With the massive amount of web sites, videos, and blogs giving you information and advice on writing your first novel, I am going to go over some of the challenges I faced. I will give you advice, but it’s based on my own experience. My goal is to keep this blog short and simple. The writing advice for beginners is written to be a quick read so you can go write.
The first piece of advice I offer is the most important.
1. Only one person needs to give you permission to be a writer. That person is you!
So many people wait for permission. They overthink the process while getting other’s opinions about what to write. Follow your heart. Write about what you want to write about.
2. Write correctly. By that I mean use correct punctuation and sentence structure. Spell check and make corrections as you write.
I made the mistake of just writing. I didn’t worry about paragraphs or incorrect punctuation. I read that the best thing to do is to get it out and make corrections later. NO! Do it as you go. You will still have to go back to make corrections once you finish your book. It is so much easier to correct as you go. I spent countless hours making changes.
3. Format before you begin.
If you are going to self publish with Amazon KDP, read the information on formatting your book. I used Word to write my novel. KDP has specific instructions on formatting your manuscript. Once Word is set up, it is so much easier to write.
4. Decide before you start writing whether you want to write in narrative or first person.
I made the mistake of changing in the process. I went from first person to narrative and back. During the process, I read other people’s advice on what is best for fiction. So, while I’m writing I changed the voice several times.
5. Do your research on how you want to write before you write. Once you start writing, stop looking and reading up on writing advice and write.
The way you write at this point is up to you. Some people choose to use a storyboard. That is a great idea and I encourage you to do some sort of planning. I found that it kept me on track and I was focused. Other than a loose timeline, I just wrote the story as I went along. I used a notebook to make sure that all of my details were spot on. For example, one of my characters had a very complex history. I had to make notes in a cheap notebook to keep track of dates and ages so the storyline was spot on. I also did a character interview for my main characters.
Are you experiencing writers block? I encourage you to write anyway. Do a writing exercise to help with the flow. For example, I took a mundane event in my life and I wrote about it, changing it from mundane to exciting and riveting. Use your imagination and get carried away.
Once you have your book written, find an editor to read and correct your errors or point out areas that need to be re-written. It is a long process but it is something that you can do. Find a support system. reach out to other authors in your genre and don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for advice. If you are looking for editors and other people to assist you, try Fiverr. ( I am not an affiliate ) I used Fiverr for several projects from book cover design to formatting. The last bit of advice I offer you is this-
Learn from your mistakes. If you use someone to format your book, pay attention and learn how to do it yourself. If you use a service of any kind, learn how you can do it yourself. If you are not able to do it yourself at least you will know what you are talking about when you contract services.
If you need a good editor, book cover designer, or someone to format your book check out Fiverr.
One workspace for collaborating with your freelancers and team, streamlining tasks, managing approvals, and tracking expenses.
Read more about Alan here https://www.alanwild.us/about-alan-wild/
Now, go out and write!
Check out his author page here Alan Wild Author Page