How to start writing a novel?

I must apologize for the lack of posts last week. I try to post on the blog at least four times a week, but I developed Tendonitis in my shoulder, so it has been difficult to write and work on this blog.

As my shoulder feels stronger–and, most importantly, hurts less–I decided to write something that is dear to me. When I first started to work on Undercover Desire, I felt lost. Where do I start? I had a beginning of the story–which is almost what always comes to me–a middle, and, of course, the ending, but I found that it was hard to find the words.

How to start to writing a novel?

As I had said above, many new authors have an idea for their story, but they do not know how to execute it. They may stumble like a toddler learning to build blocks for the first time, and because of this, their writing may come out as forced or hard to follow.

Taking the first steps is hard. I will not deny that. For some writers, the fundamental process of writing involves them shutting themselves away from the world as they lovingly compose their manuscripts. For others, it is a mad dash to the finish line.

Plan Your Novel

To start off with, think of the topic you wish to write about and decide whether it would be fictional (including genre) or nonfictional. This decision will determine the type of research that will need to be done initially. A Health Guide complete with an exercise regime takes more research than a fantasy novel set in a fictional world.

Pick a Word Processing Software.

There is much word-processing software on the market. Some are free; others are purchased. You need to research what kind and how much power you wish yours to have. Some will be lightweight, allowing your computer to multi-task, and others will significantly drain your system’s resources.  I use Scrivener (and OpenOffice to compile .pdf files.) This decision came after I tried other similar products.

Research. Research. Research.

I cannot stress this enough. There is a balance between researching too little–which I feel that most new novelists do–and too much. Finding that balance is difficult. As I said above, every author is required to research at some point in their book. The amount will depend on the genre. Make sure that any research comes from a valid source. If you must use a Wikipedia article, make sure that it is sourced and that the source is correct. Remember, that the majority of research will happen organically as the novelist writes. Do not become stuck and never write because almost all of your devoted writing sessions are devoted to researching.

Just Write.

There comes a time when you have finished all of your prep work. What is left is just to write. Open up your chosen word processor and type that first sentence. Do not worry about how terrible your writing is. You can spruce it up in the editing process later.

Remember to get rid of all of your distractions. If you have children, make your writing sessions after they go to bed–or some will place them in daycare to be able to concentrate. Draw the curtains, so the outside is not a disturbance.

With these necessary steps, I am sure that an author will be well on the road composing their first novel.

Lydia Larue

Lydia Larue

Think a romantic from WV who meets her soul mate when she was 20, becomes a stay at home mother for ten years before taking the plunge into the world of self-publishing has stories to tell? You bet I do. Lydia is available for author interviews, as well as blog tours.

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