How to Know When You're Ready to Start Your Writing Journey
Here we are starting off the New Year, which for many people means setting new goals. If you have been contemplating writing a novel but haven’t been sure how to start, then NOW is the time and we are here to help!
We know that the idea of writing an entire novel can be overwhelming. Even the thought of writing a poem, short story or blog can be intimidating if you don't know where to start. We’ve said it before that there is no right or wrong way to write a novel but it does help to have some guidance.
We suggest asking yourself the following questions:
Do I want to write romance, thriller, fantasy, sci-fi, non-fiction, etc?
Do I have a theme in mind for my novel?
What kind of characters do I want to write about?
What kind of world would my characters live in?
There are tons of questions but these are just a few to help get you started. Grab a pen and paper or your laptop and start jotting down your answers and making notes. When I started writing my novel, I answered these questions in a notebook and before I knew it I was writing notes on themes, plot lines, character names and traits, and how my characters would relate to each other. With those simple notes, I eventually created sentences, which turned into paragraphs, which turned into chapters, which turned into a novel.
As you’re writing your notes, remember that nothing has to be in any particular order yet. Write down what comes to mind as it comes to you. The order can be set up later when you create an outline for your novel. After you've made some notes, you’ll probably want to or even have to do some research. You may be wondering what I mean by research.
As an example, back when I was ready to write my novel I had an affinity for the stars, the universe and Astrology. I knew that I wanted the fantasy aspect of my novel to be based on those elements. I also knew that I had to deepen my knowledge of Astrology to help make my fiction more believable, so I went out and bought a copy of The Idiot’s Guide to Astrology. Even if you’re writing fiction, you’ll still need to do research on various topics so you can make it feel real and believable to the reader.
I also began to do some research on the names that I wanted to use for my characters. I really liked the idea of my characters’ names having a specific meaning which was representative of their personalities. I spent several hours on the computer looking up the meanings of names and gathering more information about Astrology. I collected as much information as I could. This allowed me to decide how in depth I wanted to go and helped me determine where I wanted to take my novel.
As you write and begin to form your ideas, the words will come together for you. Writing is like a puzzle that you put together one piece at a time. It's not a science but there are ways to break it down into manageable portions. This can help keep the process of writing a novel from being overwhelming and is a good lesson to learn as you start your writing journey.