November is National Novel Writing Month. If you’ve been wanting to write a great American novel, this is your month. There are programs that promise that if you follow their method, you can write a novel in 30 days. Whether you write fast or slow, I encourage you to get started writing this month. If you’re like I was when I began writing my first novel (which I’m still working on), you may wonder how to get started. Here’s my simple tips on how to write your first novel in the next one to six months.
- Choose an engaging theme
- Create interesting characters
- Chose an attractive local or setting
- Make sure the plot has plenty of things at stake for your characters
- Leave somethings to the imagination of the reader
- Show don’t tell
- Write dialogue that mimics the natural rhythms of speech
- Add an element of surprise
- Give the reader a satisfying conclusion
Once you’ve done all of this, it’s time to edit and re-write and craft your writing. If you’ve every read a novel in a weekend, it was because the writer was a master a their craft. They kept you wanting to know what happens next. They created characters that you cared enough about to keep reading until the end. And if you really enjoyed the book, they ended it in a way that was satisfying to you. In order to write like this, you will need to know a few things.
All of these things can be learned and improved upon. Writing is one of those things you learn by doing. You also learn by reading the kind of books you want to write. My novel, as I mentioned is not complete. The story is complete but the word count is about half that of an average novel. I could put it out as a novella, however, I believe that I can expand it. So in honor of National Novel Month, I’ll be revisiting my novel. I probably won’t finish it this month because of all the other things I’ve got going on. I may finish by the end of the year, if I get focused on it.
If you are going to start or complete a novel this month, I want to hear from you. Please leave a comment and let me know your title and the name of your main character. At the end of the month I’ll check back in with you to see how it’s going.
Until Next Time,
Nicole D.P. McLaughlin
- National Novel Writing Month: Write Your Own Steamy Romance Book (acharlotterose.com)
- All Things Writerly: National Novel Writing Month 2013 (comicbooked.com)