Terms To Get Familiar With In Novel Writing

In a coming up post, I will be covering the plot of a novel. While writing the post, I realized, “Hey, what if someone doesn’t know what I’m talking about when I say rising action?” So, I have one tab open for my plot post, as I work on this one right now.

If you’re new to novel writing, need a refresher, or want to consider what to work on in your story, this post is for you!

(This also inspired me to maybe later write more individual posts on these terms.) 


Forming The Story Basics

Setting– The surroundings and area your story takes place. Outside, inside, space, ocean, desert, etc. Details are important so your reader can picture what is going on. Use all senses in setting detail. Example: Susie’s house decorated for a birthday party. 

Prologue- Not needed in most novels. This goes before Chapter 1, and is an introduction to the characters/story. For example, it could be a memory back in time for the main character that plays a role in the current timeline of the story.

Plot- This is what moves your story along. Relating to a main problem in the story and the cause and effect patterns that follow. Example: Susie during her birthday party got sick, and wanted to avoid letting people know so she wouldn’t be embarrassed.

Theme– Message, Thought, Moral, or Lesson your story overall conveys Example: Even embarrassing moments aren’t as bad as they may seem. 


Rise And Fall Of Story Basics

Beginning- The start of the story. You’ll want to draw the reader in painting a picture of the plot briefly and a picture of what the main character and setting are.

Rising Action- These are the parts of the story that move the story forward toward the climax. These are also the parts of the story that continue to get harder for the character to work through. Example: Susie felt ill. Susie ran to the bathroom to hide her sickness just before her friends found out.  

Suspense: The parts of a story that increase anxiousness or excitement about what may happen next. Even if you aren’t writing a mystery, your story should still have elements of suspense. 🙂 Example: As party continued on, Susie started to feel pangs in her stomach. 

Climax- The highest point of excitement and difficulty. All suspense builds up to this point. Example: Susie, right before blowing out her candles, couldn’t handle the pain any longer and threw up all over the cake in front of her guests. Out of embarrassment and sickness, Susie fainted. 

Falling Action- After the climax, these are the pieces of the story that begin to tie up loose ends.  Example: Upon awaking, Susie feared her friends would make fun of her. Instead, she found out they were all concerned, and relieved she was okay.

Ending/Conclusion – Finalizing the completion of your story. The plot has been solved. Example: Susie’s parents surprised her with rescheduling a party after she felt better. Susie was happy despite her sickness. She had great friends and family who cared about her. 

Epilogue- Like the prologue, epilogue isn’t needed. Epilogues tend to give a peak into the future of how the characters turned out. Epilogues can also give hints into the next book coming out in the series.


Character Basics

Character– A created being to further a story or shares connection to other characters. Major characters have large portions of the story and lead to its development. Minor characters have small parts of the story and may not have to do with anything related to the story’s development.

Protagonist– Main character who is trying to solve the problem of the novel.

Antagonist– Adversary of the main character, and opposes what the main character stands for/is trying to do. Antagonist can greatly help keep the suspense.

All of these terms are needed in story making, and knowing ahead of time what direction you are going will help further your writing. It also helps you stayed inspired and motivated and cause less writer’s block.

Hope that helps give some clarity 🙂

A post on plot will be coming out soon.

~Stay tuned!!!

Have you ever written a novel before?

Do you enjoy writing?

What do you like to write about or read about? 

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(Sources Used:Novel Terms & Diagram Creative Writing Now Importance of Theme )



5 thoughts on “Terms To Get Familiar With In Novel Writing

  1. Awesome post, girl!! This will be a fantastic reference for any beginner novelist, and was definitely a great refresher for me. (: it would be good for me to work on the suspense and climax in my stories more!! Also, many of my novels don’t have an end conclusion which is awful haha

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, I was like man these are basic but still. Very good refresher. I thought I knew what my end to my book would be, but now..I am not so sure. Something I need to look into! 🙂


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