How To Write A Novel Step By Step

Step by step novel writing guide

For a new author, writing a novel is similar to climbing a mountain. It’s worthwhile asking yourself how you might do that, if you had to?

Like all large projects, it needs to be done in a structured way, if the project is to be completed. Novel writing is a step by step process, and although formulae exist, there is sufficient flexibility to cater for an author’s particular tastes and way of working.

Some authors are ‘Pantsers’, so called because they like to fly by the seat of their pants, using the flow of consciousness to create the story. This can (and does!) work, but for most of use a step by step novel writing template or guide is absolutely invaluable.

The two videos below show that professional authors rely heavily on structure and planning, but that doesn’t mean that the step by step approach is a straight-jacket to creativity. Each author adapts the way that they outline a novel to suit their own needs and working style.

Step By Step Guide To Writing A Novel – Melanie Anne Phillips

https://youtu.be/vVKRLDEbBPg

How To Write A Novel Step By Step PDF Melanie Phillips

Video Transcript:

Hi I’m Melanie Anne Phillips, author of ‘Write Your Novel Step by Step and this video series is intended as a companion piece to the book, so that step by step we’re a little more conversational, bring in a little more contextual information and help you get from concept to completion of your novel.

So step one describes what’s different about this system. Now what’s different is that instead of looking at with the story needs, it looks at what you the author need. In other words, what is motivating you to write in the first place? What interests you in the story?

Why did you decide you wanted to write a novel. Maybe it’s just a piece of dialogue that you will have running around in your head. Maybe it’s a setting or a genre that you’ve always liked to to read and wanted to write in.

Maybe it’s a character that you’ve developed that you’d really like to see what they were doing in certain situations. Whatever the reason that you’re wanting to write your novel, we focus on what’s motivating you and that becomes step one, inspiration.

So inspiration in the first stage is what are all the ideas that you have bopping around in your head. As long as they’re flowing freely, as long as you keep free associating and have a new idea about this or new thought about that, you really don’t need any help at that point.

You just need something to help you open the floodgates and keep it going as long as possible. When you have finished with writing down everything that you know about your story already and new ideas are kind of getting down to a trickle, because you’re starting to think more about how am I going to fit things together.

How am I going to make this idea work with that idea in the same story? Do all these things belong in the same story? How do I fill this hole? What happens an app to all of these kinds of issues? You’ve moved on to the second stage of story creation, of novel writing, which is development.

Now in this stage, this is where you start working on the details. You start figuring out how to plug the holes and see what fits in the same story and what doesn’t. And logistically, structurally, all all of these interesting topical ideas or subject matter, setting, or mood ideas that you want to work with. How many of them can be incorporated into one single novel.

Well, when you finish that second part you move on to the third stage of novel-writing and that’s exposition. In exposition you need to work out, you know, what you’re serious about. You know what your novel contains.

You’ve got a law worked out in development based on the ideas. You have inspiration but now how do you reveal it to the audience? How do you unfold it? At what point do you tell them things? Do you hold it back on certain parts that, like in a mystery, do you reveal it bit by bit, like in a conspiracy theory.

Do you want to mislead them by telling them that this is what’s going on, only to turn out something else later without making them feel violated. You need to work that out. Once you’ve got it figured out, then you move on to the final stage, which is story talent.

Here’s where you figure out moment by moment exactly what’s going to happen in your novel. So that by the time you’re finished with the book or with this video series you’ll end up with probably a 40 to 50 page treatment of your novel, which will contain everything except the dialogue.

Unless the dialogue’s absolutely essential to say it this way in order to get the point across. In other words, it’s like the blueprint for your novel. Something that you just sit down and write from, you know, everything that’s going to happen.

What your story’s world is. Who’s in it. What happens to them and what it all means. And it’s in sequential order and then you’re all ready to sit down with your word processor and just put it into your own literary terms.

So the book focuses on what will keep you going. What will keep the ideas flowing. Other systems tend to focus on what the story needs. You have to have a protagonist. He has to have some kind of a motivation, a ghost to drive an internal issue or problem.

