I have always loved writing. When you find your groove it is amazing how the thoughts translate from your mind to paper or screen depending on your medium of choice. Many people see the abundance of literature that Amazon and other major outlets carry and wonder could they even find a place, or niche, in the market to make an impact. Of course, you can. All of the great authors that we admire simply had to find three things to propel themselves forward into the literary world. You need a strong subject matter, great research, and a pace of work that suits your habits. When you combine these three simple items you will be amazed at what you too can produce.

 

1. Take Stock of What You Know

We have all read or watched any number of murder, romance, mystery, horror, or comedy novels/films along the way. If you want to succeed at anything you must invest yourself in it while staying true to yourself. Immerse yourself in what you love to get that brain cooking up ideas. If you are drawn to horror or mystery you will find as much abundance of source material as you will if you are wholly owned by romance novels. What do you want to speak to? What have you never heard addressed in the way you want it to be said or the way you perceive it? Our realities are defined by our perceptions, so no two people will ever read something the same. To find your subject matter look at what you value, what you honor, and to be honest what you feel the strongest about. Your heart will pour onto the page as long as your heart is invested in what you are writing about.

2. Understand What You Don't Know

Second, research is vital to the success of any novel. The smallest details will pull the reader into your world and create the "aesthetic distance" one needs to lose themselves to 100 pages at a time. If you are writing concerning a certain country or time period for instance, do the due diligence of studying your setting. You certainly wouldn't want a reference to a smartphone in something set in the 1700s any more than you would want oxen pulled ploughs in your modern-day setting unless it was after an apocalypse. Study the land, study the clothing, study the speech especially the slang, and most importantly study something you love. If you dread the research more likely than not you are on the wrong subject matter. Take something you love, just like the subject, and learn about it so you can educate your readers with your voice. As stated above, the smallest details are what truly steer us into your fantasy.

3. Be True to Yourself

Lastly, write at a pace that makes you comfortable. If you dread something you will find any excuse to not do it. If you want to write a 200 plus page novel don't expect magic overnight. If it suits you better to write a chapter at a time then write that way. If it suits you better to write first thing in the morning or late at night when all is quiet, then that is when you should write. Do not burn yourself out! I cannot stress that enough. Writing should be something you enjoy, not something that feels like it is pressing on you. Find good stopping points, eat, sleep, and take care of yourself during the process. All items mentioned in the previous sentence will help your mind work well and help you delve deeper into your subject. In your downtime, your mind will still be working and that finale or perfect quote may be right there where you least expect to find it.

One final piece of advice, and as mentioned before, write what you love. Albert Einstein once said, " Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." This has always resonated with me in such a profound way. We all have something we love, we excel at, and we want to learn more about. Finding what you want to speak to will open doors you didn't know existed. Every voice is important. Who knows if your novel will be the book that changes or challenges someone? Who knows if your novel will sit idly on the shelf or be taught to future generations? The only way to know the answers to those questions is to put your heart and your voice on paper. The only thing that ever truly stops a dream from becoming reality is are we willing to take that first step toward what we want.

 

Read More on Drafting Your Novel

 

  1. The Minimalist’s Way to Start a First Draft ...
  2.  Best Approaches to Start a Second Draft ...
  3. Writing the Third Draft of a Fiction Novel ...
  4. How to Write the Fourth Draft of a Fiction Novel ...
  5. How to Write the Fifth and Final Draft of a Novel ...
  6. How Many Drafts Should You Put on a Fiction Novel? ...

 

 

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This notebook starts by allowing you to write down the date you started and the date you finished your manuscript, the title of your work in progress, the subtitle and your name. Next, answer a few basic questions, including:Why are you writing this novel?Why will this novel appeal to readers?What genre is this novel?What is your estimate of the finished word count?Add any additional notes!!!

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