I don't want to write a novel. I'm not clever or patient enough. When you read a good book, you unravel layer upon layer of subtext that has been carefully intertwined through a main plot, all written in strong, gripping, concise prose. Even after studying Creative Writing for three years, I still find it hard to put my finger on what makes a novel work.
There are a few signs of bad writing that are easy to spot: adverbs, dialogue tags other than a simple 'said', overuse of exclamation marks, imbalance of prose and dialogue, description of unnecessary things like what the character looks like... The list goes on. I think when you read a good book, you don't even think about these things, because the writer knows his craft so well that you forget what bad writing is until you're unfortunate enough to read some elsewhere.
Anyway, I digress. Writing a novel is a big project and one that I am nowhere near ready to commit to. I have finally finished education, and haven't been this stress free in years. I won't be thinking about my first novel any time soon. I prefer writing on here, writing poems, plays and short stories - all of which I learned through my degree, all of which I am still learning to master.
Have you got an idea for a novel? What are your tips for writing well?