You have to have a goal for him to try to achieve. You have to have obstacles in the way. An antagonist is essential. Maybe there’s some sort of a philosophically opposed character that represents the thematic issue that is troubling the main character.

Well if you start focusing on all those things, as important as they are to a story, if you’re looking in that direction you’re going to lose yourself. You’re going to lose your muse and you’re going to get all tied up in the process of the structuring of your novel rather than in the joy of writing it.

So step one describes all of these stages – inspiration, development, exposition and storytelling a little more fully, a little more clearly than I’m doing extemporaneously. But the whole purpose is to say ‘let’s try an approach where we take our focus our interest and turn around what makes you want to write what makes the process enjoyable, so what you write will be interesting to you and therefore the words you write will be more interesting to your readers.

how to write a story step by stepNow if you want to follow this through step by step you also have my website. You’ll find that we put a new step up every week and we’re serializing the book, so that people who can’t afford it or just want to go through one step at a time and not be bothered with the whole book all at once, can get it right on the internet at no charge.

But if you do want to order it, you can either buy it through our website or go to amazon.com and look for me Melanie Ann Phillips or for the book Write Your Novel Step by Step and you’ll find available both in paperback and for the kindle.

Well that’s it for step one. In step two we’re gonna move on to how you get your head clear of all these ideas that are clogging it up because most authors come to a story with a lot of work that they’ve already done and they’re afraid they’re gonna lose some of these ideas if they don’t keep rehearsing them their head over and over again.

So they end up cramming in more and more stuff and spending more and more time trying to recall it all and how it fits together that they end up closing the valve on new ideas. Because there’s just no place to put them. So in step two of running your novel step by step, we’ll give you some suggestions for how to avoid that problem, or if you’ve got it how to get rid of it. That’s it for now and we’ll see you next time in step two of writing your novel step by step.

How To Write A Book Step By Step – Another Perspective

https://youtu.be/CKvj5mb3zS8

Hi literary nerds. I’m Meg LaTorre-Snyderand today I’m here to talk to you about the nine practical tips to start writing your novel. According to The Huffington Post approximately 80 percent of Americans want to write a book. That’s 8 in every 10 people but let’s be honest -writing a book is hard, really hard.

It’s hours of gruelling work, so before we talk about how to write a book, let’s talk about if we should write a book and some ones can tell you that you shouldn’t write a book and you believe them then maybe it’s not for you.

So if you hear that advice and you realise that, no you’re actually still like, you know, you’re supposed to read a book, then my friend keep watching. So writing a book, where to start.

Number one, research your age group and genre. A lot of people mix these two together, each group. So we’re thinking about middle grade, young adults adults. These are the groupings genre, so this is like fantasy, contemporary historical fiction, the overarching umbrella of what type of writing it is.

step by step guide to writing a bookSo these are two separate things, so you want to research both. If you’re writing adult contemporary, you want to read adult contemporary novels to see what’s the tropes in the genre. What’s been overdone. What’s selling. What’s not selling.

So you’re trying to research the market but any person means when they say research a novel is you want to read, read and read some more. You want to know the tropes and what’s going on in books these days but that’s how you learn actually how to write a novel, by reading the people who have written novels.

So an example in the fantasy genre – right now a lot of people are probably saying vampires and werewolves are way overdone. So you just want to be very conscientious of trends and overdone trends because you don’t want to like hurt yourself before you even start writing a novel.

Alright, so number two, outline your book. Okay now hear me out. I’m not saying outline the whole thing in every single plot detail, I mean outline the big plot point so you know where your arc is going to be in your novel. A lot of people have heard of architects and gardeners by that famous george RR martin quote and so basically the architects, they plan out everything in their novels, where gardeners they kind of write as I go and see what where things take me.

But essentially what I recommend is outline your book, just so that you know where the action is going to be because you do want that pretty plot arc in your novel. Number three, outline your characters like your plot. You really want to be very intimately familiar with your characters.

What are their desires, goals, greatest fears? So I’m not saying you really want to outline every single thing about your characters. However I do recommend making a couple of bullets and writing down things like their appearance or their impulses, so that way you don’t make an oopsie mistake.

