Writing a novel is not for the feint of heart. It is a huge undertaking that can take months or even years to complete, depending on the amount of research and detail you need to you put into your work of fiction or non-fiction. Even knowing this, it can feel like it's taking too long to complete your novel, or that you'll never finish. If you feel that way, it may benefit you to read a few tips and tricks on writing and promoting your fiction in order to speed up the process without diminishing your book's quality or value to your readers.
One of the ways you can speed up the process is by creating an outline or a breif synopsis of the plot as well as short character descriptions. This can help you get your ideas down so that you do not have to continuously stop and think, What happens next?
Of course, utilizing a good novel planning and writing book, like Ultimate Novel Planning Workbook: Worksheets for the Writer, Ready, Set, Novel!: A Workbook, Outlining Your Novel Workbook: Step-by-Step Exercises for Planning Your Best Book (Helping Writers Become Authors 2) and Ready, Set, Write: Level 1, may help keep you focused and on the productive writing path.
For more writer tips and tricks, keep reading. You're sure to find some ideas to help keep you on the path to publication.
Did you know there are apps in the Google Play Store that can make your writing and reading life easier. While I initially purchased my tablet to store recipes via My Cookbook, I quickly figured out that my new tablet was far more useful than just saving my holiday roll recipe. Here are my top 5 picks for writer and reader apps.
1. Amazon Kindle
Amazon Kindle is obviously the first choice for reading, especially if you spend a lot of time downloading free and paid kindle ebook. This app basically turns for tablet into a library and a book at the same time. If you’re an author or a reader, you probably already have this downloaded onto your phone and/or tablet.
If you’re an indie author, you may not have much of an editing budget for your book, and to spite the plethora of authors and editors telling you that you need professional editing services (probably theirs), you’re never going to be able to pay for it. I understand. If I waited until I had the thousands of dollars I needed to hire a professional editor (other than myself), I’d still be saving money, and I wouldn’t even have my first book published. The bottom line is – You gotta do what you gotta to in order to get your books to market. However, that doesn’t mean you should publish a book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo or Apple Books that is just plain subpar and full of typos. Instead, you should do what you can to fix major and minor mistakes and punctuate your book correctly. To help you with that task, there are plenty of great writing and editing books that are under $5.00USD.
A picture is worth a thousand words, but so much more when the picture is an abstract one instead of a description with no wiggle room. That wiggle room is the gap that keeps readers engaged in your story. This book will show you a way to keep your book fresh, intriguing, and most important of all not boring! By bringing together internal, and external voices in combination with beats, you will not recognize your story afterwards.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one – There Are No Rules in Fiction.If you’ve heard this, you are not alone. Unfortunately, that statement should not be taken at face value. There are rules in fiction. A more accurate statement would be – There Are Fewer Rules in Fiction.
Understanding What They’re Talking About When They Say There Are No Rules in Fiction
When someone tells you that there are no rules in fiction, what they mean is that you can use sentence fragments, grammatically incorrect dialogue and punctuation you wouldn’t see in a term paper, thesis or college essay. In other words, you don’t have to write your fiction like you would a school assignment. It doesn’t have to be rigid formal English. Every sentence doesn't need a subject and a verb. In fact, you can have a single word sentence if it makes sense in the context and is understood, but that’s the thing. You’re readers need to be able to understand your fiction, and it needs to be grammatically correct within the context of your book, free of spelling errors and punctuated correctly or reasonably so.
Preplanning a novel can involve as little as naming your main characters and writing a one-sentence overview of your plot or as detailed as full character biographies and a full outline that includes each chapter from the first chapter to the last chapter. While preplanning and outlining your novel can make the actual process of writing the novel faster, it doesn't help you if you get so caught up in the planning details that you never actually write your novel.
What You Must Have to Write Your Novel
- The names of your main characters
- The names of your primary secondary characters
- Any supporting characters that come to your mind
- A one-sentence overview of your plot
- A paragraph explaining the premise of your novel
- Any additional genre-specific notes, like cities, worlds, breeds or character races
The biggest problem writers face is not writing. I can't tell you how many writers and authors I know that do not write on a weekly basis. I'd say daily, but I think that's unreasonable for the vast majority of aspiring, new and existing writers and authors. I don't write every day, but I do write most days. This is called having reasonable expectations.
