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A novel is a relatively long work of narrative fiction, normally in prose, which is typically published as a book.

The genre has been described as having "a continuous and comprehensive history of about two thousand years," with its origins in classical Greece and Rome, in medieval and early modern romance, and in the tradition of the novella. The latter, an Italian word for a short story to distinguish it from a novel, has been used in English since the 18th century for a work that falls somewhere in between. Ian Watt, in The Rise of the Novel, suggested in 1957 that the novel first came into being in the early 18th century.

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An example of a novel and a personal favorite

Contributed by Kelsey Ferrara

100 Best Novels, as determined by The Modern Library

Contributed by Helen Nguon

Writer's Digest has another entry about novel writing, this time with 7 tips on how to write one. "Stick with it" is probably the hardest tip to follow here, but the most important one.

Contributed by Sammo Lea

Keith Oatley posted about writing a novel. Once we understand the purpose of a novel, writing becomes easier. Writers have to move with the writing as it progresses. It would be easy if novels already existed within us and we had to simply regurgitate them. Novels progress from within us. We might have the starting point, but it is the act of writing, the act of letting the words and scenes play out, that moves a novel to its completion.

Contributed by Sammo Lea

Writing a novel? Writer's Digest offers tips about how the first fifty pages matter most, advising authors on how to write them well.

Contributed by Sammo Lea

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