Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tips For Writing a First Draft Novel

Writing a new novel can be scary. You open your word processor and stare at a blank page. The words just won't come. You think, and think, and think and nothing. You should probably give up, right?


Here are a few things to help you out:

  • Have an idea

Even if it's as simple as "Character A meets Character B in a coffee shop". Have something. And expand from there.

  • Have a character

If lieu of having a plot or even a basic premise, at least have one good, solid character in your head. Your main character. What kind of person is he or she? What is their goal? What do they want out of life? Who are they? Making a character profile can help.

  • Just write

Okay, maybe you don't have any of the aforementioned. Just wing it. Don't think about it. Just write. Find a prompt online. Start with a basic place, or setting. "It was a dark and stormy night." See what develops from there.

  • Don't edit

Keep writing. Even when you realize there's something crucial to your plot or backstory, don't go back to add it in. Make a note of it and keep writing. Get those fleeting thoughts out of your head. Don't stop to correct misspellings or typos either. There will be time for that later.

  • Set goals

Give yourself a word count goal each day. It can be 500 words or 5000. It can be writing two paragraphs or writing two chapters. Whatever your goal is, stick to it. Write a little each day.

  • Don't give up

This is the most important tip of all: just keep writing. When it seems like your novel really stinks and nothing fits together, don't stop. Just think of your favorite author. Their first draft of your favorite book probably sucked too.

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