What are the elements of Novel Writing


A question that has bewildered novice writers for centuries is how to create an impressive beginning.
In this article, I’m going to talk about the basic elements that form the structure of a novel. If you get these elements correctly there is a possibility that you could begin yourself a good manuscript that would not only be liked by many, but might be it turns out to be a bestseller.


There are a number of ways to define a plot, but in simplest words it is events that take place throughout the story for its progression. To make a plot interesting and endearing is to create a story that is unique, compound but comprehensible, captivating and engrossing. If you haven’t got the plot right, you have got nothing at all.
To create a plot the writer should work on following lines:-

1. A drastic change in the protagonist’s life.
2. A drastic change in the situation surrounding the story’s setting place.
3. A reason to give its reader a chance to imagine, think and speculate.


Setting of a novel is basically the place and time where and when the events of the story are taking place. Now, it depends on the necessities of the storyline to decide what the setting of the novel needs to be.
The place might be one that is existent in the real world, a fictitious place in the real world, or even a fictitious world altogether. The writer must know what kinds of setting would suit the storyline to people’s liking.
Same thing goes for the timeline. The writer must take suitable care to match the timelines at every point of the plot. Discrepancies in the timelines might confuse the readers, or even compel them to stop reading further.

Character development

A good characterization is when the writer forces the reader to bring the characters life within their head. The reader must be able to feel the story through the character, feel how the characters feel, develop a kind of relation with him or her.
There are several types of characters which may be present in a story.

  1. Protagonist: Protagonist is the lead character around whom the story revolves. It is his actions, goals and transformations that drive the story.
  2. Antagonist: Antagonist is the character (or, sometimes even a situation) that antagonizes the protagonist.
  3. Minor character/s: Minor characters are the ones who have a limited role in the storyline, but essential to its moving forward.

You could read about more character types in this article about How to write your characters.


In the end, along with the other elements discussed above, the writing style of the novel decides the quality of the work. It is a must that the style should go with the genre. It cannot be overdone, since that creates only an unnecessary diversion from the storyline. Use of an excessive flowery language is also a weakness, as is the use of a plain, tedious style. The style should be in a perfect sync with the need of the story and genre. Also, make sure to use the right words that match the idea the sentence is carrying. Use of complex vocabulary only to make it eye-catching isn’t a good practice.
For example, a work of thriller might require shorter sentences, and simpler words that keep the pace quick. On the other hand, a literary fiction might require longer sentences, with a complex grammar and vocabulary.