What are the most important things to know when drafting your first novel?
In this blog, I am going to explain 5 tips for completing your first novel draft, and ensuring that the spirit, motivation and interest that you generated with your readers from your first sentence continues to travel with them all the way to the end of the book
You are writing your first draft for a book – It is daunting, it is exciting. It is scary. What if this draft sucks? Or, what if you experience writer’s block? What if the book is a bad idea, period?
Follow these 5 steps, and you will not have to worry about where this first draft will lead you. You will sail through with confidence and produce a book that your ideal audience will appreciate:
1) The book idea:
What do you want to write about? Fiction or non-fiction? Is it something that would warrant a very short writing (50 pages or less), something mid-length (less than 100 pages), or extensive work (200 pages or more)? Generate your big idea by writing or typing out different versions of it in a sentence. For example, when I was thinking of the idea for my fiction romance novel “Cross Border Dating“, I made it quite simple. Girl from south of the North American border meets a man from North of the border. A common occurrence in today’s world – However, I wanted to make the story uncommon, and include my supernatural brand. You will find the storyline on my author page here. Don’t forget to leave a comment on what you think or how you would have preferred the storyline to go!
2) Your outline:
You have heard of outlines more times than you can count. You need an outline to organize your thoughts around your idea. How will the book flow? If it is a fiction story, where is the first scene? How does it lead into the next scene or chapter? Who are the main characters in the book? How will you arrange the story about each of them in each chapter? When you have a flow chart of how the story will progress in your mind, that horror story that plagues many writers called ‘writers’ blog’ would be an old wives tale in your world. Your version of writers’ block would probably be due to a lazy day of preferring to be out at dinner rather than writing your masterpiece.
3) The first sentence:
As important as the book idea itself, your first sentence is a key determinant for hooking your audience from the beginning. So, you have a book idea, and you have generated an outline. What is the first word that will come out of the book to captivate your readers? A rule of thumb for writing your first sentence: If it is not a strong enough statement to hook you, then it is not strong enough to hook anyone.
4) Schedule writing times:
This may sound like boot camp – But you are likely aware of it by now that writing is a honest-to-goodness business and career, even if it is seen as a mere hobby by our non-writer friends. True, you may only be doing this on the side while working your day job – However, every moment you sit down to write, let your mind be programmed to know that it is serious business. Therefore, schedule writing times, if it is possible for you. Maybe at 6pm every evening when you get back home from work, you can block off twenty minutes to do a type-up of a page or two on your book.
5) Set a deadline to complete the draft:
If you don’t have a deadline, my friend, a book draft that could take 30 days to complete may stretch into 30 months. Therefore, set a deadline, just as you would for a project at work, and be judicious about keeping it.
With these 5 key tips on drafting a first novel or book, you would have covered all the important ground that would make your first drafting experience an effective one. Repeat it for future drafts, and find success in writing and completing your books.
For more tips, guidelines and tutorials on finding your own, particular writing niche before you can even get to writing that first book draft, check out my free training course on Business Building for Writers ™.
Till next blog, keep on writing, Friends!