Writing your first novel – Part 2


So you are writing your first novel. You have worked out your characters, plot and conflict. This process could take sometime because creative writing is an art and not a science, therefore individual writers have different approaches to writing fiction.

That said, it is always a good idea to keep your creative mind fertile by reading vast amounts of fiction especially from the genre you wish to write in. Also, pay attention to the world around you as ideas can spring from just about anywhere as mentioned in Part 1.

So, you are writing your first novel. Here are some quick tips that might help to break it down and make it more manageable.

  • Character
  • Conflict
  • Plot
  • Location
  • Theme
  • Tone

The five senses:

  • Sight
  • Smell
  • Touch
  • Taste
  • Hear

Another way of seeing it:

  • Where
  • When
  • How
  • Who
  • Why

The thing is, you don’t simply want to write a story, you want to write a great story. The best story idea in the world will fall flat on it’s face unless you the writer can execute it well. Therefore, it might be a good idea to plan your book first. Work out what you want to include in each chapter, moving it through to resolution. Bear in mind, as your novel gets underway your characters may choose to behave in different ways from how you planned. So be ready to make new plans should this happen.

Or, like many writers they simply start writing without any major planning and produce great work. I believe this is Stephen King’s method, and as we all know, it’s not done him any harm!

When writing your first novel see it as experimental, as you are discovering what works for you and what doesn’t. You may start writing your novel with the final chapter and make your way backwards. This is not uncommon particularly for plot driven genre fiction like thrillers and crime.

Whatever you choose to do just remember one thing: this is your first draft so it is subject to any number of alterations, and re-writes.

Good luck, and don’t forget to enjoy the journey!

Until next time, happy writing!

Now I’m done!

Published by Sharon's Writers Tidbits

Sharon is a writer who lives in north London and has a long-held passion for the art and craft of creative writing. Sharon's main interests are novels, short stories and poetry. She also enjoys writing non-fiction. She is an avid reader and has a threatening TBR pile of books!

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