How to Write a Novel
There is much I have learned from penning ideas into print, and this short blog is to encourage you as you embark on the creative path of writing and bringing out that novel that is purported to be in all of us. Much of what I share is basic, but maybe not realised until you have finished one book and looking back wished you had thought of it sooner. Also, much of what I share is obvious and yet maybe unseen in that first enthusiasm to share your first venture into the literary world. So…
Before you start any writing, your priority in this thriving book market has to be a good story idea - a story that will stand out.
Ask yourself, what is the story? What is the genre? Remember, every story needs a beginning, a middle, and an end. Within that guideline, there may be changes of direction as the story develops with subplots to give depth to the main plot.
Decide on your main character – what are his /her characteristics. May I suggest not to have a perfect character – after all, a perfect character living in a perfect world would bore the reader. He/she needs to have some flaws... some weaknesses. Then develop other characters and their relationships with your main protagonist.
Read some books in the same genre as your own, compare them, but be careful not to copy them too much, for your style has to be original.
Type your first draft – remembering the importance of the first sentence and paragraph to draw in your reader. Avoid over-description, but build up the world of which you write, especially if you are writing fantasy. Remember, you want to get the book published and read and much as you may enjoy reading your own work, your readers are more important as is the market for which you are writing.
Not just once but twice, thrice and even more. It's vital to ensure your writing is tight and flows. In my opinion, there is nothing worse than a story that keeps staling and has no flow. Keep changing it until it is as good as you can make it, and stop only when you feel there is no further improvement you can make. If you have got to the point where you are just changing it and not improving it, then stop!
Proof Read/ Editing
Get yourself an editor to help with the spelling and grammar.
In addition, find people who are willing to read and fairly criticise your book. A suggestion is to keep away from friends and family who would not want to hurt your feelings and may not be strictly honest.
Remember, this is not a race! So don't force yourself to get it finished. Write only when you feel inspired.
If the reader senses you enjoyed writing it, the chances are they will enjoy reading it too.