IntroductionIf you feel nervous about starting to write a novel for the first time, or if you are intrigued by the form of a novel but are unsure of where to start, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we have created an ultimate guide on how to write a novel, which will help you to take action and break down barriers that stand in your way of dreaming. By following these steps for writing a novel, you will outline your novel in no time. Scroll down for more!
How To Write A Novel: 13 Steps
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Create the Concept Of StoryJust like how to write a book of other genres, the first step in novel writing is creating the concept of the novel. It is the basic idea your novel is built upon. The inspiration for a novel can come from anywhere; you might opt to build on a short tale you’ve already written or to create a completely new fictitious universe, which you’ll then explore in your book. Since coming up with a story idea and a novel is quite similar, you can base your decision on the following three questions:
- Your key character?
- What does your main character desire?
- What keeps the main character from obtaining something they want?
ResearchWhether you’re writing romance, autobiographical or historical fiction, you’ll find yourself doing research to strengthen the credibility of your book. Having a strategy for gathering and arranging research will help writing a book much easier. The Smithsonian Institution, 101 free journals and databases, EBSCO, and Boolean search operators are some free tools to help you with your study.
Come Up with A Plot OutlineNow, there is no substitute for outlining when writing a novel. Expand on it, tweak it, and tinker with it to your heart’s content – even as the writing progresses. Here are three steps you can follow:
- Making plot outline into three acts—the setup, the rising action, and the conclusion
- Creating a series of scenarios from each of the major acts. List who will be involved, the setting, and the main events that will advance the plot.
- Go back and detail the events for each scenario you have outlined. Consider the influence each scene or narrative point will have on your story, the individuals involved, and how it will be resolved.
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Develop CharactersOnce you have got a good novel plot outline, you will have to develop characters. Take time to get to know your characters and protagonists and imagine the spectrum of strengths, weaknesses, and uncertainties for each character before you begin penning. This way, you can plot out your novel best in line with the way they behave. You may want to compile fact files about the characters and make a character mood board filled with images that are relevant to your characters. It’s also advisable to put your protagonists into tricky, complicated situations to see how they will respond. Then, jot down a few lines of dialogue to get an idea of their voice.
Choose Your Point Of View and ToneThis step assists you in deciding on a narrative voice or your signature tone. If you are a beginner, try writing from a viewpoint that feels more natural. For instance, you can use the first person present tense in how to write romance novels. This helps readers step into the inner world of the main character as they like to put themselves in that character’s shoes. A case in point is To Kill A Mockingbird, with Scout Finch being the protagonist and the narrator.
Write The First PageThe first page of any book is a crucial element in determining if you are going to hold the reader’s attention or lose their interest and never read on. That said, you can establish a difficult situation right away, give insight into your character’s personality, or just describe the setting.
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Write The SettingA strong narrative setting links the characters to the action and weaves the main ideas and events of the novel together. Since setting offers context, there could not be as much meaning to be understood from a story without it. When determining where to situate your plot, there are three crucial considerations.
- Ensure that the background of your story serves your plot’s objectives.
- Adapt the setting to the narrative.
- Create a story’s setting that constantly corresponds with the key characters.
Create Inciting Incident, The climax, The ResolutionWithout an inciting incident, a novel won’t progress and cease to be a story; instead, it will just be a sequence of events. Therefore, to draw readers in and keep them reading from cover to cover, you need to put your protagonists into inciting incidents, tricky situations that upsets the character’s status quo. As the conflict progresses to its climax, create a fantastic resolution in which all of the story’s big and minor knots are untied. That’s when you shower your readers with satisfaction and pleasure after a dramatic time.
Choose The EndingAs you outline your novel, you should know your ending and sketch out your character’s path as well as the several ways the story could come to a halt. Knowing the outcome will support you to introduce narrative hints without spoiling the ending so a reader can accept it with ease. Better yet, provide a plot twist that unfairly disadvantages your lead character. This last-minute tension will add to the satisfaction of the resolution. The ending, be it bad or happy, is the trigger that bursts out all the readers’ feelings, leaving a long-lasting mark in their minds. So, choose it wisely!
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