Tips For Writing a Novel
Writing and publishing a novel is simpler than it has ever been in the modern age. We have so many routes to get our books published, whether it is through a large or independent publisher or you decide to go alone and self publish on kindle or through a similar method. It isn’t necessarily easy to make a success of your book, but getting it published is something anybody can do.
Writing your novel is probably the biggest challenge, and it can be broken down into simple steps in order to gradually work your way through and make sure you don’t get stuck half way or lose your way in your novel.
Here are our top tips for writing a novel:
Plan and Outline Your Book First
You don’t have to know every single detail of how your finished novel will read, but you should have a structure to work around. I find a great way to do this is simply to break your writing into chapters (something you will want to do anyway of course) and write a couple of sentences about what will happen within. Your writing then simply becomes padding out the story, and you don’t have to worry so much about plot.
Get a Draft Finished, Then Revise
I know some writers tend to write a few paragraphs and then go back and change bits and pieces, but in my opinion this makes the whole writing process disjointed and is an almost sure fire way to get caught up in details. There is plenty of time for revision later, get through to the end of your novel and then treat it as a draft, go back to the start and make alterations as needed.
Feedback, Feedback, Feedback
Hopefully you wont be short of well educated people you can run your book by before it goes forward to publishing. Whether you choose to finish your draft before getting feedback or distribute each chapter to your feedback helpers and letting them take notes, you simply must get people to read the book before you start making money out of it, and their contribution may end up being vital to your finished product.
You can do this in whatever way you see fit, but don’t just let yourself drift off target. Set aside an hour a day to write 400 words or promise yourself 3,000 words a week. That is just an example and some people will have more time than others of course, but if you don’t have a goal, you’ll never get anywhere.
This ties in well with the above point. It isn’t always enough just to say “yeah, well I’m going to write a bit each day and then finish in March” but you might not stick to it if there is nobody breathing over your shoulder checking that you’re getting it done. Promise to send somebody a chapter a week to read or have a deadline to finish your novel by and you are far more likely to get it done. I also use my blog as an accountability journal, and I’m happy when people nudge me in the right direction.
Structure is great, but you need to enjoy writing a novel, that’s often the whole point anyway! You’ll enjoy it far more if it is finished, but you must make sure you enjoy yourself along the journey.
Of course, tips are just that – tips. Different techniques and methods will work for different people, but as I always say on my advice posts, in my experience sticking to the above points wont see you far wrong.