Photo Credit: Flickr user Dexters

Do you want to know how to write a novel? You may have an idea, a hope, a dream of one day writing your first book. I am here to tell you that today is the day you begin your real life journey into fiction.

This blog is designed with the intention of thoroughly examining the different aspects of writing a novel. I will be writing new posts one to two times per week, but I will not let this day pass without helping you get started right now.


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Telling Your Story Begins With One Idea

Today is the day you start writing your first novel and I am here to help you do just that. All you need is one simple idea to be on your way.

What about choosing a genre or niche? Yes, you need those, but I bet you already know where you belong in your heart and mind. I write in the Christian inspiration genre because that is where my heart belongs. You know where your writing heart belongs, so start there.

What you really need to find is one grand idea. You need to find one thing that scares you to death. When you are terrified, you have found your story. Now you need to find a character who will overcome that fear for you.

Writing your first novel has begun when you have found your challenge and corresponding character.


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Developing A Background To Your Story

If you really are a writer, then you are chomping at the bit to start writing as soon as you have found your own idea. Many writers love to do free writing to see where the story takes them. This is definitely an option, but not one I recommend.

I believe that mapping out a story before writing it ensures story progression and spacing while allowing freedom of expression within flexible boundaries. This is one of the many reasons why movie makers like Pixar create storyboards.

Developing a background to your story should include characters, chapters, scenes, obstacles, culture, and geographical landscape.


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Writing Your Story

Are you ready for good news? You can begin writing your novel as soon as you have satisfactorily developed your story’s background. I believe you will find this to be much easier when you have already processed in your mind how your protagonist is going to face the challenges that await them in your story. All you have to do now is fill in the pieces with your wit and creativity!

Writing does take dedication. I’m not going to pretend that writing is easy for everyone. Writing takes time and dedication to be done well. You need to believe that writing is important to you. You need to prove it to yourself by committing yourself to writing.

How often should you write? Some will say that you need to write every single day. Others tend to let it all spill out with some binge writing. I try to do the former, but often will end up doing the latter.

My recommendation is to find what works for you, but commit yourself to doing it consistently. Anywhere from 250 to 2000 words per day on average will get a book written for you eventually. Make a schedule based on your needs and priorities and stick to it.


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Editing Your Story

I am going to confess something to you right now. I hate editing my own work, but it is absolutely necessary. I believe in editing throughout the process and again when it is all over.

You will want to find someone else to edit your work as well. Your novel is important to you. You would not have written your novel if it was not worth editing the right way.

Find a professional editor if you can afford one, or another writer if you can find one. Have them examine your work for clarity, grammar, and spelling. For those who can’t afford to pay an editor, you can consider trading editing work with another novelist who has the same needs.

When your novel has been edited, go through it again and make the final edits. The worst part will be over, and it will have been worth it.


Photo Credit: Flickr user mrsmagic

Publishing Your Story

This is where all of your hard work as a writer pays off. You have planted, watered, and nurtured your book, it is time to reap the harvest. Going through the steps of formatting, publishing, and marketing your story is the most exciting hard work you will ever do. You have poured into your story, you have bled your heart onto the pages, now it is time to reap the rewards. It is time to publish your novel.

I believe independent publishing is easier and more rewarding than it has ever been. If you can get a solid book deal that will actually get you paid with money and notoriety, then do what works best for you. Self publishing has its own challenges and rewards, but gives me the freedom and ownership that I will not easily relinquish. Find what works for you and send your work out to the world.

Tell Your Story

This was just a simple walkthrough of novel writing. Telling your story takes guts. If you have always wanted to write a novel, decide today that you are going to do it. I will be here writing tips, strategies, and encouragement to help you along the way.

Have you decided to write a novel? Tell me your thoughts by connecting with me in the comments, Twitter, or Google Plus!