add all minor details, dialogue, and descriptions to your chapters. Each chapter can be anywhere from 1500 to 3000 words, depending on how many chapters you’ve created. When you are done doing this for each chapter, you should have your finished novel.


  • Make sure your chapters flow with one another. You don’t want the chapters to jump from one major event to the middle of another one, or skip events altogether.
  • You might want to go back into your novel and edit a little once you are done. It’s doubtful that you will have a perfect novel on the first try.
  • When you finish your book, why not go to lulu.com and get it published for free? You might make some money off of your novel.
  • Writing always takes inspiration, so keep trying. Sometimes ideas will just come to you.


  • Don’t overwrite! If you write too much then your novel won’t be as good. Write in moderation, and only write a lot if you feel like it. Don’t force yourself.

Related wikiHows

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Expand an Outline Into a Novel. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

So there you have it, an interesting article that I’m sure I will use to expand my idea. Currently, my idea is sitting as a bunch of paragraphs in the pages of a book. I want to use this as a platform to convert it into a novel.



Posted by:submeg

Musician, Writer and Inspirer. I discuss the projects I am working on, the services I provide and my general thoughts.

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