So you want to write a novel? Good! Great for you! But be warned, before you start on this long and hard journey, here are some things you should consider:
- Do you have enough content to complete a novel? A regular Young Adult novel has at the bare minimum 60,000 words. Nothing is wrong if you end up below that benchmark, but if you’re aiming for a novel, that is the word count you should be aiming for. If you come up short, you can always expand on some things you only skimmed on the surface of before, and if you go way over, no worries. You can always take things out in the editing process.
- Do you have a main character that will develop over the course of the book? No main character stays the same throughout the course of a book. That’s the main point of the plot, to see a change in your main character brought on by some massive event in your character’s life. Characters that are static and act the same way throughout the course of a novel are boring and will make your reader put down your book halfway through.
- Don’t be afraid of change. If you go into a novel knowing exactly what is going to happen from the beginning to the end, that’s great for you, but don’t get upset if things begin to take a change off the course you want them to go. Don’t try to go back and fix the plot so the ending still ends up the way you had planned. The best thing to do is to just let the characters take the course they want to go. Don’t get surprised if they begin to write the plot for you.
- Make sure you are committed. Writing a novel can be a potentially very long process. It can take some authors years and years to reach a finished product. Writing a little bit each day is always a good habit to keep up, even if it’s only a few sentences. Writing a little bit each day can help to remind you that you are working on something that needs to be finished. Although people get busy in life once work or school sets in and the dreaded writes block can settle in, don’t let that discourage you. Even if you have to set your pen down for a few weeks or even a few months, just reread a few pages or lines from your story every few days to remind yourself of the task that needs to be accomplished. Maybe it will even help you get rid of your writers block.
- Once you write the last sentence of the book, don’t think you’re done. Editing is one of the most important steps when writing. Editing is where you can fix your little grammar mistakes, make your writing a bit better and cleaner, and even take out that pesky character that doesn’t need to be there. Don’t go through and edit things while you’re still in the process of writing (although this does work for some people). The easiest way to do something is to write the whole thing and go back and edit later.
- Have fun while you’re writing! The point of writing a novel should be to entertain readers and to have fun writing it. Don’t force yourself to write something you don’t want to. If you don’t like writing paranormal romance, then don’t write about it! Don’t feel pressured to write about something just because it’s popular. Write about something you love. If you like pirates fighting ninjas, then write a book about pirates fighting ninjas! Who cares if some people think it’s a stupid idea, no one writes a novel without facing some criticism. Chances are that you’ll write better when it’s about something you enjoy!