Number four, set a daily word count goal. This is to kind of keep you in order and keep you running and keep you moving. It doesn’t have to remain the same indefinitely but set yourself a goal and then just keep at it. So you might do something like 500 words a day approximately.

That might be like two pages or you might be say something like 5,000 words a day. So do what you’re comfortable with and go for it in your workout goal every day. You do also want to be very conscientious that you do want to write every single day.

writing a novel step by stepThere’s tons of people who want to write a book but the difference between the people who want to write a book and who do write a book is that the people that do write their manuscript right even when they don’t feel like it.

So if you make a habit of writing every day, even when you don’t feel like it, then you’re well on your way to completing that manuscript. Number five, write in the same place every time. For me, I love writing either at my office or at a local coffee shop and that’s like my go-to spot.

But whether yours is writing at home, running at the kitchen table, going out somewhere, find that special place that you like to write and try to write there consistently. Because a lot of times your creative juices will start flowing just because you get to that place where you’ve been writing many times before.

Number six, set a total word count goal for your whole manuscript. In each age group and genre there is a word count expectation. You can check out some of the links below for those expectations but essentially you want to know if you’re writing a fantasy why a the work and expectation might somewhere around 75,000 words, and if you write something that’s 200,000 words long you might hurt yourself and have less literary agents and people interested in reading your manuscript.

Research, as we said before, for how long you want your manuscript to be. Okay number seven, give yourself weekly deadlines. So this is to kind of make make yourself very accountable. I think I’m 50 and my face you want to make sure you’re accountable.

So if your goal at daily goals to write, let’s say a thousand words, you want to make sure by the end of the week you have written seven thousand words. So maybe one day you write 500 words, the next day write 1500 words, make sure you hit that weekly deadline.

Number eight, make friends with fellow writers and get feedback. In my humble opinion this could be one of the hardest ones because, let’s be honest, a ton of writers are introverts and we are so awkward when making friends with other writers.

step by step writing a bookSo get yourself out there go on Meetup. Go on Twitter. Meet some awesome people. They’re really not as intimidating as we introverts like to think. Get some feedback, shove them in your manuscript and don’t be afraid if people are gonna say ‘they don’t like something’ and that’s the only way you can get better.

Number nine – edit, edit, edit and edit some more. So the first draft of your book should not be your final draft. The first draft is just you telling yourself this story and that’s so true. The first draft is you getting that awesome story that’s bubbling up in your brain onto the page. So that second, third, fourth, fifth draft is when you’re preparing it for the reader, so that they can see that epic story that’s inside your mind. Just keep editing.

Alright. A couple of other tips that aren’t in the nine – eliminate all possible distractions. That includes social media. Consider starting a blog or a column or write a few articles. Novel writing is a very, very long process but you do also want to get your name out there as a writer.

Consider checking out other forums or places that you can write and get published. Other than writing, go on a walk, go for a run and get those creative juices flowing. Don’t just be a little rating machine. Turn off your inner editor when you’re writing. You can’t have both editor and the writer coexisting. If you write creatively at the same time, the editor kills the creative urges of the writers.

So write – first go crazy and then maybe edit the next day and you might delete every single thing that you wrote, but make sure you keep those those two things separate. Don’t be afraid to scrap that entire book and write another.

On average, writers tend to write four novels before they hit the road and get a literary agent. Keep a glass of wine handy when you do start submitting your novels. You read, read a lot. Absolutely everything that you can because that’s research and it’s fun.

I shouldn’t have to tell you to read! This has been the nine practical tips to start writing your novel. Thank you guys for tuning in. If you like what you saw, subscribe below and like the page comments. Tell me what you want to hear about next time. Keep writing you.

 

 

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How To Write A Good Novel – Outline & Structure

Writing instruction and courses

Knowing how to write a good novel brings into play a balanced combination of creativity and structure. The first is inspirational, while the latter hints at craftsmanship.

All structures need to be build on solid foundations and the outline for a novel is no different – if they are wobbly, your readers will feel it and the story will suffer for it.

