From November 1- 30th, we have been celebrating Novel Writing Month which has seen many budding authors pen their first novel. Workshops have taken place across the UK designed to help authors find their potential. However, why just limit this creativity to 30 days? Whilst Novel Writing Month can be a great motivator for many, there is still time to start writing and those who have start should not feel disappointed if they've not completed it within 30 days either. The fact that you've started is progress enough!
I've worked with many aspiring writers across all genres, but often fiction tends to be most challenging due to the wealth of creativity and imagination that can go into creating a story. The key is a great plan, good structure and technique - plus a little persistence! If you have got the writing bug and fancy getting started with your own novel here are a few tips to help you get started.
1) Plan Plan and Plan again. One of the first tips of the key to the success of a completed book is the planning. Why do books need extensive editing? Why do most people never start or finish writing a book? Why do they lack flow, tone, style, content and description? The answer is simple, as it almost always boils down to the lack of a good plan, a lack of publishing and marketing knowledge and self-doubt and indecision. But racing at full speed into a 'best-seller' without any clear plan or direction can be equally as dangerous if the book ends up being more of a 'brain-dump' than a well thought through expression of the author's values, experiences and beliefs.
2) Don't try the DIY approach Seek advice from a professional book coach and/or editor, as this is a great way to reduce the number of hours spent on getting a book published. You can gain the essential knowledge and expertise to write your book faster and better than those who struggle on by themselves. Getting the structure right is vital, and you really don't want to be finding that out you book needs a complete reshuffle right at the end!
3) Consider many ideas before homing in on final angle. I would advise that anyone who is considering writing a book to consider all the possibilities rather than homing in on one topic too soon. I've known many authors fall into the trap of thinking 'I don't know what I'm going to write about but I know the title!' and this is a classic example of narrowing the focus too early on in the process. You could end up missing out on a critical idea or thought path!
4. Make a first draft. Completing a quick first draft will help get you on the right track and enables you to plan out the structure of your book. It will also help you to see if any sub-themes work well or need altering to ensure the book flows as succinctly as possible
Good luck and if you need any help or guidance, do get in touch!