Writing a novel is a challenging endeavour, no one can deny that. It takes serious work, patience, and commitment to start and finish. Most of all, it takes courage to get our words out there in the world! Here’s 5 top realisations you need to help you write yours …
1) Starting With The Ending Is A Good Idea
This may surprise you, but many successful authors start from the end! When you start writing a novel, it’s best to know where it’s going. The ending needs to connect all loose ends into a perfectly logical (although unexpected) wrap-up.
Let’s take a pretty popular novel, The Brothers Karamazov, as an example. Can you imagine Dostoevsky writing without knowing the ending beforehand? The ending (no spoiler alerts!) is so surprising, yet so very logical. The Set Up and Pay Off is so clear, it’s hard to believe Dostoevsky began without knowing the ending. Apparently, he even drew elaborate doodles in his manuscripts, so he could “see” the characters and scenes before writing about them.
You don’t necessarily need a detailed outline for your novel. However, you need to know where it’s going … Otherwise you risk making boring digressions (at best!).
TOP TIP: Write your concept and figure out what the ending will be like. Then, you can start writing the book. MORE: How To Avoid Plotting Hell And Save Writing Hours
2) It’s Okay To Walk Away (Within Reason)
Writer’s Block is a huge obstacle that causes many books to stay unwritten. Imagine you’re sitting in front of the screen ready to write, but you’re stuck. You have some ideas in your mind, but you have absolutely no idea how to express them. Ian Rankin, Scottish crime writer, said in an interview for The Guardian:
“I have days when I do f**k all. I sit down at a computer, nothing’s coming, I’m having to tear each word out, it’s like digging for coal, and I’ll go: ‘No, this isn’t working,’ and I’ll just walk away.”
It’s okay to have days like this. Different techniques work for different writers. You may try having a break. Or you may immerse yourself in other projects. Or perhaps you may even try collaborating with another author. Do whatever you need to break the block!
TOP TIP: It’s okay to walk away from your novel when you’re absolutely stuck. But you have to find a way to get back to it. Find out what you need to do … Then do it!
3) Doing Your Research Is Non-Negotiable
So, what’s the setting of your novel? Let’s say it’s about a Russian ballerina from the 1960s? In that case, you’ll have a lot of history to go through. You’ll have to learn about ballet, its trends and techniques in the years you’re going to tackle. You’ll also have to learn about the lives of Russian people from that time. You’ll need to connect with people who lived in those times and can share impressions.
Do you get the point? It’s not just about starting a blank document and filling pages with your words. It’s about making sense. If a single aspect of your novel is off, the readers will notice it and your work would lose its authority.
TOP TIP: Do the learning! Start with relevant articles, interviews and online courses. Dig as deep as you can to make your book as realistic as possible. MORE: Top 5 Research Mistakes Writers Make
4) The First Draft Is Just That – A First Draft
The first draft is where you reveal the story to yourself. You already have a concept and you know where it’s going, but there still is tons of creativity involved in the process of writing. Hemingway said it best:
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
You write and sweat, write and bleed. This is a meditative process that puts you in direct contact with your deepest thoughts and emotions.
But you’ll be done with the writing and then what? Are you done?
Nope! That’s when the pressure really starts building up.
Is your novel good enough? Well, you’ll be the first one to read it and make the initial fixes. Yes, you’ll have someone editing it, but you still cannot present the first draft.
Read the first draft. Correct whatever you need to correct to make it clearer and more attractive for your audience. Go as far as you can with it BEFORE you send it out to editors and beta readers.
TOP TIP: To respect the creative flow, you mustn’t disrupt writing with thoughts about making it perfect. You just write. And then read the first draft and correct whatever you need.
5) Marketing Is Part of Being A Novelist!
What does a writer have to do with marketing? Don’t you just delegate that part to the publisher?
If you self-publish your novel, you’ll have to deal with the entire marketing process. But even if you have a publisher, you’ll still be involved in marketing events. Plus, you’ll need to build yourself a personal brand online, so readers will learn about you and your work.
TOP TIP: In 21stcentuary everybody need marketing. If you self-publish this thing, you’ll have to deal with the entire marketing process. Even if you have a publisher, you’ll be involved in a lot of events. MORE: How To Build Your Own Online Platform
BIO: Samantha R. Gilbert is a journalist and professional writer at cheap writing service. She loves dancing, travelling and taking photos, but her main hobby is writing about her experience and adventures. Meet her on Facebook.