This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
1. My first big tip for writing a novel is ‘get writing’. So many people say to me that they want to write a novel but in fact never write anything longer than a shopping list! Harsh but true. Try to write something every day, even if it’s just for ten minutes and even if you’re not in the mood. If you’re stuck for something to write about set yourself tasks, such as describing what you can see if you look out of the window, or your earliest memory or how a new dish tastes. It doesn’t matter what you write, or even if you ever use the exercises in your big novel, it simply develops discipline.
2. Have fun. It shows. If you don't enjoy what you're writing, no reader will enjoy reading it.
3. Read a lot because that’s essential for all good writers. Averagely, I read a book a week.
4. Don’t become a hermit. Everything you see and do informs your writing. The more you have experienced, seen, read, learnt, the more ideas you'll have. No-one learns much by sitting at a desk waiting for 'the Muse' to knock on the door. Get out there and enjoy life!
5. Finally, develop a thick skin. Chances are you will get some knock backs along the way but don’t ever give up hope. If you have a talent and you are persistent it will pay off eventually, I promise. Some of the reasons for rejections are because an agent’s books are full, or your work is too similar to another author or not like the other authors that particular agent represents! A rejection doesn't necessarily mean that your work isn’t any good. Be realistic. Remember that there are thousands of new titles published every year. For every one of these that is published agents and publishers, read and reject over 100 manuscripts (sometimes as many as 500). These are the odds. Don't give up – but don't expect instant success either.
If You Go Away by Adele Parks is out now.