Before You Start Your Novel

Are you ready to sit down and start typing out that great American novel that everyone’s always talking about? Perhaps you’ve had a story in your head for years.  It’s time to start writing, right? I mean, there’s no time like the present! That’s true in the way that you’re never going to write a book unless you actually start writing.  Before you start your novel, though, there are some questions you should ask yourself.

Before You Start Your Novel

Why am I Writing?

This is probably the most important question a beginning writer like yourself before beginning.  Why do you want to write a book? If the answer is because you want to become rich and famous, perhaps you’d be better suited off doing something else.  Writing is not the best way to make money.  Sure, plenty of people have done it.  You might have heard of independent authors making money of Amazon. You know all about traditional published novelists like JK Rowling and Stephen King.  This is not the norm.

The truth is, you may never sell a single copy of your work. You might write until your fingers bleed and your eyes tear up. You are not guaranteed success.  Nobody is. So, before you start your novel, find a better reason to write.

A few good reasons to write are:

  1. You must write. You live and breathe at the keyboard.  Your soul and passion are connected to your stories and without them, you’re nothing.  If you can’t imagine doing anything else with your life, then get writing!
  2. You have a story to tell. There is a great, fantastic epic story inside you that you feel must come out and see the light of day.  Nobody can tell the same story that you can.  Remember that, and if you want to be a writer, you’re on the right track.
  3. You want to change the way people view the world. This is an important one. If you want to write because you want to evoke change in someone, then you’re on the right path.  Emotion is hard to come by these days and if you can bring it out in a reader, then you’re in the right career path.


What Story am I Trying to Tell?

Before you start your novel, think about what kind of story you want to tell.  Pick your genre and think about how your book fits into it.  What sort of novel is it? Are you writing a fantasy story with a great, spiraling world? Is it a horror story where things lurk under the bed? Are you writing romance where star-crossed lovers end up together at the end?

Whatever kind of story you want to tell, make sure you plan it out in advance. There’s something to be said for being able to sit down and just write, but there’s also something to be said for having an outline to follow.  Getting lost in your story sounds romantic but it won’t feel that way when you’re a hundred pages in and have no idea where your plot went.


Before You Start: Can I REALLY do This?

The answer to this one is tricky.  I want to say yes. You can do this. The truth is, though, not everyone is cut out to be a writer.  There are a million people out there who want to write a book and not even a small percentage of them actually do it.  So how can you improve your odds of sitting down and finishing your book?

Write.  Every single day, write.  Make it a priority and you’re going to find out soon enough whether or not you’re cut out for the writing industry.  Read my post on ways to stay motivated, and then begin that novel.  There’s only one way to find out if you can really do this, and that’s to try.  Try your hardest, and make sure that you put your heart, soul, and passion into your work. Without that, you’re just filling up pages on a screen.

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Posted August 14, 2018 by Spencer McCoy in category "Uncategorized

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