New Writers, Like Fools, Rush In

Like many aspiring authors, I wrote my first story by the seat of my pants, feeling sure that all would come together as the manuscript progressed. Although I did actually finish (and publish) the novel, it was painfully obvious to me and my readers that it wasn’t as good as it could be. The plot, prose, dialogue and characterizations were decent, but there were structural issues that reduced its impact. It just didn’t sparkle.

As authors, we need to ask ourselves important questions before we put pen to paper, or fingertips to the keyboard. The first important question is about understanding what the reader wants from your novel. I’ll give you a clue – it has nothing to do with the technicalities of writing plot, subplots, setting, dialogue or any of the other important element that make up a great read.

What Happens Next In The Story?

What Happens Next?If the reader is to finish the book then its vital that he always wants to know what happens next. It’s the core of every novel and a huge part of the writing process is to make sure that the reader does on thing – have a burning desire to know what happens to the main characters of the story and keep turning those pages!

I can’t emphasize how important this point is. Without this need to know, your book will not be read at all and a year of your blood, sweat and commitment will have been wasted. Planning an outline and building a strong structure reduces this possibility drastically.

In the video below a well-known author, John Grisham, describes his writing process:

https://youtu.be/q2XKhWRnR9A

Video Transcript:

I normally start writing a novel on January the 1st of each year, that’s kind of my ritual, with the goal of finishing the book in six months, and being done in July. And that’s been the schedule for the past probably 10 or 15 years.

When I’m writing, which is usually that time of the year, I get a lot of writing done in January, February and March, for obvious reasons — it’s a good time to write. When I’m writing it’s five days a week I start around seven each morning in my office. The routine rarely varies — it’s pretty structured. It’s the same spot, the same computer.

So the office is a separate building with no phones, faxes or Internet, because I don’t want the distraction, and I don’t work online, I keep it offline. It’s the same cup of coffee, the same type of coffee, the same everything.

And the hours between seven and ten are, you know, that’s the best time of the day for me, it’s very productive. On a good day I’ll write probably 2,000 words, a slow day is probably 1,000. There aren’t many slow days, because by the time I start a book I have a very good idea of where it’s going.

I don’t start a book — I don’t write the first scene until I know the last scene. And that’s a rule I’ve kept for 25 years. I just don’t start something unless I know where it’s gonna go. So once I do start it, there aren’t many down days.”

Story Structure Definition

Creative Writing - Beginning Your NovelSeveral story structure elements need to be in place when writing your masterpiece, and building an outline or template is the best way to ensure that everything is in place. Not only that, but in the right place! The basic building blocks are found in the principles of the Story Arc and Character Arc. Don’t worry – both concepts will be covered in later posts, but suffice to say that the process tends to grow from the broader ideas to the more detailed.

Some basic elements of a great novel outline are:

Genre – define the type of story you are presenting. For example, Romance, Sci-Fi, Thriller, Cowboy, Horror among many others. Each main category can be split into sub-categories and also combined with others to create split-genres.

Theme – every story has a message, whether in written or movie format. Examples might be ‘Is it better to be rich or to have friends?’ or ‘Can love conquer all?’

Setting – define the period and the location. Example: 19th Century, Vienna.

Narrative Style – who is telling the story?

Story Arc – this timeline notes the events that bring increasing conflict and tension to the hero, and also the conclusion.

Character Arcs – main characters are complex and three-dimensional. The events in the story impact and change their ideas and outlook. These changes are essential if the characters are to succeed in their quest. These changes are collectively described as the Character Arc.

Backstory – the early part of a novel that describes the lives and situations of the main characters. It sets the scene of normality before an event arrives that changes everything.

Plot – the sequence of interrelated events defined by the author to tell the story.

Characters – normally one, or a few, main complex main characters and any number of passing support characters.

Dialogue – designed to tell the story and drive it forward.

Prose – the result of writing simply and conversationally, expressing description and meaning effectively but adhering to (mostly) universally accepted rules of grammar and syntax.

