It’s totally fine if you haven’t started writing your book, but you should at least have an idea. It doesn’t have to be a huge idea, it can even be a tiny piece of inspiration, or an idea for a main character whose story needs to be told.
Whatever your novel is about, or going to be about, you need to remember that the plot and characters have to compel the reader and keep them hooked. Don’t worry if your book doesn’t seem interesting at first, because it takes time to put your ideas into action, build up the tension and write a novel compelling for the reader.
I spent a year writing my debut novel and it was a long and tiring process, but totally worth it in the end and I’m so relieved that I didn’t give it up and although it was a mess at first, it took me time and determination to polish my drafts and turn it into something worth reading.
Let’s say that you’re a Chef in a five-star restaurant and a very famous millionaire celebrity is coming over to your restaurant for dinner tonight and guess what? You’re in charge of preparing everything and making sure the food turns out amazing.
You’ll need to think, and research, what does this famous-millionaire-celebrity like to eat for dinner? You’ll need to create a meal plan, get supplies, and start preparing the meal to get it ready in time for your important famous-millionaire-celebrity guest to arrive.
A good dinner takes a lot of planning and thinking. And writing a good novel also takes a lot of planning and thinking.
All good writing starts with thinking, so here are some questions to ask yourself and think about:
- Who is my audience? Who are you writing for? Middle-grade readers, adults or young adults? You’ll need to understand what your audience’s aspirations and fears are to write a great novel that they can relate to and enjoy.
- Is my idea similar to other novels I’ve read? You may not realise it at first, but it annoy your readers if you have a similar idea, plot or characters that are similar to the ones in another novel.
- What is the theme of my novel? You should have a good idea of what theme/s and genre/s your novel has. Examples of themes: Good vs Evil, Coming of age, Revenge, Love, Courage, Death.
You’ll need to really think and plan out your novel well, just like a dinner a four-course dinner. Your readers are like important famous-millionaire-celebrities, and they’re picky. If the food isn’t delicious, they won’t eat it. If the book isn’t gripping, they won’t read it. Full stop.
Even if you haven’t even started working on your novel, if you have an idea swirling around your head, get it down on paper. ASAP. That idea is a fantastic story waiting to be told.
Ask yourself the question below:
Is my idea story worth writing?
This doesn’t mean your idea is bad, it simply means, “Can this idea go in the distance?”. Can you carry this idea and transform it into a novel? Or is it meant to be a screenplay or short story?
I have something I want you to do. This weekend, or whenever you’re not in school or at work. I want you to write 10,000 words, and yes, I really mean it. That’s your challenge.
Whatever idea is in your head, I want you to start writing it. You can start at the end, the middle, the beginning. You can write a few scenes that have been in your head for ages.
If you’re really excited about writing a book, then the first thing I’d advise you to do is actually put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and start writing it. Just 10,000 words. You might change your mind about writing about that idea or merge more ideas into your story. Even if it’s just dialogue, or descriptions, just get it down! When you read it, it might look horrible, but that’s not because your writing is bad. Your writing skills can only improve if you write often.
So write 10,000 words, the words you’re most excited to write, words that just come to mind. If you can’t write the 10,000 words about your exciting idea, then you probably should ask yourself if you can use that idea to write a whole, three-hundred plus novel.
If you can’t write those 10,000 words, then don’t fret because I’m sure you have thousands of WIPs or ideas waiting to be written!
Keep experimenting with different ideas to find one that you’re most confident, most comfortable, excited and determined to write.
Stay safe and look out for more awesome content,