Novel Writing

5 Tips for New Writers

So, you’ve decided to write a novel. You have your story burning a hole in your chest, and you can’t wait to get it down on paper. Setting the pen to the notepad, or the fingers to the keys, you set off with speed and passion. Before long, however, you find that this isn’t as easy as you thought it would be. Shame fills you as you realise that you aren’t nearly as good as you hoped you would be. Don’t worry, it happened to me, and it happens to us all. 

Here are a few tips I have picked up from my first ten months or so of writing, I hope they help. Keep going, you’ve got this.

Read as much as you can

The chances are, that if you want to write a book, you love to read. The temptation to stop reading when you are writing is immense. You may find yourself comparing yourself to others and feeling inadequate, or you may even analyse technique so much that you lose the magic of getting lost in a story.

Don’t do this! Read for pleasure and forget about writing. You will absorb technique and form subconsciously so don’t stress about analysing things too deeply. Enjoy reading, and keep doing it. N.B. this is a tip which Stephen King gives in his fantastic book “On Writing”.

Experiment

Don’t panic about getting everything right. You will make mistakes. Big ones. Just write, keep writing, and make mistakes as you go. If you wait until you feel you are getting everything right before beginning your first draft you will NEVER begin.

Have some fun, forget about grammar (until you come to edit), forget what’s good and bad practice and just let the words flow. Let the crazy in your mind come out and run with it.

Change things up

If you start something and halfway through you realise that you’ve written it in the wrong tense, or your main character isn’t working, stop. Just stop and restart. There is no shame in leaving a pile of unfinished drafts behind you or rewriting a story ten times before you actually decide how it ends.

You will learn so much in your first few months writing, as I have done. You will find you’ve been making huge mistakes all the way through. Wisdom says to go back and change things.

Let your imagination go wild

Play with your characters, put them in the most dramatic and unlikely scenarios, just for fun. I’m not saying this will make an excellent book, although perhaps it would, but it will spark a passion in you for pushing boundaries. Who knows? Maybe the next great idea for a novel comes out of letting your imagination run free. Be silly, have fun, and enjoy yourself.

Be bold

Don’t be afraid to write what you mean. The best writing is not timid, it is deliberate. Don’t say “James opened the door angrily and shouted” when you could say “James wrenched the door open and bellowed.” Don’t say “He replied sadly” when you could say “His lip started to tremble as he answered, and a tear slid down his cheek.”. When you are bold, you use forceful verbs instead of adverbs, and you describe the physical traits emotion rather than just telling us it is there. This technique makes for excellent prose.

These are my own, humble, opinions, and I’m sure others will have many more tips and advice. I would love to hear from anyone else who would like to impart some wisdom, I am always on the hunt for it!

 

 

 

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18 thoughts on “5 Tips for New Writers

    1. Thank you for your comment, I’m so glad you liked it. I’m quite a timid person so it took me while to learn to let out my bold side when I write, but it made such a huge difference when I did. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s so true! Since you’re a writer yourself, I think you can give suggestions on my writing by reading my latest post. I hope you’ll read it. I would love to get your feedback over it! 🙂

        Like

      2. Hello, I wish I had time to give you some proper feedback, but unfortunately I am very strapped for time right now. Also, when I give feedback I tend to do it through it through a website called Scribofile. I suggest you look into it for some feedback – it is a truly fabulous (and free!) website

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Reblogged this on Travels of the Creative Mind and commented:
    I find myself in every little bit of this! I read as much as I can (a little less during university) for inspiration and love, I change things up way too often but for the better, I experiment and make mistakes all the time, I let my imagination go awesome places, and I try to be bold if I can. Writing novels is a wonderful journey!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great points, Amy. Let me add 1. Write every day 2. Don’t show your work to anyone until you think you have a first draft finished. (many writers get discouraged with other’s opinions and itreally is not necessary. There is enough time to edit and get opinions after the first draft is finished)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fantastic point. Thank you for adding this, I totally agree. Everyone hopes to hear high praises of their book babies, but before the first draft is finished there’s no way it could garner high praise. Thank you again for this 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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