Writing your first novel can be an extremely nerve-wracking undertaking. Aside from the inevitable distractions that will come your way, you also have to deal with writer’s block. I guess the most daunting ending that a fiction writer may experience is having to throw in the towel and accepting failure.
Most new writers who are inexperienced in dealing with different factors may find it difficult to renew themselves physically and mentally and push forward. That said, here’s a 7-step rundown on writing your first fiction novel.
1. Get inspiration from different genres.
For you to structure your story and cite your plots, try to get inspiration from different book genres first. Even though you’re writing a fiction novel, it doesn’t mean you can only get inspiration from other fiction novels.
Other book genres have amazingly good modern-day settings or stories that you can adapt in your fiction book. Once you have the storyline in your head, you can then work your magic.
Here’s a list of major literary genres:
• Science fiction
• Detective story
Other genres are clustered according to the audience, such as young adult fiction, children’s book, and adult literature.
2. Know your target readers.
Whether your goal of writing a book is for self-satisfaction or money-making, you know you want to share your book’s story to as many people as possible. Say, for example, you’re writing a young adult fiction book. Of course, you have to make sure that your book is centered on the settings and plots that young adults can relate to.
Another example is using complicated words in children’s books. No child would ever want to pick up a book and read something they don’t understand. That said, always make sure to keep the target audience in mind when writing your first fiction novel.
3. Create a story structure.
Maybe new writers are too impulsive to write whatever it is that comes into their heads. While this may work for some, it might spell trouble once they experience the dreaded writer’s block. It’s good to create a story structure before you start writing so you’ll have a guide on where you’re going with your book.
In case you get lost at one point in your writing, then you can look at your cheat sheet. Planning a structure in the beginning also ensures that you don’t stray from your original storyline. However, it doesn’t mean that everything has to be rigid. You can always tweak if necessary.
4. Perfect world building.
The world building is the process of creating imaginary worlds, alternate realities, or actual locations. This is extremely important, especially in fiction writing. You have to make the world come alive for the readers by being meticulous when describing these details:
• Social customs
5. Get readers hooked in your characters.
Introduce your characters in the first third of your novel. Then you can gradually develop the characters in the second third. But establish each character that it makes it hard for readers to put down the book. Get them hooked right at the beginning of the book.
You can introduce the characters and invite the readers into each character’s world. Show, don’t tell. Establish the character’s goal in the first few chapters of the book and show how the character tries to achieve that goal. Then let them fail.
The readers will also get frustrated, especially if they’ve delved into the characters’ worlds and will surely find out if they succeed in the next try. So keep that momentum going so your readers will eagerly turn every page.
6. Set a word count daily.
Writing a fiction book is not about how fast you can finish it. It’s about how consistent you are in your writing process. And one way to maintain the consistency is to give yourself a daily word count quota.
A page contains 300 words. Since you’re new to writing, you can keep the quota to a minimum and gradually increase once you’ve gotten into the groove. The most important thing is that you keep the flow going instead of sporadically working on your book.
7. Get ready for writer’s block.
As mentioned, writer’s block is probably the most dreadful and constant challenge a writer can experience. So be prepared to combat writer’s block. In case you get to this point, don’t push yourself too hard and stop for a while.
Do things you love. Run, exercise, have a drink, or go out of town. But whatever you do, always keep a notebook with you just in case a brilliant idea pops up.
Jamie Mervin is a passionate blogger who loves to write about travel, books, personality development, lifestyle, productivity, and more. She spends her spare time hiking, camping and reading adventure, fantasy, mystery stories, and young adult fiction books. Everything she talks about ends in books.