7 TIPS FOR WRITING A NOVEL

How do you write a novel? What’s the secret to success? What advice would I give to someone who has never written a novel but wants to embark on the adventure? Here are my 7 unstoppable tips for writing your novel (the 2nd will surprise you).

  1. Ask yourself “why?” »

That’s true? Why? Why do you want to write this novel? Why do you want to finish it? Why is he so dear to you? Why did you feel the urge to click on this article? Why?

I think one of the keys to motivation (which still helps a lot to achieve your goals) is knowing why you’re working. If you sit down at your computer in the evening after work to write when it would be a thousand times more comfortable to sit in front of Le Meilleur Pâtissier, you must have a good reason.

When you lose the desire, when you are completely lost in your story, when you no longer know which way to take your script, I advise you to refocus on what is important to you. What are the reasons why you want to finish this novel and why it is so hard to give up? These reasons, they belong only to you.

You may want to write a book to convey a message and values, to raise awareness of a subject, to give emotions to your reader, to exorcise a difficult chapter in your own story, to confront a trauma, to tell his life and even (because yes, it’s a motivation like any other) for money. I don’t have to judge your motives; you do as you want.

It’s hard to succeed in producing something, especially something as difficult and long as a novel, when you don’t know why you’re doing it. We all need motivation, even minimal, otherwise what’s the point of getting bored writing? To expend so much energy in this time-consuming and psychologically exhausting activity? Ask yourself this question. Answer it in a notebook, on your blog, in your head. And on days when you feel like you’re getting nowhere, remember why it’s worth persevering 🙂

  1. Experiment again and again

Advice, methods, you will find plenty of them on the Internet. Including on this blog! A few years ago, I wrote lots of articles explaining that it is better to do it like this. Fun fact: I wrote an article 10 tips for writing a novel 5 years ago that I look at today with tenderness. I’m not going to tell you “It’s all bullshit: do as you want” … but almost. It’s not that “it’s bullshit”, it’s just that it’s methods, tips, little tips and nothing more.

There is no ONE ultimate way to write a novel. The only universal advice is: to write a novel, you have to write. The rest is up to each person. There are the writer-architects, those who plan everything in advance and who build their stories as one would build a house, starting with the plans, then the foundations, then the walls, then I have no -house. There are Professional ghostwriters who throw out ideas and then see where it takes them (Tess Corsac talks about it a bit in my podcast La Voix des Plumes). There are those who absolutely need to script everything, those who prefer not to know the ending, those who swear by the character sheets, those who meet their characters during the writing process.

My advice is: give it a try. Experiment! Test stuff! Throw yourself into the snowflake method! Or on the contrary, write directly without preparing anything in advance! To know what suits you, to get to know yourself as a writer, you have to experiment with things.

Perhaps you will discover that YOUR method, the one that suits your character, your way of thinking and your rhythm of life, is that of Biddle Chouette. Or maybe, on the contrary, you will take inspiration from Machin’s and put it to your liking. Unless you find out you are part of the “Feel Style Absolut” team. I cannot know it. I can share what has worked for me, I can tell you what has worked for others, but I wouldn’t know what you need.

  1. Set goals… or not?

I think that’s a real question to ask. Do you want to set goals like “I write X words this month”? Are you comfortable with that? Or, on the contrary, does it paralyze you?

On social networks, we tend to display our successes and me first! I don’t hesitate to say “I wrote x words today”, “olla I had such a goal that I didn’t reach” or on the contrary “YES! Look I succeeded I am the best”. We can tend to set goals to do like everyone else. To embark on NaNoWriMo or Camp Nano or I-don’t-know-what-challenge.

Except that. It’s not an obligation. Constraint is cool if it helps you, but if not, get rid of it. The goal is not to overwhelm you so that in the end, you find yourself looking at your counter at the end of the month and saying to yourself “I suck, I will never make it”. You are not zero. Even if you can’t.

  1. Avoid competition

On the Internet, you can quickly find yourself in groups of writers (whether on Facebook, on forums, Discords, etc.). There are spaces that I appreciate on a personal level, such as the Commuters account on Twitter, the groups that form during the NaNoWriMo, group conversations between auteur ices, in short, you get the idea.

Nevertheless, there is still a risk: that of competition. We meet other people who write, at first, we are happy and after a while, we don’t really know how, we start to compare ourselves. It’s no use.

So, we can put forward the idea that competition helps to motivate oneself, I find that it is above all very harmful. There is no competition. Finally, unless you participate in a contest, but then you put yourself in a specific situation that leaves room for competition.

So, it’s normal to feel jealous. There are plenty of times I’m jealous! Strangers, people I know by sight, or relatives. I’m jealous because Truce got a contract, because Machine got a great review, because Biddle won an award. Yes, it happens and it may happen to you too. How you handle this emotion is up to you. Me, I tend to just accept it, face it, and then I can move on.

