By Gerald C. Anderson, Sr.
Writing a novel is a big undertaking, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. When I wrote my first two novels, it took 2 years to write each one. It seemed like a mountain to me each time, but I endured it because I could see the finished product as a reward for my life and those who choose to read it. If you've always wanted to write a novel, but you're not sure where to start, here are a few tips to get you going:
Choose a genre. What kind of novel do you want to write? There are many genres to choose from, so take some time to explore your options and find one what you're passionate about. My passion is Christian fiction. I love spreading the word of God and writing Christian fiction. It gave me the opportunity to express my beliefs in Christ and prayerfully teach others by telling a story with a lesson.
Come up with an idea. What's your novel going to be about? Once you have a genre in mind, start brainstorming ideas for your story. I tell people all the time that I keep my phone by my bed because most of my ideas come through dreams. When I wake up with an idea, I jot down the idea totally. Then I follow up later with that idea and turn it into a story. Don't be afraid to get creative!
Do your research. If your novel is set in a particular time period or place, it's important to do your research so that your story is accurate. This will help you create a believable and immersive world for your readers. Also, if you use certain ideas or principles in your story, you need to make sure you research it. For instance, when I wrote a science fiction novel, I had to delve into the books to learn about warp technology, galaxies, earth-like planets, etc.
Create an outline. Once you have a general idea of your story, it's helpful to create an outline. This will help you stay on track as you write and make sure that all the pieces of your story fit together.
Start writing! The hardest part is often just getting started. Once you have a plan in place, don't be afraid to just start writing. The more you write, the better you'll get at it. Personally, I use a spreadsheet to track the number of words I write each day. I set a goal for each and write to meet that goal. This provides motivation for me to get the book written.
Don't give up. Writing a novel is a lot of work, but it's also a lot of fun. Don't give up
on your dream of writing a novel. Just keep writing and eventually you'll reach your goal.
Here are some additional tips to help you get started:
Find a quiet place to write where you won't be interrupted.
Set aside some time each day to write, even if it's just for 30 minutes or the number of words that you have set for your goal .
Read other novels in your genre to get inspired.
Join a writing group or online forum to get feedback on your work.
Don't be afraid to ask for help from other writers.
With hard work and dedication, you can write a novel that you'll be proud of. There’s nothing like seeing your book listed in online bookstores. Start today and celebrate tomorrow!