I didn’t realize how much work writing a novel really is. The hardest factor about it is that you get an idea in your head, for me it was because of a book I had already read, and you try to make it original and form the story so that a specific audience will get hooked.
I have tons of tips I’ve printed, some that I’ve pinned to a board on Pinterest, and I have even watched YouTube videos.
One thing I do know is that right now I feel like I don’t have the skills to write a novel because lets face it, I don’t. You build skill. I can figure out how I would end the novel, how I would begin the novel, and the personality traits of my characters in the novel, but what I can’t figure out is how to piece it all together. Here are the 10 tips I’ve learned from other people when it comes to writing a novel;
- Write everyday. It keeps your mind flowing with ideas. Writing is like building any other skill or muscle the more you do it the better and stronger you get at it. Staying motivated is important.
- Write a bad novel first and put it away for 6 months. This was a tip from an author Scott Sigler that was directed towards beginners. Why would you set out to write a bad novel? Life is short you want to write a book, sell it, and be on your yacht already. By bad he’s saying you’re not going to get hung up on plot holes or foreshadowing. The goal of writing a first novel isn’t so it can be a best seller, even though that would be nice, but It’s to teach yourself that you can finish a novel. If you are stuck on a plot and aren’t sure what to do, bring in Justin Bieber on an alien ship..just finish the novel. When you are finished put it away for 6 months. When you read it after that 6 months you will see where your weak points are, and when you start typing your good novel and you get stuck at a plot hole you can think to yourself, “I’ve finished before and I can do this.”
- Characters are likable because they are relatable: No one wants to read a story about someone with their perfect life and perfect hair, come on even I know that’s boring. The person your character is at the beginning of the book should not be the same person at the end of the book they need to grow somehow.
- People admire characters that struggle to achieve their goal: Like Jenna Moreci, a you-tuber I’m subscribed to, says, “when you think a character has struggled enough, make them struggle some more.”
- Know the ending before you start the beginning: This makes sense to me because you obviously need to get your character(s) from point A to point B. If you have no where to go you’re probably going to have a never-ending story.
- You need to understand point of view: An editor by the name of Ellen Brock lists what editors look for in books before they get published. Publishers won’t consider your manuscripts if you have too many issues in point of view because it’s a lot of work.
- Too much voice or not enough voice: Sometimes a writer is trying to sound to poetic or like another author and steer away from their writing style. Too many analogy’s, figurative language, and too many adverbs and adjectives can break you because it’s overly described and people get bored when they have to constantly pull out a thesaurus to know what you’re saying. On the other hand not using enough voice comes off as monotone, simple, and just boring.
- Show more than you tell: You don’t want to come off as lazy. It’s easy to tell someone, but readers would rather you show them. A lot of author actually have a hard time knowing when they are telling and not showing.
- You need enough conflict: If you can get an editor to read your the first chapter and like your book than it’s extremely important that your character has a goal and you aren’t rambling on. Again, it has to do with getting your character(s) from point A to point B. Scenes may be interesting but if they aren’t moving the plot forward than readers can lose interest because there’s not a clear conflict.
- Be original: This one is hard for me because of the fact that everything has already been done either in movies, TV shows, or other novels. I personally would love to just straight up copy Abigal Hass’s book “Dangerous Girls”, but of course that’s frowned upon and her lawyers would love to jump me with lawsuits ha-ha. You can follow another story, but make sure yours is unique in several different ways.
On that note I a so excited to announce that just in time for my last semester of college this fall I was able to replace my internship with a class because I’m already working in my field. The class I originally chose was Psychology of Human Sexuality, but I was able to get it changed to Creative Writing 1! I’m so excited because I took a creative writing course in high school, but that was around 7 years ago and this is an actual college writing class! It’s been hard for me to contain my excitement the past couple of days.