WRITING YOUR FIRST NOVEL PART 1: WHERE TO BEGIN
Writing your first book is such a huge project and a massive step towards your career as a writer. It’s like riding a bike for the first time, bloody scary! You have no idea what to expect, how to do it, or whether or not it’s going to be a waste of time.
Well, my friends, it is not a waste of time at all, and in the beginning, no one knows what they are doing. So it’s totally okay to feel a little lost. I know I did when I wrote my first novel.
That is why I have decided to write this four-part series for you, to let you know that you are not alone in this venture and if you put your mind to it then you CAN achieve writing your first book.
So what will you get out of this series?
Part 1: Where to Begin.
Part 2: The First Sentence.
Part 3: The First Chapter.
Part 4: Tools and Tips to Continue.
I’ll even have a free checklist for you at the end of this series so you don’t feel too overwhelmed and can keep in check everything that you have learned about writing your first book.
So let’s get down to it!
GETTING IT OUT OF YOUR MIND AND ONTO THE PAGE
The most important step of writing your first novel is to get the story out of your head and onto the page. It’s time to let your imagination run wild! So, how can you do this? I have always been a supporter of the notebook. Carry a notebook with you and every time an idea pops into your head, write it down. It’s that simple! Or use the best program on the market to compile all your notes, thoughts and writing: Scrivener ( a powerful content-generation tool for writers that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents. While it gives you complete control of the formatting, its focus is on helping you get to the end of that awkward first draft.)
Programs like this aren’t always straight forward to learn. When I first purchased Scrivener, I also invested in Infionsoft’s tutorials to make sure I was making the most of my writing. If you happen to be interested in them, I’ll leave the links below:
- 30 Day Boot Camp
- Learn Scrivener Fast Ninja Level
- Learn Scrivener Fast Rockstar Level
- Learn Scrivener Fast Student Level
If you already believe you have a fully fleshed out plan locked away in your mind, then get a workbook and jot down all the key elements of your story.
The basics of your novel are going to be the pillars that will hold it up. They are the foundation you will use to construct and build your novel and help steer your writing. What are they?
- Story topic
- Motives of your novel
- Themes and motifs
- Target audience
- Traditional or self-publishing
- POV (point of view)
- Word count
Sounds like a lot, but it’s not. In order to feel fully prepared to write your novel, you have to actually be prepared to put the hard work in and make sure that you have everything you need to start it.
Not entirely sure what the above basics are? That’s fine! I actually wrote an article on How to Write a Novel Outline, where you can find definitions regarding what each element is about in this article.
RELATED: How to Write a Plot Outline
Characters, in my opinion, are the most important part of a story for me. When I read a book, it’s the characters I connect with, their struggles and triumphs, their love and heartbreak, their wins and losses. You can have a strong story arc but weak characters, and that will drag your novel down. In order to prevent this, you need to decide upon the following:
- Main characters
- Secondary characters
- Tertiary characters
Again, you can find definitions for these at How to Write a Novel Outline. Once you have established their rankings, the most important part is that you take the time to get to know them. Don’t see them as characters but as your family. Flesh them out.
You may be wondering, how am I meant to do that and what questions do I ask? Well, my friends, lucky for you I have taken all of the hard work out of that and created a FREE WORKBOOK with over 213 questions that you can ask your character. Check it out below:
This is the last step before you dive on in and get writing. A novel outline is basically a blueprint of your novel. You can refer back to it anytime throughout the writing process and not have to worry about the fact that you forgot a main pivotal point in your story. So, what do you include in an outline?
- Where does it take place?
- Story arc
- Novel Summary
- Novel Outline
Once again, you can pop on over and find the definitions for these at How to Write a Novel Outline. I know that it seems like a lot of work, and you may be asking yourself, why do I need all this?
Let me put it this way. Would you walk into The Hunger Games completely unprepared without any training whatsoever? No, you wouldn’t! Though your novel is not The Hunger Games, it is still unbelievably important that you lay out the foundations that will help you write better and create a strong story.
All finished. Let’s chat!
Congrats, fellow writers. You are one step closer to writing your first novel!
Let me know if writing your novel part one: where to begin, treated you well, and if you think there is anything missing that you would like to learn about.
Hit me up in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!