Not Convinced? The Purpose Of Planning

Planning A Book

The biggest take-away and advantage from all the hard work that goes into writing a novel outline can be summarized like this:

  1. The template can be used as a planning tool, or a road-map to clearly show the writer where he or she is going. If the destination is clearly in sight, together with diversions and side-roads, then it will be so much easier to steer the story.
  2. The planning phase becomes more detailed as it progresses, exploring the plot and the characters in greater depth. By the end of the process, which doesn’t really have an end until the novel is complete, you will know your story and everything in it intimately.

Editing Your Manuscript

When your novel manuscript is finished, then the arduous task of editing begins. If, like me, you can’t afford the services of a professional, then its necessary to learn how to do it properly. Self-editing is the only option left to you. The process happens on different levels and each step has a purpose.

As you might guess, it involves a bit more than just spell-checking and correcting simple errors in grammar. Later posts on this site will explore each level and provide a good grounding in the requirements.

Publishing – The Final Step!

Finish the book

Publishing your novel is the crowning glory of all your hard work, which on average takes anywhere between six months to a year to write, and three months to edit. This time may be extended if the editing process reveals serious structural problems, in which case a partial re-write would be required. You have to be dedicated to the craft and really want that book to see the light of day.

In the past, when the traditional publishing process was all that there was, this was indeed a painful experience. Authors could wait for months for a simple rejection slip, perhaps with no notes for manuscript improvement. Luckily, the emergence of the inernet and platforms like Amazon have changed all that. Self-publishing is simple and best of all, free!

In the next post I’ll be looking at the Story Arc.

 

Novel structure and planning

 

How to write a novel in 20 steps – Caitlin from Ink and Quills:

https://youtu.be/qaDUt6ZL0vM

Video Transcript

Hey everyone, this is Caitlin from ink & quills and today I’m going to be walking you through my step-by-step process for writing a novel. So – if you’re new to writing you might be confused about how to go about writing your first novel, or maybe you just have no idea where you should even begin

Maybe you’ve gotten started but things aren’t going quite as smoothly as you’d hoped. The thing is, since you’ve never written a novel before, you don’t know what this process looks. Like you know what the end result looks like because you’ve read lots of published books, but you don’t know how to get there yourself.

How are you supposed to learn to do something if you’ve never seen an example of how it’s done? It’s like being handed a bunch of ingredients and being told to bake a cake without the recipe. That’s why I want to take you behind the scenes into the creative process of writing a story.

One of the best ways to learn how to do something you’ve never done before is by seeing an example. You probably know the ingredients you need for your story, like plot, character and setting, but you also need to know the process used to combine all these ingredients into a story.

Today I’m going to show you my personal writing process which I’ve developed over years of trial and error, but I want you to keep in mind that each writer has their own process and methods that work best for them so feel free to tweak this outline to fit your personal preferences.

I’ve also created a free checklist for this process and I’ll include a download link for that below the video. All right, so let’s get started. The first thing we need to do before we can start writing is to find an idea for our story. Personally, I draw a lot of inspiration from history and mythology, but one of the best ways to come up with an idea is to just let yourself daydream, and ask questions let your imagination have some fun.

One of my favorite questions to ask is ‘what if’ because it creates so many possibilities. For example, what if Hitler had won World War two, or what if we discovered life on Mars, or what if we began cloning humans in the future? Asking ‘what if’ questions like these creates interesting scenarios that you can then build a story around.

Once you have an idea that you like, and you’re excited about, it’s time to start expanding on it. This means thinking about your setting and time period, who your characters might be and what might happen in the plot. Now at this stage you’re not developing your plot and characters in depth.

You’re just exploring and gathering ideas, and you might also end up discarding or changing a lot of these ideas down the road. These are all tentative details that you’re considering for your story. I also want to mention that brainstorming is something that I actually do throughout the entire writing process.

I’m constantly collecting and layering ideas as I develop the story. Your story really is something that’s in a constant state of evolution, so allow yourself the creative flexibility to change your mind and explore new ideas throughout the writing process. After you do some brainstorming, the setting, time period and genre of your story should start to become more clear, but you might want to ask yourself if changing any of these details could make your story more interesting, or help it stand out more.

