How To Start Writing Your Debut Novel

Get your inspiration from books.

This is such a great tip. Not only will you gain inspiration from reading, you will also gain valuable knowledge. Without reading around the genre you wish you write, how could you possibly write it realistically? For example, I've never written or read any historic fiction books, so I wouldn't try to write that genre because I don't understand the style or tone or general facts which are incorporated within the genre.

If there's a book you want to read and it's not in a shop or on amazon, write it.

This tip if for those who want to write a book, but do not know what to write. This tip is the reason I began writing my current book! J. K. Rowling didn't wait for someone to write Harry Potter. She wrote it herself. You could have an idea and it could be a best seller. You'll never know unless you sit down and write.

When I came up with the idea for my debut novel, I rushed to my notebook and scribbled down the idea before I forgot it. Then, after I scribbled the idea down, I sat down and made a neat plan, planning the characters, the location, the plots and sub-plots. The more I planned, the more ideas and inspiration I got.

All we authors need is inspiration. That inspiration is within you, you just have to take the time to think about it and hone it.

Write whenever, wherever, and as often as you can.

Writing daily is so important. Even if it's 100 words. An author, Steven Raichlen says:

"The secret to writing a novel- or any book- is writing. You won't turn out elegant prose every day. But it's important to keep cranking it out. Bad writing eventually leads to good writing and paragraphs eventually add up to pages, characters, and a finished novel."

This is a fantastic piece of advice because I have fallen victim to halting my writing because I felt like it was just bad. But push through and write, even if it's bad. This can all be edited later, but as Jodi Picoult says, "You can always edit a bad page. You can't edit a blank page."

Plan your time.

This tip connects to the one above. If your main excuse to not write is a lack of time, then try writing sprints. This is where you set a timer for your preferred time (For me, this is about 25 minutes), and I write without stopping for that amount of time. Again, even if you feel the writing is awful, don't stop. Some days my writing is amazing, and on other days, I question my ability. Both days are fine because I've made progress.

I do writing sprints in intervals, 25 minutes writing and 10 minutes break, and I do this three or four times. I also write my word counts for each sprint and I make it a competition with myself, making it a lot more fun.

Another way to plan your time is to write it in your planner. Setting a designated time for your writing is as essential as scheduling your homework or work and sleep. Your writing is your brand and business. If you don't give it the time it deserves, then you'll never get on the best-selling list or even publish your work.

Research! Keep this organised.

Some books need more research than others. If you're writing in a different city, country or location, then research what's around that area, and maybe go on google maps so you can gain a clear idea of what it looks like. Take notes of everything, no matter how trivial you think it is. The secret to a brilliant book is the finer details.

You also must conduct research when writing in a different time zone. For example, if I wrote a book set in the sixties, I would research the slang, the societal views, the news of the time ect...

To make the writing process easier, keeping your research neat and organised will help a lot. I usually open up a word document and I put it in alphabetical order. For example, 'L' would have 'Location', 'Laws'. Then, under each letter and each category, I'd have a list of each place and law I researched with features written.

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