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  • Writer's pictureluisaraegan

Beginner's Guide to Starting Your Novel

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!

Now get to brainstorming! Get our your trusty notebook and start writing freehand instead of typing it on a computer. Why? Check out my Cheat Sheet Checklist To Brainstorming Your Novel for the answer, as well as other awesome brainstorming tips!

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:

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!

KM Weiland also has an amazing guide on how to structure your novel as well as guides on building effective character arcs. Checkout all of her guides and workbooks!

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!

For more information on Dabble and how I plot my novel on their platform, check out this post!

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!

For tips on how to both outline and pants effectively, check out this post!

I hope you find these tips helpful! Please feel free to Pin my Cheat Sheet Checklist To Starting Your Novel Infographic below!

I'd love to hear from other writers on their writing process! Any guides or books you would recommend? Tell me in the comments!

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