Jealousy, there is, there always has been, and there will be. But do we really need to add competition (implicit or not) on top? I do not think so. Anyway, you don’t write to win (see tip #1). You know why you write and a priori it’s not to beat anyone.

So, the “who finishes their book first”, the “who is published first” and others “who has the biggest”: trash.

  1. Maintain self-confidence

I know that’s easier said than done. But if we tell ourselves every day that we will never get there, I think it’s really difficult to succeed. Self-confidence takes work. It’s not something innate, it can be acquired. And having confidence helps to move forward, to persevere even when our work does not immediately bear fruit.

Tell yourself that you will succeed. This novel that’s been dragging on for 2 years: you’re going to finish it. You don’t know when, you don’t know how it will look, you don’t know if it will be appreciated, but you can trust that you will finish it.

There are lots of things you have no control over: publishers’ responses, readership reception, the impact your work will have when finished, the money it will bring you. All of this is not up to you. But what you can do is write.

I was just listening to a very interesting podcast on self-confidence that I want to share with you. This is episode 6 of the show Emotions by Louie Media.

  1. Leave time to time

Writing a novel takes time. Especially when it’s not our full-time job. But I imagine that if you’re writing your first novel and you’re reading this article, you’re not a full-time writer. Maybe you have another job on the side, maybe you have other imperatives in your life, in short you can’t lock yourself up 7 hours a day to write, write and write until your manuscript be finished.

I want to tell you: it will take as long as it takes. My first novel, it took me 3 good years to finish it (I tell the process in one article and in another I give my impressions after having finished the 1st draft). Others take 3 months, or 1 year, or 10 years. Take the time you need, especially for a first. Afterwards, when your career is launched, you will have plenty of time to panic about the deadlines demanded by your publishers!

If you decided to write this novel, it’s a priori because you like to write a little (otherwise, what’s wrong with you doing something so hard when you don’t like it?!). So, enjoy writing. You will see when the time comes for correction, contract negotiation, and administrative hassle, it will be much less fun.

  1. Accept failure

Because yes, it will happen. At one time or another. We don’t succeed every time. Sometimes we just want more. We’ve all given up on stories once in our lives. It happens to throw away 100 pages of writing because in the end, we think it’s crap.

Failure is part of the adventure.

(I should do an article dedicated to project failure and abandonment)

I hope this article has been of some help to you. It was important for me to share my thoughts on this topic. I think I would have liked to read all this at the time when I was struggling on the writing of my first novel of which I did not see the end ^^

Feel free to supplement it with your own thoughts in the comments, I’d love to read them, as always.

 

How do you write a novel? What’s the secret to success? What advice would I give to someone who has never written a novel but wants to embark on the adventure? Here are my 7 unstoppable tips for writing your novel (the 2nd will surprise you).

  1. Ask yourself “why?” »

That’s true? Why? Why do you want to write this novel? Why do you want to finish it? Why is he so dear to you? Why did you feel the urge to click on this article? Why?

I think one of the keys to motivation (which still helps a lot to achieve your goals) is knowing why you’re working. If you sit down at your computer in the evening after work to write when it would be a thousand times more comfortable to sit in front of Le Meilleur Pâtissier, you must have a good reason.

When you lose the desire, when you are completely lost in your story, when you no longer know which way to take your script, I advise you to refocus on what is important to you. What are the reasons why you want to finish this novel and why it is so hard to give up? These reasons, they belong only to you.

You may want to write a book to convey a message and values, to raise awareness of a subject, to give emotions to your reader, to exorcise a difficult chapter in your own story, to confront a trauma, to tell his life and even (because yes, it’s a motivation like any other) for money. I don’t have to judge your motives; you do as you want.

It’s hard to succeed in producing something, especially something as difficult and long as a novel, when you don’t know why you’re doing it. We all need motivation, even minimal, otherwise what’s the point of getting bored writing? To expend so much energy in this time-consuming and psychologically exhausting activity? Ask yourself this question. Answer it in a notebook, on your blog, in your head. And on days when you feel like you’re getting nowhere, remember why it’s worth persevering 🙂

  1. Experiment again and again

Advice, methods, you will find plenty of them on the Internet. Including on this blog! A few years ago, I wrote lots of articles explaining that it is better to do it like this. Fun fact: I wrote an article 10 tips for writing a novel 5 years ago that I look at today with tenderness. I’m not going to tell you “It’s all bullshit: do as you want” … but almost. It’s not that “it’s bullshit”, it’s just that it’s methods, tips, little tips and nothing more.

There is no ONE ultimate way to write a novel. The only universal advice is: to write a novel, you have to write. The rest is up to each person. There are the writer-architects, those who plan everything in advance and who build their stories as one would build a house, starting with the plans, then the foundations, then the walls, then I have no -idea-of-how-one-builds-a-house-you-got-the-idea. There are Professional ghost writers who throw out ideas and then see where it takes them (Tess Corsac talks about it a bit in my podcast La Voix des Plumes). There are those who absolutely need to script everything, those who prefer not to know the ending, those who swear by the character sheets, those who meet their characters during the writing process.

