Do you love reading? Have you ever thought while reading a book that one day you would like to author one? If the answer is yes, then congratulations! You have taken a step towards becoming an author.
The wish to author a novel will drive you if you let it, and it will not stop until you finish writing your first novel. Writing your first novel can be a bit daunting. A novel is a significant manuscript that can span hundreds of pages.
How will you write so much? Does the idea in your mind have the potential to provide enough fodder for a whole novel? These are some questions that plague first-time writers. The first time is usually the toughest. After that, you get the hang of writing and learn from your mistakes to create better manuscripts.
Given below are some tips to help you understand how to write a novel.
Do Thorough Research
Research is the first step in writing a novel. If you already have a story in mind, then you will need to research to furnish various facts or get the geography right.
If your character belongs to a profession, then your research will tell you the roles and responsibilities of someone in that position. It will help you make relatable characters.
You can research by reading various online articles, talking to experts, reading research articles, talking to real-life people, etc.
Organize Your Research
What good is your research if you cannot access it when needed? You will perform much of your research before you start writing. You may not remember all of it when you write and need it to be available for reference.
You have to organize the research in a manner that makes sense to you. Group all the information by character or location and label it clearly. It will make it easier to spot while writing.
Don’t Start Blank
Novels require planning. You can make up the dialogues and the finer details as you go, but the basic outline needs to be present right from the start.
Write down your central idea and a synopsis and place it in a location where it is visible when you sit down to write. It will help keep you grounded and provide direction to your writing.
You may feel that the idea will come once you start writing. But such ideas can be half-baked. You will end up wasting time on something that may not seem right when you read it after a few days.
Create a Structure of the Book
Your book needs a structure. Many authors plan out the ending of the novel and write that first. Everything else is then designed to lead to that ending. It will make your novel seem more coherent. It will also make the ending more meaningful.
Apart from the ending, you also need to write down the basic structure of the book. Break down the novel into the major story points and map out how and when they take place. This will avoid confusion once you start writing, as you have a clear roadmap.
Creating a structure is one of the essential steps to write a book.
Schedule Writing Time
Procrastination is the biggest deterrent to writing. Many authors spend days or even weeks just thinking about writing but not actually writing. The story will not progress if you do not start writing.
Schedule a specific block of time every day when you can write. The place where you write is equally important. It should be well-organized, and you should have easy access to all materials.
You can also fix a pre-determined number of words or pages that you should write daily.
Know Your Characters
You should know your characters better than themselves. Research every aspect of their life and know every single detail about it.
You don’t necessarily have to write everything you find. But the information will guide you on how a particular character will respond in certain situations.
Every person is molded by their upbringing and life experiences. It holds for fictitious characters as well. You have to make your characters seem relatable.
When someone from a similar background reads your novel, they should be able to say that the character’s behavior reminded them of themselves.
Get Continuous Feedback
Writing a novel is an iterative process. It does not end with a single draft. You have to get feedback to improve it.
Have at least three or four trusted friends or acquaintances at hand. Inform them that you will be sending the manuscript for review so that they can set aside time to read it and review it.
Others can spot loopholes and mistakes in your novel better than you do since they offer a fresh perspective. Reviews can help you improve your story and create a bestselling novel.
Don’t Edit While You Write
One of the most common mistakes that new writers make is editing while they write. Writing is a creative process, while editing is analytical. When you interrupt the creativity for analysis, you lose the creativity and the flow.
Anyone who has tried writing can tell you how important it is to write in a flow. When your writing or thought gets interrupted, it may never come back to you.
Always leave the editing to the end. You can finish writing the novel and edit after that.
Take a Break After the First Draft
Writing a novel is an exhaustive process. When you finish, take a break and do something that takes your mind off writing. Make use of this time to send the novel for review.
When you return after the break, you will have a clear mind and a fresh perspective. Looking at the story from fresh eyes can show you its flaws and help you fix them.
Writing your first novel is a roller coaster ride. You get to experience the characters’ emotions and also experience the highs and lows of writing. It is an immersive experience that is unmatched by anything else.
However, it doesn’t have to be a daunting task. A little planning can make the process smoother and make the roller coaster enjoyable.