This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
1. Be prepared to work hard. A novel doesn't just appear overnight. It takes a lot of hard work and long hours, but it can also be a lot of fun and pretty exhilarating when the story starts to jump off the page and the characters come alive.
2. Write every day. Even when you really, really don't want to. When you have nothing to say. When your brain is blank. Writing is like exercise. You have to keep those writing muscles supple. You need a routine. So try to write at least something, be it only a couple of sentences, every single day.
3. Get off the internet! I've said this before but the internet can be such a curse for writers. Writers are prone to procrastination. In the 'old days' as I like to call them, we would be distracted by the washing up, or the TV, or the fridge that needs defrosting. Now we have Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube… it's endless. If you find it impossible to not be online (and I know the temptation, trust me) then take your notepad or laptop to a cafe that doesn't have wi-fi. You will get a lot more written.
4. Don't talk about your writing. If you tell everyone about the book you are writing, everyone will have an opinion. Some people will be encouraging, others won't. Some people will love your idea, others won't. This can easily discourage or confuse you. When I wrote my first book I just went ahead and wrote it. I didn't discuss it with my friends and family and it allowed me to be completely clear-headed about my vision and what I wanted to write.5. Write about what you know. It's a piece of advice given by many writers, but I do think writing about the issues and subjects that you know about will make for a much better book. It will be much more realistic as you will be able to add detail and personal experience. I am not saying that you can't research a novel, or use your imagination, but I do think that if you write about a matter close to your heart, readers can tell and will really be able to idenitfy with your writing.
Alexandra Potter's new novel, The Love Detective, is out in January.