For years I was overwhelmed with the thought of writing a novel. I didn’t know where to start, and my anxiety combined with fear of failure kept me from writing anything at all. But with the right tools, I was finally able to write a 100,000 word paranormal romance novel that I'm looking to publish in 2022.
I know there must be many other beginner writers in the same boat, so I thought I'd share my tips on how to start and finish that first draft with ease (and with minimal plot holes!)
We writers never have just one novel idea. Settle on the novel idea you want to write now, and shelve the other ideas for later!
A story idea typically comes to us in the form of a basic premise, so jot that premise down!
I can't recommend KM Weiland's guides enough! They were THE resource that helped me write and finish my first manuscript, and I will never look back!
You can purchase her books as well as find other helpful writing advice on her website: https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/resources/
If you have a general idea of what genre your story fits, do your research! Each genre and sub genre has its own set of industry standards when it comes to target audiences, word count and story elements. Make sure you research before you write! It's vital to know your genre if you plan to do traditional or self-publishing. Knowing the market, and what sells will be the key to your book's success!
Rachel Aaron is another wonderful author with great insight on how to get that manuscript done! Her guide -- 2k to 10k, has tips on story formation, how to write good quality prose as well as how to edit. Reading this will get you in tip top writing shape!
I can't stress this point enough! I can't tell you how many times I've read posts from writers who lost all their work because it didn't save on their computer properly. If you have cloud-based writing software or app this will never happen to you! Unless you have very faulty wifi. To make sure I never lose my work (even when the Wifi is out) I use Dabble Writing Software because not only is it cloud-based, but you can also write offline. If you have no wifi connection it automatically syncs once you're back online!
Once you have compiled all your novel notes, transfer them to your computer or writing software
Get to work on that manuscript! If you stray from your outline that is okay. Sometimes once words get on the page, creativity sparks and it leads what to new inspirations. Embrace it! Novel writing and outlining does not have to be all or nothing. Embrace your inner pantser!