How do you write a novel? What do you do with it once it’s finished? And how do you get a career as a novelist off the ground? Most honest novelists will attribute some combination of talent, hard work and luck in their success, but each of these qualities can be nurtured with a little guidance.

In the vein of E.M. Forster’s Aspects of the Novel and John Gardner’s On Becoming a Novelist, Jon Sealy shares his own story of how fiction works, from writing the first draft to building a multi-book career. Part memoir, part craft analysis, this book breaks apart the elements of fiction and explores one writer’s path from student to professional.

With clear and honest insight, So You Want to be a Novelist offers aspiring writers a toolkit for understanding fiction—and serves as both guide and warning for the road ahead.