My advice is: give it a try. Experiment! Test stuff! Throw yourself into the snowflake method! Or on the contrary, write directly without preparing anything in advance! To know what suits you, to get to know yourself as a writer, you have to experiment with things.

Perhaps you will discover that YOUR method, the one that suits your character, your way of thinking and your rhythm of life, is that of Biddle Chouette. Or maybe, on the contrary, you will take inspiration from Machin’s and put it to your liking. Unless you find out you are part of the “Feel Style Absolut” team. I cannot know it. I can share what has worked for me, I can tell you what has worked for others, but I wouldn’t know what you need.

  1. Set goals… or not?

I think that’s a real question to ask. Do you want to set goals like “I write X words this month”? Are you comfortable with that? Or, on the contrary, does it paralyze you?

On social networks, we tend to display our successes and me first! I don’t hesitate to say “I wrote x words today”, “olla I had such a goal that I didn’t reach” or on the contrary “YES! Look I succeeded I am the best”. We can tend to set goals to do like everyone else. To embark on NaNoWriMo or Camp Nano or I-don’t-know-what-challenge.

Except that. It’s not an obligation. Constraint is cool if it helps you, but if not, get rid of it. The goal is not to overwhelm you so that in the end, you find yourself looking at your counter at the end of the month and saying to yourself “I suck, I will never make it”. You are not zero. Even if you can’t.

  1. Avoid competition

On the Internet, you can quickly find yourself in groups of writers (whether on Facebook, on forums, Discords, etc.). There are spaces that I appreciate on a personal level, such as the Commuters account on Twitter, the groups that form during the NaNoWriMo, group conversations between auteur ices, in short, you get the idea.

Nevertheless, there is still a risk: that of competition. We meet other people who write, at first, we are happy and after a while, we don’t really know how, we start to compare ourselves. It’s no use.

So, we can put forward the idea that competition helps to motivate oneself, I find that it is above all very harmful. There is no competition. Finally, unless you participate in a contest, but then you put yourself in a specific situation that leaves room for competition.

So, it’s normal to feel jealous. There are plenty of times I’m jealous! Strangers, people I know by sight, or relatives. I’m jealous because Truce got a contract, because Machine got a great review, because Biddle won an award. Yes, it happens and it may happen to you too. How you handle this emotion is up to you. Me, I tend to just accept it, face it, and then I can move on.

Jealousy, there is, there always has been, and there will be. But do we really need to add competition (implicit or not) on top? I do not think so. Anyway, you don’t write to win (see tip #1). You know why you write and a priori it’s not to beat anyone.

So, the “who finishes their book first”, the “who is published first” and others “who has the biggest”: trash.

  1. Maintain self-confidence

I know that’s easier said than done. But if we tell ourselves every day that we will never get there, I think it’s really difficult to succeed. Self-confidence takes work. It’s not something innate, it can be acquired. And having confidence helps to move forward, to persevere even when our work does not immediately bear fruit.

Tell yourself that you will succeed. This novel that’s been dragging on for 2 years: you’re going to finish it. You don’t know when, you don’t know how it will look, you don’t know if it will be appreciated, but you can trust that you will finish it.

There are lots of things you have no control over: publishers’ responses, readership reception, the impact your work will have when finished, the money it will bring you. All of this is not up to you. But what you can do is write.

I was just listening to a very interesting podcast on self-confidence that I want to share with you. This is episode 6 of the show Emotions by Louie Media.

  1. Leave time to time

Writing a novel takes time. Especially when it’s not our full-time job. But I imagine that if you’re writing your first novel and you’re reading this article, you’re not a full-time writer. Maybe you have another job on the side, maybe you have other imperatives in your life, in short you can’t lock yourself up 7 hours a day to write, write and write until your manuscript be finished.

I want to tell you: it will take as long as it takes. My first novel, it took me 3 good years to finish it (I tell the process in one article and in another I give my impressions after having finished the 1st draft). Others take 3 months, or 1 year, or 10 years. Take the time you need, especially for a first. Afterwards, when your career is launched, you will have plenty of time to panic about the deadlines demanded by your publishers!

If you decided to write this novel, it’s a priori because you like to write a little (otherwise, what’s wrong with you doing something so hard when you don’t like it?!). So, enjoy writing. You will see when the time comes for correction, contract negotiation, and administrative hassle, it will be much less fun.

  1. Accept failure

Because yes, it will happen. At one time or another. We don’t succeed every time. Sometimes we just want more. We’ve all given up on stories once in our lives. It happens to throw away 100 pages of writing because in the end, we think it’s crap.

Failure is part of the adventure.

(I should do an article dedicated to project failure and abandonment)

I hope this article has been of some help to you. It was important for me to share my thoughts on this topic. I think I would have liked to read all this at the time when I was struggling on the writing of my first novel of which I did not see the end ^^

Feel free to supplement it with your own thoughts in the comments, I’d love to read them, as always.

 

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