Every man and his dog wants to write a book these days. In fact, as many as 80% of Americans would like to be an author! Clearly, there’s no shortage of aspiring novelists out there.
But alas, becoming a successful author isn’t easy! The same source, for instance, reveals how even some of the most successful authors in the world (such as the likes of J.K. Rowling and Stephen King) were rejected countless times before breaking through.
How, then, do you turn dreams of becoming a talented novel writer into reality? Well, some tips for writing a novel- especially a first novel- might come in handy.
Are you looking for some novel-writing advice to help bring your story ideas to fruition? Let us help!
Keep reading to learn 7 tips for writing an amazing novel:
1. Set a Deadline
The first step to novel-writing success is actually getting the darn thing written!
Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done.
Indeed, a book is one mighty manuscript to create. Your first novel will probably be the longest document you’ve ever created.
It takes time, dedication, and hard work. You will almost certainly be transported along a rollercoaster of emotions as you commit to completing your project.
The best way to finish the task is to set a deadline. This is the date by which you must be completed!
A book might be 100,000 words. Let’s say you can write 1000 words a day. As such, you set yourself the goal of finishing your novel in 100 days or so! Having that goal will help motivate you to do your work each day.
2. Tell Your Friends
Here’s another tip to ensure you finish your novel:
Tell everybody you know that you’re writing one.
This is important because it makes your goal instantly concrete. You’ve committed yourself to write a book by making it a public goal. Leave it cooped up in your head and you can forever pretend it didn’t exist.
You can walk through life without realizing your ambition, having conveniently ‘forgot’ it ever existed. You tell yourself- unconsciously, of course- that it’s better than trying and failing.
Telling people about it applies social pressure for you to follow through.
3. Plan the Plot
You might be one of the lucky ones who already have a story in mind.
Whether you do or not, though, it can help to sit down and plan the book before writing it. You don’t have to know exactly what you’ll say and when.
Instead, form a basic idea of how the story will develop and the plot progress.
Don’t spend too long at this planning stage though. Many aspiring writers use it as an excuse never to get started! Others, unwilling to let that happen, dive straight into the writing with no plan and get stuck 10,000 words in.
Strike a balance between the two approaches. Plan enough to know how you’ll proceed, without getting bogged down in the details.
At the planning stage and struggling to think of a title for the book? Find out more about using a title generator to help.
4. Visualize the Characters
All stories are reliant on their characters to drive the plot forward.
The best novels have a way of making them seem real to the reader!
And there’s a reason for that: it’s because they were so vivid and real in the mind of the writer. A skilled novelist imagines their characters not as make-believe individuals, but as actual people.
To help someone get to know a character, you, the writer, must know and understand them first. Visualize the characters in your story and get to know them as an actual friend, nemesis, or acquaintance.
Cultivate a solid impression of their appearance, background, mannerisms, wants and needs, and so on. In so doing, you’ll have a better insight into how to work them into the story.
5. Find a Space to Write
The actual place in which you write the book can make a vital difference to its progress.
You’d be surprised to learn how many novelists have set environments where they write. Some go to the shed in their garden, others have a view over the lake, and many just go to the same café every day.
Follow in their example and find somewhere that stimulates your creative process. Strange as it might seem, your desk might not be the best place!
Go somewhere that inspires you, frees your mind work, and allows your fingers to get to work.
6. Make a Writing Schedule
Writing a book is hard.
It takes time, effort and energy. You’ll get writer’s block, feel uninspired, and utterly depleted in your attempts. As such, it’s easy to find excuses not to do it!
Don’t let yourself off the hook too easily. Setting a deadline can motivate you to follow through on your ambition; having a writing schedule will help you hit your target.
Life doesn’t just stop for most people who want to write. They have a family to care for, paid jobs to do, groceries to buy, and so on. It’s absolutely crucial to forge time in your day, every day, to get those 1000 words done.
Look at your weekly and monthly schedule to plan ahead. Mark the time you’ll write, and commit to doing it!
7. Find Fellow Writers
Try and find people who are in your shoes. Even better, look for mentors who’ve been there 100 times before.
In essence, seek to forge connections with fellow writers and aspiring writers. Surrounding yourself with people who are going through a similar process can be a source of both support and inspiration.
You can learn from each other, encourage each other, and feel less lonely in the process of writing a book. While you’re at it, you could also get a non-fiction book writing coach to help you with the process.
Follow These Tips for Writing a Novel
Millions of people around the country would like to be a novelist.
However, only a tiny percentage of them actually make that dream come true. Why? Because writing a successful novel isn’t easy.
If you’re in the process of writing a novel right now, then you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about! Hopefully, though, the tips for writing a novel in this post will help make it a little easier.
Want more articles like this? Search ‘writing’ on the website now!