We all know how hard it can be to begin something as intimidating as a novel, especially if you are a professional procrastinator like myself. It can be a daunting task but it is in no way impossible. I mean c’mon, there are millions of books published every year! Not helping? Hopefully these tips will.
Once you find the story you feel truly passionate about writing, the actual writing process can become significantly less scary. I am not saying it will become easy, it will still be challenging but you will enjoy the challenge a little more. The goal is to find the story you want to write.
How to Start Your Novel: Overcome any doubts
In case no one has told you yet, you can totally do this! So many people never end up writing their story because they are afraid. Don’t let your fears slow you down. Believe in yourself and in your writing because both are more than good enough.
How to Start Your Novel: Set Goals
…and do whatever it takes to reach those goals. Start small with a word count or page count but then move on to bigger goals. Schedule your time well enough that you can easily meet your goals and do your best not to get distracted while in the writing zone. Also, be sure to reward yourself when you meet your daily/weekly/monthly goals.
How to Start Your Novel: Map it out
Having an outline of your novel makes it really difficult not to write. Outline everything you possibly can: chapters, scenes, setting(s), anything and everything. The more you have prepared, the easier it is to write the actual novel. It is worth the extra time, especially if the alternative is not writing anything at all. However, if you find yourself struggling with the outline for long periods of time, sometimes it is easier for some people to just start writing and worry about mapping it out later when you have more of an idea of where you want to take it.
Strong, developed characters can carry you through the story when it becomes their journey instead of your own. Try figuring out who your characters are and how you want to slowly reveal the layers of personality to your readers before you begin writing.
How to Start Your Novel: Allow your personality to shine through
Your readers will read your book because they like it and you want your writing to be a representation of who you are as a person. Don’t be afraid to show your readers who you really are because it will allow them to connect with you.
How to Start Your Novel: Just get to it
Sometimes you just have to rip the band-aid off and get going. Force yourself to start writing until you no longer have to force it. It will get easier the deeper you get into writing. Just remember, you can do it!
Editor’s Note: Ready to get started, but need some help? Check out Writestream Publishing’s Add-On Services, including Writing Assistant. Read about our Publishing Packages and our Spring Savings Special. Then contact us to set up your free, no-obligation consultation.