Quote Originally Posted by alexshvartsman View Post
I'm theoretically interested in this but I also realize that I don't know a *first thing* about writing a novel. I've been concentrating on short fiction, (both by writing it and by reading about the craft) but have completely ignored longer fiction thus far.

Are there any must-read books on the subject that might help me get started? Something that would help me through the outlining/character development process. What do you all suggest?
You might check out Sid Field's books about screenwriting. Or Save The Cat by Blake Snyder. The key ingredient with a novel (for me, at least) is the structure and I most of what I learned about structure came from screenplays. (This may be because of their shorter length and the fact you can watch the final result in two hours. It's easier to see the practical application of the method.)

James MacDonald's advice/how-to on outlining with index cards is pretty spiffy as well.

Just a thought.