This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
1. The hardest part about writing the first draft of a novel is writing the first draft of a novel. Just write it, don't stop, don't edit, don't think. Just do it. Try and turn off your inner editor and you will be surprised about how creative and inspired you can become if you aren't always trying to perfect chapter one. Also, I find that you can never write the best opening to a book until you have written the end, so don't try.
2. Write every day. This is hard, I know and hey, it's my job, so what do I know about real life? Five kids, two of them toddler twins, that's what I know about real life. So whatever else is going on in your life, make time to write. You have to do it. You won't finish that first draft until you do.
3. Write a plot, but don't feel like you have to stick to it. Remember that first draft? The other very easy way to get stuck is to lose your way. I write what I call a road map; if you know where you are going then it's fine to off road it when the mood takes you, but you don't want to get stuck down a dead end because you are lost.
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5. Show not tell. You hear this all the time – WHAT DOES IT MEAN? Well, don't tell us that Cinderella is down in the dumps because she lost her shoes – show us. Show us how she is feeling, what she is thinking, that her toes are cold because she only has one shoe. Don't narrate the story, create the story – weave it all around the reader until they are right in the middle of it.
Scarlett Bailey's new book, Just for Christmas, is out now.