So for example, what if you changed your setting to Japan instead of America? Or how about setting your story in the 18th century instead of the 21st? Or what if you turned it into a fantasy instead of historical fiction? Consider different options before you make your final decision.

Now before you get too far, you’re going to want to figure out just who it is you’re writing for. Is this story for adults, teens, children? Do you want to appeal to a certain demographic, like military families, or single moms? Your audience is going to affect how you approach the story, so it’s good to know who they are before you start writing.

When you have a specific audience in mind it also helps you feel like you’re writing for someone and not just writing into the void, hoping someone out there somewhere might be interested in your story. This is also going to help make your book easier to market which will make you more appealing to agents and publishers.

So in short, it’s easier to write a story for an audience rather than trying to find an audience for your story. So now that you have some basics taken care of it’s time to start going into more depth. This is where you’ll start getting to know your main characters your villain and your secondary characters.

Start thinking about who these people are, what they’re like, what happened in their past and, most importantly, what they want. You need to figure out the goals of both your hero and your villain. Your hero’s goal is basically the focus of the story, and the villain’s goal creates opposition and conflict.

So for example, in the Lord of the Rings Frodo’s goal is to destroy the One Ring while Sauron’s goal is to steal it back. Once you know what your hero wants and what’s standing in his way, it makes it a lot easier to start outlining your novel. But before you start outlining, you need to decide on your story’s point of view.

Are you going to tell this story in first person or third person? Will you follow one character or split the story up between the points of view of two or three characters? Ask yourself what will work best to tell this story. Now you don’t have to decide right away and you can always change your mind later, but it’s definitely something that you want to be considering as you work on developing your characters and plot.

Once you’ve figured out the goal of your hero and villain, you can start outlining your plot. Basically, a story is all about the journey a hero goes on to achieve a goal, so without one it’s going to be really hard to plot your story. The beginning of a story introduces the hero and their goal.

The middle is filled with the obstacles the hero faces as he tries to achieve that goal, and the end reveals whether or not the hero succeeds or fails. Personally, I prefer to plan out my plot in as much detail as possible before I start writing, but this doesn’t mean that everything in our outline is set in stone.

As I continue to develop my story, and even after I’ve begun writing, I might decide to change things. Sometimes, I’ll find an idea that works better than something in my original outline, or I might discover that what I had originally planned won’t work, or that there’s a plot hole. Basically, I don’t want you to get hung up on getting your plot outline perfect.

Think of your outline like a rough draft and stay flexible. Like I said before, I always view story as something that’s constantly evolving throughout the writing process, until I have a final draft I’m happy with. So now that you know more about your plot and characters, and can see what shape the story is beginning to take, it’s a good idea to start doing some market research.

This means researching if there are any books already out there that might be similar to your story. So for example, if you’re writing a Cinderella re-telling, you’ll want to look at other authors who have done the same. Or if you’re writing a steampunk story, you’ll want to look into other steampunk books.

First, you want to read some of these books, so you can see what’s already been done, so you can avoid cliches or similarities. This will help you write a story that stands out, even if there are similar ones out there.

Second you want to read the reviews of these books and take note of what the readers liked and didn’t like. That way you can avoid any mistakes the author might have made. Once you’ve finished your research, you’ll need to look back over your plot outline and possibly make some changes based on what you’ve learned.

So for example, if you find that stuff several of the Cinderella re-tellings you read follow the same basic story-line, you might want to add a plot twist or two to yours, to help it stand out. Next you’ll need to start developing your setting. Think about the key locations where the story will take place and flush them out with details to make them feel real and interesting.

So for example in the Harry Potter series you have lots of memorable settings like Hogwarts,and platform 9 and 3/4. If you’re writing a fantasy story you’ll need to build a believable world from scratch and if you’re writing a story set somewhere you’ve never been ordering historical time period you’ll need to do research.

Even though for fantasy you make most things up, you still might need to do some research on things you’re not familiar with, like swords and bows, or castle life. This is also the point in the writing process where I start researching anything else I might need to know about, like police procedures, mountain climbing, the Italian mafia or whatever else might play a role in my story.

