Everyone has, at one time or another, thought about writing a book – it’s quite common. If you do want to write the book that’s waiting inside you, where do you start? This blog is about this exact process. It’s very tempting to just start at the beginning, get writing and ‘let it flow’, but this generally isn’t the best idea.
Inspiration is for amateurs: professionals just get to work!
Always remember that writing is a craft which can be learned in a structured way. If you wait for inspiration, or that ‘great idea’ before you start writing your novel, you could be waiting a very long time.
I love listening to the advice of both seasoned and new writers. Such advice represents an abundance of tips gained from practical experience after many hours spent creating works of fiction – the new writer would do well to listen and act upon it.
I Want To Write A Book (And Have It Published, Of Course!)
Hello everyone, my name is Michelle and this is going to be the first video in a series of videos that I’m going to dedicate to the process of writing a novel. This would include things like starting a novel, finishing a novel, character development, world building and all of those things.
So in this video I’m going to be focusing on starting a book. So if that’s something you’re interested in, keep on watching. So this was requested by someone anonymously on Tumblr, and they wanted to know specifically how to get started writing a book. But they also wanted me to go into how to describe a change in atmosphere and I think I’m gonna talk about the change of atmosphere and how to do that in a separate video.
And in this one I’m just gonna focus on how to start a book. So the very first thing that you want to think about is, if you’ve ever written a short story before, if you have, then you’re already on the right track and I would say you’re ready to start writing your first novel.
But if you haven’t written a short story before, I think that’s something that you need to do first. Basically, the reason why I think short stories should be done first is because tackling a novel right off the bat for the first time without any prior experience is kind of like taking on Mount Everest when you’ve never even climbed anything before.
It’s really daunting. It’s really difficult and I don’t think you’re gonna get very far if you just launch straight into writing a book. So that’s why I would recommend attempting short stories first. The nice thing about short stories is they let you practice how to begin a story and how to end a story and also how to get to that end.
When you write short stories a lot you’re gonna learn how to structure a story and like how to get to the climax and things like that. And you’re also going to find what your style is like and what types of writing do you like best. Like whether you like romance or science fiction or horror and things like that.
And in terms of things that you like best, you might find that writing a novel is something you definitely want to do and in that case then you’re ready for the next step. Or you may find that writing like this is something that you’re not really into and maybe you like poetry better.
Or maybe you just don’t like writing as much as you thought you would, so this will help you figure that out. So if you’ve been there and you’ve done that and you’ve got some experience under your belt, the next step is to come up with your book idea.
This can be pretty difficult but eventually you’re gonna find an idea that you really like and that you’re excited to start writing about. Once you come up with that idea you can start to flesh things out and your head kind of get some characters together, some world-building together.
Just come up with a bunch of things without really, it’s starting the novel or writing any scenes or anything like that. Just come up with some other ideas to go with your main idea and make sure you jot them down because if you don’t write them down you will forget them.
That’s one of the things I learned the hard way. So when you’re coming up with all these things for your novel make sure you write everything down. I like to have some type of notebook, something like this, that I can just carry it with me. Whenever I come up with something, I can jot it down really quickly and then when I sit down to write I have everything here and I can remember everything.
One way to get your creativity flowing is, like I said, coming up with characters and the world they inhabit. This would include making character bios, which will help you get a better idea of your characters, and also includes writing down specific places they inhabit, and writing down the descriptions underneath.
This will help, kind of give you a feel, of what the characters are like and what the world is like and then also help you when it comes time to actually writing the novel. Once you have all of that done, the next thing that you’re going to want to do is find the scene that you have the most inspiration for and the most excitement for.
This is the scene that you’re gonna start writing first. Now one very important thing to note about this scene, as this scene doesn’t have to be your beginning. It might be your beginning, it might not be. When you figure things out more but don’t go into it thinking that the very first scene you write down has to be the very opening of your novel.
This is just the scene that you have visualized the most, that you have the most inspiration for. The next thing to help you get it all together and start writing your novel is outlining. This is a very important step and something that I think shouldn’t be overlooked.
Some people can get away with not outlining but especially if it’s your first novel I highly recommend it. When you first start outlining you can start out really simple and really basic and just write down what you have planned for the beginning of your novel, the climax of your novel and the end of your novel.
Once you figure things out more you can elaborate in your outline, adding things like specific scenes or other things that you’ve come up with along the way. Eventually you should start to organize these ideas into major plot points and make sure that they’re written in orders but you have a basic idea of the timeline of your novel.
Once your novel really starts to get going you can outline chapter by chapter and these should be structured so that you know what takes place in every specific chapter and what happens. What I like to do is write down what happens.
Where there any plot points that were resolved? What plot points are still not resolved?Which characters develop in this chapter and which characters do not? When you start writing your novel everything doesn’t have to be perfect right off the bat.
The most important thing is not let that blank Word document or that blank piece of paper intimidate you and just start writing. It doesn’t matter if it’s perfect. You can always go back and edit it. The important thing it’s just to start getting word onto paper.
There is an app out there that I think is really helpful in the whole outlining process. It’s available for iPad and iPhone and it’s called A Novel Idea. What this app lets you do is organize characters, locations and ideas all electronically, so that you have it all in one place.
In the characters section they let you basically fill out a preset character bio, so if you’re struggling on making a character file, this app is great to help you. They ask for basic things like age, height, build, hair color and things like that.
They also want to know the external conflict of your character, external motivation, internal conflict, internal motivation, skills and talents, relations to other characters and things like that. They also let you organize your locations by name and description and I just think it’s extremely helpful.
Everything is all in one place and it’s all electronic ,so you can have it with you wherever you go. Once again this app is available in the App Store for iPad and iPhone and it is free. One thing that might help you come up with an idea for your novel or just get you into the group of writing is writing prompts.
There a lot of prompts that you can find online. There are a lot of books that you can buy that just have prompts and them but I will link a couple of blogs down below that have prompts available and I would just look at those and write based on the prompt to get your creative juices flowing and hopefully come up with some good ideas for your novel.
Alright, that’s all the advice I have on starting a novel. I hope you found this helpful in some way. The next video I’m going to talk about character development and then I will get to the next part, that the anonymous on Tumblr wanted to know about – which is describing a change in atmosphere in a scene.
I’ll talk about writing scenes in general and if there’s anything else that you want me to talk about in this writing series you can send me a message on tumblr or leave a comment down below here on YouTube. I just wanted to let you guys know really quickly that my novel that I’ve been talking about is actually completed the first draft is completed and you can actually read it.
I will post the link for that below and if you’re watching this on tumblr there is a link to my book where you can read it online for free on my blog. So check out my blog and you will see the little button that will take you right there. As always, thank you guys. So much for watching. I hope you’re having a great day and I will talk to you later.