Did you just finish reading an extremely delightful book and said to yourself, “One day I will write my own novel too”? Perhaps you just want to see what it takes to write the novel you have held inside as a dream for years. Maybe now is a good time to start. Sure, you might be feeling a tad under-confident about writing your first novel, and may be looking for some simple tips that can help guide you in the right direction. If you’re ready to take on the challenge of writing one, here are a few steps that show you how to write a novel.
Create Your Characters
As you know, before you start your story, you need to decide who is that someone at the center of the action. Generally, this will be someone your reader ends up rooting for. Every great novel is character-driven; your protagonist must be a character worth caring about, and to make that character worth caring about, it’s important that you make him or her very realistic. Make your character flawed, which will further add to the charm. Furthermore, give your character a problem, a conflict. Your novel will make better reading if your protagonist has some internal conflict too. Also, create some supporting and negative characters who will give him/her a hard time. As you write your story, you will find you need to know more about the characters.
It is highly important that you give proper thought to the plot; it’s one of the most important aspects of your novel! This is the big one, at least in terms of how long it will take you. Devote sufficient time to planning the plot before you start writing. Work on the outline of the story and develop a general idea of where you plan to end your novel before starting. Also, consider closely the conflicts that will arise at various points in your story and consider the stakes that are placed in front of the “hero”. Make it very clear what he/she stands to win or lose, and make sure the stakes are clear enough for the readers to care. Also, add subplots to make your story much more engrossing.
Write the First Draft
After all that planning, it is advisable to focus on getting the complete story down on paper. It is very important that you do this, just to see if you can put your exact thoughts in writing. It will be hard though. You are bound to face a writer’s block at some point of time. To overcome this, maintain a regular schedule and spread the writing out over a longer period of time. Remember though, that no matter how inspired you might feel while writing it, the first draft will probably be below the mark, often disorganized, and confusing. You need to figure out the shortcomings and get to work rewriting it.
You don’t need to be very hard on yourself. Set realistic and achievable goals for your writing, as well as for your expectations from the novel. Set short milestones, such as the time limit for writing the first 50 pages, and so on. This will give you confidence moving forward, once you achieve them.
Finally, get feedback from writers you trust. Don’t be disheartened if you receive criticism, it will help you in the long run. Address the bigger problems first, and then go through the book page by page. If you have a doubt about any small scene or aspect, stop and see what you could do to make it better. Don’t just hope the reader won’t notice. If you want your book to be good, keep an eye out for every tiny little flaw that would put you off, as a reader, and you will be fine. Remember, readers are your king!
Image credit: Carissa Rogers on flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Pranay.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Pranay Kanagat is a freelance writer who has a love for writing on various subjects. In particular, he enjoys creative writing. He is also studying for an Engineering degree.[/author_info] [/author]