Writing a book can be a daunting task at the beginning. Whether it is a collection of short stories, or poems, or a full-fledged novel, it requires a lot of time, attention, patience, and some serious level of determination.
However, when you finish writing a novel, it can be one of the most rewarding feelings as well. You may develop your own way of writing but essentially here are 7 steps that will make sure you begin writing and finish that novel that you have been planning to write for so long -
1) Pick out the genre
Figure out the genres that you can work with. What interests you the most when you read? Is it a Mills & Boons romance, or a work of fiction, or a crime thriller, or sci-fi? Unless you enjoy reading it, you’re not going to be able to write an entire book with ease.
2) Develop ideas
Figure out the various ideas that you can write about in that particular genre. Note all your ideas down and explore each idea patiently. Check out the idea that you feel you can expand on and bring out a novel. Invest time in developing that idea.
3) Begin from the end
Once you have your story idea in place, develop the end first. Endings are the hardest part of a story, and
writers tend to get lost in the story itself in the process of writing it, deviating them from the end result. If
your end is clear in your head, you can work your way backwards.
4) Create your characters
You may have noticed how people end up remembering characters more than stories in any form of pop-culture. Think of Sherlock Holmes, and Don Quixote, Atticus Finch, or even Harry Potter. Develop the character of the protagonist of your story, and the supporting characters. Write down their whole history in your notes as if they were real people. From their background to their emotions and struggles - if you have charted out their behaviours, it will be easier to merge the characters into the story.
5) Outline and first draft
Note down pointers of the whole story and elaborate on these points. Figure out chapter breaks and start writing the first draft, which should include how you introduce each character into the novel, what role do they have to play in it, and how the story progresses towards the end that you have planned.
Remember - there is always room for improvement and improvisation. Once your first draft is complete, take a few days to read all of it, and think about what you can change and improve. Is the pace too fast or too slow? Is the story new and exciting? Is the writing crisp or are you dragging it? Is the story fun and engaging?
This is the step where you put your creative hat aside and focus on the language aspect. Break down long sentences, tighten up the writing, remove unnecessary sentences, make sure your grammar is correct and that the flow is coherent. If you feel this is too much to do, hire a professional editor to go through your manuscript.
Once you have gone through all these steps, read your story once again before sharing the manuscript with a publishing house. Once you do that, start writing your second novel!