What you need to know before you write your first novel.
If you’ve been following my journey so far, you’ll know that this year I am writing the first draft of my very first novel.
It’s been challenging both emotionally and mentally.
I won’t sit here, lie and tell you that it’s been straightforward. It hasn’t been.
What it has been, is rewarding and challenging.
Here are some things that I wish I knew before starting the novel-writing process.
- Have something else to write on the side. If it’s articles, short stories or a journey, it doesn’t matter. Just have something else to work on when you don’t want to touch your novel. There will be days when you just don’t feel like writing your story, and that’s okay. You’re allowed to work on a few different things!
- Keep the creativity open. Writing is supposed to be fun, so keep it fun! Don’t get so caught up in word counts and progress that you stop enjoying what you’re doing.
- Take your time with writing. At the moment, I’m rushing the writing process because I want to hit my ideal word count. The problem with rushing is that I’m not taking enough time on scenes to build up the word count. Make sure you’re doing it right, not quickly! Don’t be like me, don’t get so focused on hitting a number that you lose the fun!
- Go easy on yourself. There might be plotholes or characters without names in your first draft. That’s okay. Keep writing the first draft and fix it later. The most important thing is moving forward!
- Move your coffee machine beside your desk. I did this about a month ago, and it’s been awesome! Not so great for my caffeine addiction but slightly better for my mental health. Does that count?
Okay, so all of them but the last one are a genuine suggestion. Bonus points if you have something to put your feet on under the desk!
In all seriousness, your first draft does not have to be perfect. It does not have to be a specific amount of words, chapters, or pages.
The only thing that your first draft needs to do is begin to tell the rough story that you had in your heart.
That’s it, that’s all. So go out and give it a go. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t even have to be good. It just has to be there!
As always, I cannot wait to see you on the bookshelf!