Building a House is Like Writing a Novel


Thank you for hosting me during my Cherish the Romance Virtual Book Tour, which launches my contemporary romantic suspense, Lancelot’s Lady. Today I want to talk about building things―from homes to novels―and how they’re not that different.


Back in February, Coventry Homes started digging the ground where our new house would be built. This is the second time we’ve built a new home. Both times with Coventry, and both were custom builds. We didn’t start completely from scratch though; both times we used a floor plan and then erased walls, moved walls and changed things around to make it our own.


Today I was wondering what they were working on over at the new house. Were they getting the driveway ready to be poured? Or were the cabinet people installing cabinets? It’s so hard to wait, but it’ll be so worth it in the end. All this got me thinking about how writing a novel has some similarities.


Both a novel and a house need a plan of some kind. A novel needs to stem from a spark of an idea. So does a house. They each need to be planned out. Though house builders must play particular attention to the smallest details and plan for everything well in advance, some writers can write without a fully detailed outline. I do. Sure, I make some notes, but I generally know how my novel will start and end, and I often know certain events along the way.


A novel and a house need a foundation. The house will have a concrete basement foundation, something that’s pretty solid. A novel needs to have a solid plot idea, solid characters and an ending that makes sense. These are a novel’s foundation, the parts on which everything else hinges.


A house needs to be framed. So does a novel. While a house will be framed with beams and wood, the author must frame his or her story by determining who is in the story and how they fit with other characters and the plot. If the author isn’t working from an outline, he or she must have a keen sense of direction and know where these characters will go.


Both a house and a novel need electricity. While the house needs the physical sense of the word, a novel needs that emotional electricity, those sparks of light that the reader will pick up on in order to become illuminated.


Both a house and a novel need plenty of organized storage room. The house may have a couple of areas for storing important items, while a novel will store important information throughout the pages.


The house will need the finishing touches on the exterior to make it appealing to buyers, as does a novel. While a house will be finished with paint, siding, shingles and landscaping to give it curb appeal, a novel’s “curb appeal” is in how it looks on a bookshelf in a store or online at a book retailer. Novels must have professional looking covers and intriguing cover text.


Once a house is built, the owner can move right in, settle in and get comfortable. Once an author finished a novel, a reader can pick it up and settle in for a comfy read.


Yes, building a house isn’t all that different from “building” a novel. They just need different tools and supplies. Hey, I don’t need a hammer to write a novel. Well, most of the time.


Lancelot’s Lady ~ A Bahamas holiday from dying billionaire JT Lance, a man with a dark secret, leads palliative nurse Rhianna McLeod to Jonathan, a man with his own troubled past, and Rhianna finds herself drawn to the handsome recluse, while unbeknownst to her, someone with a horrific plan is hunting her down.


Lancelot’s Lady is available in ebook edition at KoboBooks, Amazon’s Kindle Store, Smashwords and other ebook retailers. Help me celebrate by picking up a copy today and “Cherish the romance…”


You can learn more about Lancelot’s Lady and Cherish D’Angelo (aka Cheryl Kaye Tardif) at and Follow Cherish from September 27 to October 10 on her Cherish the Romance Virtual Book Tour and win prizes.


If you could build your own house, what would it look like?


Leave a comment here, with email address, to be entered into the prize draws. You’re guaranteed to receive at least 1 free ebook just for doing so. Plus you’ll be entered to win a Kobo ereader. Winners will be announced after October 10th.