What To Do When Starting A New Novel: My Process

 

What To Do When Starting A New Story_ My Process (1)

There’s nothing like starting  a brand new book!

For me, I get excited to dive into a new book. As a writer, I feel that same way!

When I started working on my debut novel, “Drama University” that I released last year, no lie it took me quite awhile to write and publish.

(A warning: for first time novel writers, it could take you awhile. The important part is that you finish and get that story out, so you can share it with the world.)

Thing is for most newbies, they think there is some magical formula that is attached to writing a novel. But, I found that to be a BIG lie. There is no exact formula!

You really do have to find what works for YOU and only you. But, today I’m going to share a little bit of my process with you.

I have written and self-published my first novel and am in the process of writing my second.

First of all, I think the hardest thing is to narrow down what you’ll be writing about. Well at least for me it is, and here’s why… 

With my first novel, I had a very broad idea that I was going to write about College life and center a female character around it. That was it. At the time, I was working a corporate 8 to 5 job and had my own little cubicle.

I kept a notebook with me in my little tote bag and would write at lunch (if I even got to take a lunch away from desk) and often use up a bunch of my offices’ sticky notes and notepads to jot down any notes for my story that popped in my head while working through out the day.

The main thing is narrowing down what you’re going to write about first. This may require some free writing, some charting, some bar graphs (I’m just kidding). If you’re like me, you have the gift and the curse of having too many d*mn ideas.

 The Plots & Outlines.

I’ve found it helpful to just write out a brief synopsis of what story you have in your head. A paragraph or two is alright. Remember, this is for you, so do whatever will help you get a clear idea of your story.

I understand some writers can just go and write and end up with a complete manuscript for a 1st rough draft.

This.is.not.me! I can’t do it.

I’ve tried to write with no outline and my story always come to a hault usually very early in the story because I forget what the heck I was going with this.

I am an outline-r! I love outlines!

They help me stay on track. It doesn’t have to be a text book type outline either with numbers and letters and subscripts either. If all you write is beginning, middle, end and that works for you. Do it!

Mine is a bit more detailed… (Check out the video below to see what one of my outlines looks like)

Once I have a rough outline, if I need to I go do research. Research in my next novel has been very important because it’s going to be a historical fictional.

Really that’s it! Really!

I could go into characters and arc and everything but I’ll save that for another post.

Oh and don’t forget to set yourself some goals! Think about when you would like to realistically finish your first draft. How many words will it take you to finish that thang!

Other than this, that’s all.

The major key to writing a novel is DON’T MAKE IT COMPLICATED! DO NOT CONFUSE YOURSELF!

As one of favorite comedians, Martin Lawrence says, “Nothing to it, but to do it!”

So get to it…

WRITE!

I know you can do it.

Until next time…

Peace, Love and Blessings

Nicole Alicia sig

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