Novels & Short Stories : Forum : Writing a Novel

Writing a Novel

1 Year Ago

I've contemplated writing an actual book for years. I just don't know where to start or how to organize my thoughts. I mainly work in paranormal or erotica but I do write short life poems. Feel free to shoot me a message or give me some direction of where to start.

Re: Writing a Novel

1 Year Ago

I am by no means an expert, but I just finished the rough draft of my first novel. So here are a few of the tricks that worked for me.

Just start…pick up the pen or sit down to the keyboard and write. Nothing is as intimidating as taking that first plunge and it will feel unnatural at first, but it will grow on you.

You don’t have to write in chronological order, either. If one aspect of your story calls to you, write that part and build upon it. The pivotal scene in my novel, about 3/4th of the way through, was written first as that was the first scene I had pictured.

In the beginning, I had a rough time with typing. I found myself overcorrecting spelling and grammatical mistakes. This caused me to take FOREVER to finish even one chapter. After pushing through it for a while, I realized that it wasn’t working for me. I ended up switching over to a spiral notebook for a while. Much more difficult to edit the content when writing with an ink pen. My point to this, I guess, is to recommend getting it all down on paper. The order, optimal word choices and prose will come later. Accept the fact that it doesn’t have to be perfect right out of the gate.

Timelines are very helpful, especially if you are writing historical based fiction. I typed mine up in Excel as the individual fields were extremely helpful. You can even color code lifelines and important events. It’s a great tool.

I also found it helpful to create an outline. I decided what I wanted to happen in my book and sat down with, again, a spiral notebook to put it all in order and break out the chapters. I included just a small paragraph about what each chapter was going to entail and used that as my story map.

Now I’m starting the editing process, which is a whole different animal altogether. Slowly but surely I’m figuring my way through it. In closing, the only way to write a novel is to start somewhere…anywhere. Write every day. Read lots too. As time goes on, you will improve. Even since starting my book, I’ve found that the parts I wrote in the beginning differ drastically from my most recently written chapters.

I hope this helps. Good luck!