6 Secrets to Writing a Novel No One Ever Told You

Writing a novel can seem like a daunting task, and a first-time author might even be hesitant to start. But if you’re passionate about writing and are willing to put in the work there is nothing to be afraid of. Telling stories is something you do every day, whether you are discussing your work day with your spouse, or reminiscing about past experiences with friends. Telling stories by word of mouth is something we do naturally, and writing a story is just taking those words and putting them on paper.

When starting your novel, it is important to remember that it will take some time; it’s not a race. You need to be willing to commit the time and effort it will take in order for you to finish your novel. Everyone has different tips and tricks for writing, and I have compiled a list of six secrets to writing a novel to help you finish yours.

6 secrets to writing a novel:

  1. Plan Ahead.  When planning your novel, it helps to write on a sheet of paper instead of typing. This gives you the freedom to map things out, draw images, connect thoughts with lines – whatever is necessary to help your novel come together in front of you. You want to consider things such as plot, characters, characters’ personalities, setting, location(s), point of view, voice, etc. Planning out the details of your novel alleviates the stress of not knowing where your story is going next in the writing process.
  2. Assign Tasks. Another way to make writing a novel less daunting is to break the writing process into easy to manageable tasks. Cater your writing schedule and task list around your writing abilities. Create a schedule that provides you with a little bit of a challenge while working around your abilities. Reach your goal every time, no matter what. Some tasks may be easier than others, but they will all be rewarding to finish.
  3. Remain True to Yourself. Unless you are ghost writing for someone, you are writing for yourself. It is your words, your thoughts and your story. It is important that you are staying true to yourself when you write and that you don’t cross any lines you aren’t comfortable crossing. If you do this, it won’t seem real or believable and your novel won’t be as good as it could be.
  4. Create Believable Characters. Readers want to be able to connect with the characters in your novel. So remember: no one is perfect. If you create a character with no flaws people won’t be able to relate to them. Your characters should be full of emotions that readers can relate to.
  5. Begin with your Interest. When you start writing, begin with the scene that you are most interested in. It doesn’t matter where in the story this scene is, just write it. Since this is the scene you are most interested in, writing it should be easier than just starting at the beginning. This will help jump start your novel because it provides you with a definite point that the beginning of the story needs to arrive. It also gets your mind thinking about what you need to write after that scene.
  6. Believe in Yourself. Give readers the chance to experience your voice, and not the voice of an author they’ve already read time and again. Readers have already read the works of other authors, they are looking for something new. Don’t give up on your novel, keep writing and give readers something they’ve never read before.

It is easy to shy away from writing a novel because you think you lack the “talent.” Just remind yourself that it takes more than talent to write a novel. You need hard work, passion and stamina. Some days will be harder to write than others, but if you are passionate about your work you will reach your goal. Don’t let one bad writing session talk you out of reaching your goal of writing a novel. And remember, even great writers started somewhere.

We want to hear from you! What are your best tips for writers?