Wednesday, February 8, 2017

How To Start A Novel

Hey everyone! I know it's been a little while since I've posted anything on this site, but you know how life is. It's been pretty hectic, but here I am with a brand new topic: how to start a novel.

Find an idea. That's the first step. You can't write a novel without an idea as the foreground. I suggest either using things that you may have gone through in your life as a small seed. Slowly began to water it with possibilities, questions, settings, etc and see where it takes you. If that's not good enough, then search Pinterest for writing prompts or head to Google. I know I've gotten my fair share of ideas from simple writing prompts.

Once you jump over that first hurdle, congratulations. You now have a starting point to your novel.

Now the outlining. Give your idea some thought after you've jotted every little thing that you've managed to come with. Of course everyone's different and you might just dive straight in without a plan, but I prefer to have an outline with the basic things I want in each chapter. From there I just let the words flow. Your chapter outlines don't have to be super long and detailed, but there should at least be enough information for a good foundation. Figure out what it is your wanting in your story like say for example, a girl who is into drugs since that's all she's been around. Well, find a way to take that story line and turn it into a full fledged story. You could talk about her outings all the time and the way people may not treat her the way they should and it all connects to little incidents in her childhood that turned her into the person she is today and each memory ties in with the future. You just have to think and use your imagination.

Plot/Theme. What's your main plot? What are you going for? This is around the time when you can start revising your outline slightly and look for little things to add or fix. It's a little to soon to have a theme to whatever you're writing, but if you have a slight idea, that's a pretty decent start.

Setting. Maybe not as important, but it's nice to have some idea as to where you want your characters living. I recommend not using a place you've never visited. It's a little hard to describe a place you've never been to or lived in before. It might be best to use a place you've been to multiple times and you have a pretty good idea of the layout, or maybe where you live. It won't kill you to have your characters living in the same area as you. That or you could create a small desolate town in the middle of nowhere. That also works if you aren't really in the mood to say what state they're in or the country.

Characters. Ah, now this is my favorite part of the whole process to be honest. I love designing characters and I coincidentally always make them slightly like me. It's so not on purpose. Now, as for characters start with a name. It could be a random name that you just love, or you could try to find a name that intersects with what your books about. That's always something fun to do, so I recommend researching names on the internet and looking through baby name sites until you find the right one. Once that happens, try getting as general idea of what your character looks like, their personality, etc and expand soon after into minor details the normal person wouldn't notice and delve deep into their psyche. You might not use every little detail in your novel, but at least your character will feel more like a person rather than a cardboard cut out.

Titling. Now for some this is easy, but for me, this is can be a real pain in the ass. I don't recommend fretting over a title before you've even started the story. It'll come to you as you move forward with your story. You'll probably find a line you love or even a theme or mood you notice throughout. If that doesn't work, try looking for song titles that seem to fit in with your book or take a glance at the lyrics. Don't stress over it to much, so until you come up with a title, either use a working title or put it down as 'Untitled'.


Now it's up to you to take everything that you've created from the basic little outlines you've created and now you have the keyboard (or pen and paper. Whichever you prefer) at your fingertips. You can create a brand new world or inspire people with your words. Just have fun with it.

*Don't forget! First drafts aren't always perfect, so ignoring the inner critic, just write until you hearts content until editing time. At that point, let God have mercy on your soul, because editing is a bitch.


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