How To Start Your Novel

By on December 30, 2016
How To Start Your Novel - Writer's

Sometimes the hardest part of writing a book is actually typing those first few pages. Starting a novel can feel daunting, overwhelming and downright terrifying, so being able to sit down with confidence and start your novel feeling thoroughly prepared and excited for what is to come is ideal.

We all feel like we have no idea what we are doing when it comes to writing books, we might even have that inner critic laughing and mocking us at the very idea of trying to write something - telling us how foolish and stupid we are!

However, to overcome this and actually make starting your novel a pleasant and dare I say even joyful experience, there are some things you can do.

Have a great idea

Before you even think of starting your novel you need to have a brilliant idea for a story. Make sure you have really explored your idea before you start to write and have a firm idea of how it will pan out from start to finish. It is OK for your story to change along the way, but without understanding how it will end and what needs to happen for you to get there, you could end up halfway through and then running out of steam. A good story idea will help you to feel confident and excited by what you are setting out to do. If it doesn’t do this, then it probably isn’t good enough, and you should go back to the drawing board to see how you can improve it before you begin.

Do your research

One of the reasons we sometimes struggle to start to write is because we haven’t done enough research beforehand. However fantastical your novel might be, there are bound to be elements where you could go away and do some background research to firm up your ideas before you begin. Studying your genre will also help with this. Understanding the rules of the genre you are writing in and the audiences that read them will help no end when it comes to writing your novel, and will make it a far easier sell when you come through at the other end.

Create your characters

You should know your characters well before you begin your book. This is particularly important for your protagonist. This character should be one you know inside out before you even begin. Make sure you have sat down and thought about your characters. What do they look like? How do they move? What do they love and hate? What motivates them? What are their positives? What are their flaws? Knowing your characters thoroughly will help you to write them with ease - you’ll know just how they would react in any situation they find themselves in, which makes moving them through your story so much easier.

Have a tight plot

It’s a good idea to plot out each chapter of your book before you begin. You may be raring to go and desperate to get started but having a brief plot outline for each chapter leaves you safe in the knowledge that your story will work, and decreases the chances of you developing the dreaded writer’s block as you continue to write. Having plot points will help your story to flow.

Know why you are doing it

Having clear reasons in your head why you want to write this story and who you think will want to read it will help you to keep motivated and make sure that you get it done. Write these reasons down and pin them up next to your computer - they’ll inspire you to keep on writing even when you’re having a bad day!

Starting your novel right is so important and with these tips you can sit down and begin feeling clear-headed, confident and ready to get it done!

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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