How Do I Write a Novel: Tips Everyone Can Use

When I first started out penning Undercover Desire, I didn’t know where to begin to write a novel. I felt like a deer caught in the headlights. As I wrote Naked Desire, I used the tips and tricks I learned from my previous novel and applied it to my work.

FirmBee / Pixabay

Once I learned these tips, I felt like I always should have known them. They were obvious. I would like to share them with you.

Write a novel you want to read.

I learned you need to write about what you love. Before I worked on Undercover Desire, I was writing a Science Fiction. This manuscript still sets in my Scrivener, waiting for the day I come back to it—if I come back to it. I probably won’t. And, that’s okay.

I want you to think about the books, persons, or objects you love, the ones that stick with you.  These are the things you are passionate about. Write them down. Draw inspiration from them. I keep a folder on my desktop to peruse.

Begin with a character.

I was talking with one of my best friends, and the topic came up on how to write a novel. She asked me if she needed to begin with a story or create a character. I told her Kelly Swinson came before the plot of Undercover Desire took shape.

Make your character flawed and believable. The character should surprise you. If the character doesn’t seem real to you, you can bet your readers will think the character is flat. One thing I do when I develop a character is sit down and write a character sketch. This profile will include basic statistics, physical characteristics, and more.

Give your character a fascinating problem.

Your character will have to have something that will challenge her. This is at the heart of every story’s conflict. The problem can be internal or external. Make it a memorable one.

Stick with your novel.

Writing is a simple endeavor, but it is difficult. As a writer, you will tempt yourself to give up or you will read another author’s work and think your novel is trash in comparison.

Make sure you finish your story. Then, work twice as hard revising it. When you are trying to get your work out into the world, it is time to write another novel. You will get better every time. The writing business is tough and it is not for the faint of heart, but it’s worth it.

Do you have any writing tips for a beginning novelist? Let me know in the comments.

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Larue Lydia
Lydia lives in New York with her husband, a dark fantasy novelist, as well as their daughter. They are regular contributors to several charities, including the rescue of exotic cats from abuse.