Why would anyone write a novel? It is a long and arduous process to create a piece of quality work. It could easily take a year or more of agonizing over your keyboard to get all of the characters, plotlines, and descriptions just right. You will need to find people who will proofread drafts of your writing and give you honest and constructive feedback. In addition, you never know what will happen to the finished product. Most, if not all, writers want to see their novel get published, but there is no guarantee that will happen. The current outlook in the publishing industry is rocky, and the writers able to find an agent who will represent their work and see it through publication and into the hands of readers must have a combination of skill, talent, perseverance, faith, and luck. Most amateur writers simply watch their novel languish in obscurity never to reach the mass audience of their hopes and dreams.
Given all these challenges and discouraging factors, you would think that very few people would actually buckle down and write their first novel, but they do, every year by the thousands and the hundreds of thousands. It’s remarkable, really, when you think about it, and you’ve decided that you’re going to join them. You have a story to tell that’s been floating around in your head, and you’re finally going to take that next, big step. You’re going to sit down and write your first novel. But how do you do it? How do you write a compelling, original, well-crafted novel that people are going to want to read?
There is no, single, correct answer to that question, since there is no, single, correct way to go about writing a novel. There are as many different ways as there are different writers. To help the would-be novelist, though, I have developed an eight-step plan that anyone can follow in order write a successful first novel. The process is too lengthy to cover in one article, so this will be the first in a series of articles that addresses this topic fully. Once that series of articles is ended, subsequent articles will help you navigate the tricky maze that is finding an agent and getting your novel published. This article will discuss the first step in writing your novel.
Step one is to determine your motivations for writing your book. This is important because it will help you determine how to write it as well as what to do with it once you have it written. You might be writing this novel just for the fun of it or just to be able to say that you did it. You may have a story inside you that you have to get out. You might want to touch people and move them with the power of characters, your themes, and your ideas. You might have come up with an original premise and have visions of becoming the next J.K. Rowling. This may be the culmination of something that you’ve been dreaming or planning on doing for many years. There are endless possible reasons, and a person could have a number of these reasons combined, but it is important that you get very clear right now on what your motivation or motivations are and even write them down. This will influence and affect every step of the way that follows. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be ready to read the next article and move onto step two: Determining your writing style, routines, and best practices.