Keys to Writing a Novel: 5 Things to Remember

The Number one key to writing a novel is to sit down and write the novel.”

5 Keys to novel writing

You can definitely feel free to quote me on that. Actually, if you have been down this adventurous road of writing for quite some time, then you already know this to be true.

Sometimes, however, we find ourselves stuck between the rock of an ‘idea’ and the hard place of ‘execution.’ We want everything to be perfect. We want our ideas to be clear. It doesn’t always work this way, however.

The best thing to do, I’ve found, is to just put your fingers upon the keyboard, or if you are more romantic, put your pen to the paper and begin to write the very first words that come to mind.

I’ve found, that after a least a good thirty seconds or so, clarity of mind comes forth like the light beaming from a projecture upon a dark silver screen. The story begins to tell its self, first in whispers and then with clear images that tantalize your every sense.

Some may baulk at this concept, of simply jotting down indiscriminate words just for the sake of putting them down. But I have found that these words are not so random.

These words are often the little gems you can use later in other stories you may write in the future or in the very story you are currently giving life. I call this building-the-spice-rack. 

But you can’t build anything if you never take the step.

5 Things to Remember When You Just Write:

  • Perfection is not a ‘road,’ it is a ‘road block’. If you are aiming for perfection, you are sure to miss your target. Simply sitting down and writing enables you to shake off the shackles of false perfection.
  • Your first draft is not your final draft. Thus, perfection shouldn’t even be on your mind. Just tell the story as it comes and weave it into a polished piece later.
  • Writing what comes to mind is the perfect warm-up for your novel-writing exercise. From gymnast to vocalist, the message remains the same; to avoid strain and injury, warm-up!
  • The words you are striving for are often hidden within the pages you write at random. As the saying goes (and I think I paraphrase) Miners know that you have to move a ton of dirt in order to find an ounce of treasure. The same is true for us when we sit down to write a novel. You may write 10k indiscriminate words only to keep 2k for your final draft. But the 2k are always worth it.
  • You may discover several new novels hiding within the ‘random’ words you began to write as a warm-up.
  • BONUS: Give yourself time, and always allow wiggle room. If you set a date to have your novel written in 3 months, aim to do so. But if it takes you 10 just keep writing. It’s worth it.

So, again, to write your novel you just need to sit down and write. Keep dreaming up your ideas and don’t allow the false need for perfection to deter you. You’ve got this…just put it into words.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

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