Today, I'm going to list four things you need to do before you write a novel. I've seen so many writers fail again and again to finish their first book, and it's such a sad thing to me. So here's a bit of advice, in list form.
1) Read lots and lots of books.
Because duh, how can you write a novel if you don't even know how a novel works? If you've got a particular genre in mind, you can focus in on that for your reading, but all kinds of books will give you inspiration and knowledge. This advice has been given by every successful novelist ever, so I suggest you use it. You can also spend time on movies and TV shows to follow the storytelling there. You can learn from everything!
2) Know where you're going.
For pantsers and planners alike, I think the most important thing is to start off knowing what your climax is going to be. I figured this out after I wrote #PsychicStory because I then had to rewrite the climax three times. Keeping that ultimate moment in mind will really guide you, especially if you start running into roadblocks or losing steam.
3) Prepare for novel-writing to take some time out of your life.
It doesn't just happen magically. Novel-writing takes real work, effort, and time. So get ready for the potential time crunch. If this is what you really want, then it's worth sacrificing for. Also, while you're writing, you have to actually write. Don't procrastinate or you'll never get anywhere. Stay focused, and put that butt in that chair.
It does take practice to get to a full-length novel. I wrote a lot of poetry, a bunch of diaries, and at least three novel attempts before I managed to get even to a full 100 pages. So don't be disappointed if you don't manage it at first. This is an acquired skill, and you will always be learning new things. You just have to keep trying, which is my cardinal rule for all things novel.
Thank you so much for reading. I'll be doing a follow-up post on this, four things to do after you finish your novel, in a few.
If you've written a novel, how was the experience for you?
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