Five Tips to Help You Write Your First Novel

When you sit down to start a novel, there are a few key things to remember: first, the draft will be all about you telling yourself the story. Yes, you read this right. There is a great chance that your first draft will be incredibly messy, which is all right. 

Secondly, you will want to know that every bit of your writing counts. All you need to do is focus on staying consistent – even if you only write one hundred words a day. Thirdly, always have a plan and a deadline. 

Here are some other writing tips that will help you with your first novel.

Start Somewhere Exciting 

As an inspiring writer, you should know that one of the most compelling ways to start a story or even a chapter of the story is by dumping the reader in the middle of something exciting. You will want to drop the reader right in the middle of something, which could mean opening halfway into an action scene or starting with the dramatic climax of a scene that the reader hasn’t seen the setup to. 

Your readers don’t need you to spell out everything for them. In fact, it can be way more fun for them to figure out what is going on and what is happening. This will also keep them on the edge, as they will keep turning the pages to see how the story unfolds. 

You get the point—to hook the reader’s interest, you will want to try starting the story from the middle of a plot sequence. Ditch the opening exposition and get straight to the exciting stuff. 

Analyze the Creative Process 

If you feel like you are stuck writing your story, you can make effective use of the best online writing apps to stay on track. However, writing blocks can still occur. In the case of writer’s block, you can try writing about the story itself to move things forward. 

Whenever you have troubles with your project, you might find it helpful to take a few steps back from the actual writing and instead write honestly about how you are feeling about how the creative process is going. You can write about how you feel about the story and what scenes you are looking forward to writing. 

You can also write about potential issues with the plot holes that might be bothering you the most. This act of self-analysis can actually lead to surprising insights that might reveal the best path that you can take to move forward in the story.

You might also take an actual break, get up, stretch a bit, and walk around. Sometimes, physical movement is required to get things moving in your mind. 

Get the Reader on a Character’s Side

The next tip is to get the readers on a character’s side. You can use this method in your novel by showing your protagonist or any other character that you want your audience to like doing something altruistic, such as saving an animal from distress. 

However, if you are not careful while crafting your plot, then this story can be predictable. So, you will want to be utterly careful when weaving this aspect organically into the plot. This way, you will show the readers why a certain character is a good person and likeable. 

It is incredibly important to balance the positive traits of a character with their flaws. We know that your characters need to have flaws so that your readers can relate to them. 

It is important to mention here that you can also do the opposite while drawing characters that you want your readers to dislike. You will want to depict the character in a way that shows them doing something terrible for no reason at all, such as harming an animal.

For instance, you could show how a character is kicking a dog for no reason at all. Not only is this evil, but it is also utterly unnecessary. Still, the character went out of his way to do it anyway. This method is an easy way to show your readers who they should be fearing or rooting against. 

Use the Weather

Do you know that one of the most effective ways to integrate mood and atmosphere into a scene is through the use of weather? But you don’t have to do it the way you think. It is commonly known that if you want to make a sad scene melancholic, you will want to make the scene rainy. 

But you can also make ironic use of the weather. For instance, you can depict a scene where the character is crying on a beautiful day, as this is less expected and, hence, even more emotionally effective. You can also integrate the types of weather and colour to indicate how a character is feeling. 

Perhaps the colour of the sunset reminds one of your characters of something from earlier in the story. You can also make an effective use of hailstorm to reflect the cold and biting anger inside a character. You get the point – you can use weather to add another layer of meaning to your story. 

Describe a Great Villain

Ideally, your story should have a hero and an antagonist. Now, when it comes to describing the antagonist, you will want to ensure that they are a great villain—someone –who will stick in your reader’s mind for a long time.

The antagonist of your novel should ideally revolve around the central flaw of the main character. A great villain poses a challenge that is specifically relevant to the protagonist. The more personal the antagonist is, the better your story will be.

It doesn’t matter whether your antagonist is a human or a force of nature – they should function as the antithesis of the protagonist of your story. This aspect indicates that you will want the villain to display the inverse of the protagonist’s good qualities or be the extreme result of their bad qualities, pushing the main character to either learn a lesson or to overcome a flaw so they can win in the end. 

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