Open Your Word Processor
The first step to writing is opening your word processor or paper notebook. I understand this is common sense, but I'm seeking to answer the question of which one you should open in order to best meet your writing needs. Of course, if you opened a paper notebook, don't forget your pen. If you're opening a word processor, do you want one that only works on your desktop? Do you want a multi-platform word processor that works on every device you have? Do you want to use writing software that's specifically designed for writing fiction? If you don't know, let's look at the available word processors and writing programs available.
The first draft of a fiction novel is known as the junk draft in my five draft method. Other authors and editors may call it something else, and you may simply call it draft one. It's where you first open your word processor or novel writing software and type in the file name and save it. During the first draft, many authors encounter some problems during the process. If you're not to this point and you are looking at a blank page, check out How to Quickly Start Your Next Fiction Novel.
1. You Get Stuck
It’s very common to get stuck in a first draft. It typically happens at the beginnings and ends of chapters, but it can also occur in the middle of a chapter or scene. In this instance, you may not know exactly what to write. You may not feel inspired to write a particularly violent, difficult or intimate scene. Whatever the reason, you can handle all of these problems pretty much in the same way.
Stuck at the front of a chapter
If you move to your next chapter and can’t think of a way to open it, just take care of the important parts. If you know a particular scene is going to happen, just write down that part of the chapter. You can put in all the filler information later.
Starting Your Fiction Book
I’ll start off by saying that I have a minimalist style when it comes to starting and writing novels. This means I do not write outlines or detailed notes prior to beginning any novel. I may do those things later in the process, but I don’t do it when I’m staring at a blank page that says: Chapter 1. It also goes without saying that the fastest way to start a book is to start writing it.
I also think the fastest way to never start or finish your novel is to bog yourself down with detailed character biographies, notes and plot outlines. After all, you’re going to think you did an amazing amount of work if you wrote 50 pages of character biographies that included primary and secondary emotions, height, weight, tattoos and disabilities along with their back-stories, primary driving forces and personality traits. The truth is that you didn’t write a word of your novel, and I believe that in most instances, those descriptors and features will come out in the text as you write.
Writing a book and publishing a book are only the first steps to author success. This is because you could have written a great book, but this does not matter if no one knows about it. Thankfully, there are promotional tools and things you can do to help spread the word.
Social media is a great place to promote your book. You can potentially reach thousnads and even millions of people with properly timed and hashtagged tweets and posts. You can also start a blog, create promotional and informative articles and share those across your social media accounts. There are even sites where you can promote your book for free.
Additionally, there are also several Amazon books available to get you gather book promotion ideas so that you can create your own custom book promotion strategy. Great Noevel marketing books include:
- Novel Marketing: Making Your Author Brand Work for You & Your Books
- How to Market a Book Third Edition (Books for Writers)
- The Kindle Publishing Bible: How To Sell More Kindle Ebooks on Amazon (Step-by-Step Instructions On Self-Publishing And Marketing Your Books) (Kindle Bible Book 1)
- How Your Book Sells Itself: 10 Ways Your Book is Your Ultimate Marketing Tool (Marketing for Authors)
- Sell More Books!: Book Marketing and Publishing for Low Profile and Debut Authors Rethinking Book Publicity after the Digital Revolutions
- Let's Get Visible: How To Get Noticed And Sell More Books (Let's Get Publishing) (Volume 2)
- 1001 Ways to Market Your Books, Real World Edition: Authors: How to sell more books, ebooks, multi-media books, audios, videos, white papers, and other information products in the real world
In addition to the above helpful books, here are a few articles to help you self-promote your books.
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- Social Media Schedulers for Joomla
- Where Are the Free Book Promotion Websites?
- What should a Content Article Contain?
- Understanding Amazon KDP as an Author
- Help! I Can’t Find any Samples for the Freelancer I Want to Hire!
- Pros and Cons of 10 Popular Social Media Schedulers
- Writer Tools – A Novel Writing Software Review
- 5 Great Tablets for Writers
- Least Popular Adult Fiction Genres
- 6 Tips for Performing Your Final Book Edit Before Formatting and Publication