Once you’ve finished developing your setting and doing all your research, you might need to tweak your plot outline again. I found that when I start diving into my story’s world I usually end up getting more ideas which I then add into the outline. Sometimes
my research will make me realize that what I had originally planned isn’t going to work so we’ll need to make changes to the outline.

One last thing you need to do before you start writing is to decide on a theme for your story. Some writers might do this at the beginning stages of the writing process but for me it’s easier to weave in a theme once I’m more familiar with my plot and characters. I like to look at the conflicts in my story, whether it’s a conflict between characters, an internal conflict within the hero, or conflict within the society and then see what themes are might be able to draw from there.

A theme is basically like a theory you set out to prove or disprove with your story. It adds more depth of meaning and it’s shown through the actions of the characters in the plot. A theme usually explores or reveals something about the human experience. Think about what you might want to say about humanity in your story and how you could say it through your characters, then adjust your plot outline to show your theme.

After doing all that prep work you’re finally ready to actually start writing your story. I know it might be tempting to just skip ahead to this step, but trust me writing your first draft is so much easier and goes so much faster, and you’ve got all of those details taken care of. You know where you’re going.

When you write your rough draft, you want to focus on getting the story out of your head onto the page so you can mold it into something beautiful later. Give yourself permission to write crap but don’t beat yourself up about it. It’s easy to feel like a crappy writer when you’re writing crap, but you have to remember that the first draft is supposed to be terrible.

After you’ve gotten your story laid out on the page you can start editing and working some magic. In your second draft, you’ll want to focus on fixing any major issues, like plot holes, details that need more research, or scenes that may need to be altered or rearranged. Once you’ve got all that hammered out, you can then focus on smaller details, like dialogue, character descriptions and more choice.

In your additional drafts, you’ll probably end up with at least three drafts, and my average is usually three or four, but it’s not uncommon for a writer to have more. It all depends on how many drafts it takes to get a story you’re happy with, and feel good about.

After you’ve finished editing, it’s a good idea to let someone else read your story before you release it into the world. Preferably somebody beside your mom. I highly recommend asking other writers to read your story and give you feedback, even though it can be terrifying. I know I was nervous about letting my beta readers read my story, but the feedback I received was so valuable.

Beta readers can help you point out your story strengths and weaknesses, which means you’ll end up with an even better story than what you originally started with. Addressing any issues early on is going to help you increase your chances of getting published and also raise the odds of readers enjoying your book.

Once you’ve finished revising your final draft with your beta readers feedback, it’s time to begin the publication process. If you want to be published traditionally, this means looking for literary agents and sending out query letters or if you decide to self publish you’ll need to look into a publication platform like Amazon’s Kindle direct publishing.

For self-publishing you’ll also need a hire an editor and cover designer format your book for print and create a marketing plan and that’s it. Once your book is in your reader’s hands there’s nothing left to do except sit back and catch your breath.

As you can see, there’s a lot of work involved with writing a story. This entire process can take anywhere from months to years. It might seem overwhelming at first but I promise the more books you write and the more familiar you become with how this all works, the easier it becomes.

It may still take forever but you do get better at it, and if you have the driving passion for writing that I think you do, you won’t be able to stop yourself from doing it over and over again. Don’t forget to grab your free checklist of this process and the link below the video and also if you would like a more in-depth look into what goes into a story like plot, and character, and how a story works, I have a free ebook to help you with that as well.

It’s called ‘Writing 101’ and it includes over 100 pages of information and exercises to help new writers master the basics of writing a novel if you’d like to download a free copy of the ebook just click link below the video thank you so much for watching and good luck with planning your first novel.

They have their own objectives. They have their own dreams they have their own ambitions, their own needs. They’re just trying to be for themselves and what they’re doing and everything that pushes the plot to its conclusion is the dynamics that will create very convincing characters.

Again, working with your story outside of just writing it. If you can, have a piece of paper and draw lines marking out when and in the story certain important things happen with each plot.

When exactly the conclusion happens. What is the transformation at the beginning of each plot? What is the status quo and at the end what has changed? How is it how are things no longer what they were before?

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