Wonder how to start a novel, but not sure where to begin?
Everyone has a story. I listen to coworkers, friends, acquaintances and strangers tell me, “I’d like to write but can’t come up with an idea that would interest people.” I remain silent, because next they open up and talk about their lives. Everyone has a story so that means everyone can learn how to start a novel.
I have had a friend tell me for years. “I’ve always wanted to write a novel about my life.” I encouraged her to begin her story but she never did. After returning from Alaska I was very excited to see her again. One of the first things she said to me was, “I’m so proud you’re published, I wish I could write a book but I don’t know how to start a novel.”
After everything I had learned in Alaska I thought it would be fun to help her along, step by step. This is how she started her story, which is currently being edited for submissions to publishers.
- Go down to the store and buy a journal or find an old notebook and label it, “Novel.” Put it on the coffee table, night stand or computer desk.
- Write for ten to fifteen minutes a day. Starting on the computer is fine but computers make it easy to forget about your writing. I write a chapter in my journals and then type it into the computer. This method allows for me to smooth the story out and add details I hadn’t originally put in.
- Write what you know. The subject can change each day, the entire point is to exercise your writing skills. Write entries on whatever you love about life; hobbies, dreams, memories or hobbies. The list is endless.
- Learn what works for you. Is it easier to write at night or in the morning? Can you express yourself better through poetic lines or dialogue? Do you like fiction or non-fiction?
- Once you have a number of ideas, see if you can group them together into a short story or novel.
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