30 March 2016

Writing Secrets 101 | starting the novel

Hey there, friends! This little post is going to be on how to start your novel. :)

People have different opinions on starting novels i.e. that it is hard or easy. I have found that my opinion has changed over time as I have improved my writing and learned to deal/cope with the common problems when writing. When I start a novel, I must admit that I have tried different beginnings up to about ten per novel. Crazy, right? But it really is all a matter of finding the beginning that feels right to work with. Something I often do is start the novel to dramatically and end up burning out in the first chapter, or I will make the beginning too dull and in a manner of speaking 'toast the book to a crisp'. Like I said, it really is a matter of finding the beginning that feels just right and draws readers in/or finding the 'happy medium'.

Don't give up when trying to start your novel! I guessing maybe you have a brilliant plotline, but can't get the right words down on paper. I am actually struggling with that same problem with one of my books right now (Where Violets Grow), but I know it can be overcome at some point. I am currently just letting the ideas and inspiration roll in so I have a few choices to choose from. Make a time today to just sit and stare off into space or out a window and let those ideas incubate! Chances are they just aren't quite ready to hit the paper.

When you are ready, or maybe even not ready but you want to get started, grab a notebook and start writing out some main character profiles. You'll want to come back to these in the future for when you are stuck, so they are really important to make. Take a look at some of mine on the characters section of my blog. The format I like to use varies for different characters, but here is a good example. You have permission to use the template below:

(Full name of character here)

 Age: (how old is this character when the novel starts)

Birthday: (optional)

Complexion: (what does your character look like i.e. body type and facial description)

Personality and other: (personality traits and other side notes)

Clothing: (what does your character like to wear?)

Likes and dislikes(or you can put ‘favorite things’ here as a substitute)


You'll want to make your character as unconventional and  non-cliche' as possible.

After you have created a few characters (I usually make two), start diagraming what is going to happen in the first chapter or first few chapters. Plotlines are also a good thing to think about making at this time. The rest is pretty straight-forward. Sharpen a pencil and start writing! Don't forget, never judge yourself against other authors and writers -- everyone's style is different. Go take a look at some of my previous Writing Secrets 101 posts in the archive found on my 'about' page for more help on novel-writing.

THIS was the article that inspired this post today. It's actually about how to not start your story/novel which I thought was interesting and especially helpful. Definitely check it out! 

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