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how to write a novel like an architect

2 min read

This will help you get out of whatever you’re calling a writer’s block. You know what an architect does, they design buildings and some have an interior designer role too. Imagine you’re an architect like that and your next book is a construction project.

Now, think of a story as a floor plan first. We’re gonna draw it together here. Can you hear the scratches of the pencil on the paper? Listen to it. And keep that sound in your head.

Here’s gonna be the beginning room, then you enter this door to find the middle room. It’s a large hall with many doors. We draw a big hall here on the paper. Yes. Nice. Oh, but only one door will lead to the final room (let’s highlight it). This is gonna be the end room. Right here.

Nice. We have a structure. Let’s look at it from the top. Yes. It looks good, doesn’t it? Neat and clear. Now, let’s add some details.

In the beginning room, we’re gonna add this window, so we can let some light in as soon as you enter the room. Oh, yes, definitely some portraits of the main characters right at the entrance. That will look great. I’m gonna add a painting here on this wall. Nothing very obvious, maybe a foreshadow or something. Great.

Off to the middle room. The large hall. Let’s give a purpose to each room behind those doors. I’m gonna put some decorations here at the hall to kinda induce people to open the doors in a certain order. Also in a way that they can spend some time in the hall, too? But not much.

Let’s see door number one, for example. We make it a flashback. Old posters on the wall. Maybe some memories hanging on a large mobile attached to the ceiling and you can see some old photos too.

We follow the same process in every room with different ideas until we get to the “end room”. But let’s spread some things everywhere first, interesting objects you can collect and put in your pocket to figure out later.

Yea. We’re in the end room now. Some drawers and niches here where every object in the previous rooms can fit somehow, or maybe make sense.

That’s it. Now maybe more details and we’re done.

Now, write it.

— João

☕️ What do you think?

↓ first seen on @beardbetweenthelines

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