Getting started in writing a novel

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Getting started in writing a novel

Suzannah Windsor Freeman Filed Under: Best ArticlesFictionInspiration Most people at one time or other in their lives dream of writing a novel. I hope these will provide you with the inspiration to begin or continue writing your own novel. In my case, this meant drawing out the ways that my completed novel will contribute to the culture of literature in Northwestern Ontario.

Still, writing a novel is a hugely involved process, and that process is different for every writer and possibly even for every manuscript.

getting started in writing a novel

Here are few insights from the early stages of my manuscript in progress: The Seeds of the Story I have a file of story starts and ideas that I never delete, just in case one day they become interesting enough to me to become full-fledged stories.

In the case of my manuscript in progress, the premise stemmed from one of those seeds: I had this scene about three or four pages long pop into my head, almost fully formed, involving two characters, a setting, and a secret.

What other characters might be part of their lives? How would their past experiences inform their decisions in the present?

I started to think about my own life experiences and those of my family, all the way back to What I ended up with was an idea of two stories—one present and one past—told in an alternating format, and involving four generations of women. Having tried both methods for various projects in the past, I decided I would use a combination of both plotting and pantsing.

I wanted to have an idea of who my main characters are and their most pressing conflicts, and I wanted to have an idea of where they are headed. However, I wanted to maintain the mystery of the details so I could avoid becoming bored with the project and so I could allow myself to discover key aspects of the story along the way.

The Proposal Because I wanted to try to secure funding for this project, I needed to put together a proposal that included a description of the novel. What I ended up writing was a short description of the characters, the main story conflicts, and a hint of how the story would resolve, and did so in a way that indirectly described the themes that would lend a deeper sense of meaning to the book.

getting started in writing a novel

It was vague enough to allow me to explore and discover but detailed enough to give the grant jury and me an idea of what I was trying to achieve. Finally, I had to decide what my goals would be for the actual period of writing that would be covered by the grant, because I knew I would not end up with a fully publishable book in less than a year.

Instead, I described my goal for this period as writing the first draft of the novel, including preliminary research.

How to Get Started Writing a Book: 13 Steps (with Pictures)

Keep a file of story starts and ideas. Paper notebooks get lost and are difficult to organize and store, so you may want to transcribe paper notes onto your computer before recycling them.

Consider organizing them by dates or themes or any other way that makes them more accessible for you. Focus on characters whose lives you feel most invested in.

Even if you want to write an intricately plotted novel, your characters are what carry the story and give it emotional resonance. When you discover a character to whom you feel a close connection, pay attention. What are they trying to tell you? How can you help them tell their story?

Plot, pants, or go for some sort of combination of both—whatever works best for you. Set manageable goals with deadline. Examples of manageable goals in the early stages of the novel-writing process could include freewriting to generate ideas for 15 minutes every morning for a month, conducting preliminary research for your novel within three months, or finishing a loose first draft in nine to twelve months.Fiction Novel Writing: How to Get Started Right Now Fiction, and novel writing in particular, can seem like a daunting task unless you have a clear plan to follow.

There are so many pieces to keep track of: characterization, dialog, plots and subplots, multiple points of view, and more. Rutherhagen, Peter / Getty Images Writing a novel can be a messy undertaking.

Rutherhagen, Peter / Getty Images Writing a novel can be a messy undertaking. The editing process will go easier if you devote time to plot in the beginning. For some writers, this means an outline; others work with index cards, putting a different scene on each one. From Getting Started to First Draft, to inspire would-be novelists to write their first book and she certainly does that! The book is an all-inclusive, instructive and thorough book on writing your novel. How can Now Novel help? You get an easy-to-use, structured novel-writing process. Start and/or finish your novel with the degree of support you want - choose between free and paid membership.

The editing process will go easier if you devote time to plot in the beginning. For some writers, this means an outline; others work with index cards, putting a different scene on each one.

From Getting Started to First Draft, to inspire would-be novelists to write their first book and she certainly does that! The book is an all-inclusive, instructive and thorough book on writing your novel.

Successful author and veteran writing teacher Nigel Watts walks you through the novel-writing process-from germinating an idea, through developing plot, character and theme, to finding an agent and contacting publishers. Fiction, and novel writing in particular, can seem like a daunting task unless you have a clear plan to follow.

There are so many pieces to keep track of: characterization, dialog, plots and subplots, multiple points of view, and more. Novel writing software programs are a great resource for helping you turn your initial story ideas into a well-written, compelling novel.

The biggest advantage of the three I review below is that they will help you discover where you want to go with your novel and who your characters are so that when you sit down to write the whole process is much easier and more effective.

How to Write a Book: 10 Ridiculously Simple Steps