Top Ten Tips for Writing a Novel

1.Create a Schedule: If like many of us you lead a busy life with a hundred and one things you could be getting on with at any given moment, then it is of vital importance to schedule time in which you can work on writing your novel without being disturbed.

2.Work in an environment which inspires you: Don’t kid yourself, these things matter! If you plan on spending chunks of your time in a room, being imaginative, then you want the space you are in to reflect this; have your favourite photos and pictures up on your walls, stick some motivational quotes on post it notes for you to find and try if you can get a space with a view.

3.Be Observant: Let your day to day existence, people and that which goes on around you to be a source of inspiration. There is an endless supply of stuff happening out there for you to think about, write about and put your own spin on.

4.Invest in a Dictaphone: Making a habit of having a Dictaphone on you at all times enables you to never let those great ideas just slip away. They are relatively inexpensive and can be downloaded as mp3 files so you can review on your iPod at your own leisure.

5.Just Write: Don’t be too critical and judgemental of yourself. Or at least, learn to switch that off so that you focus entirely on creating. Once you have produced a sizeable amount, then review it as you have more context and therefore may look at what you have written in a different light.

6.Don’t hold back: Sometimes, you may get the urge to avoid writing something as it feels too emotional or close to home. As a rule of them, it is these moments which tend to make up the best bits so just go for. Trust me!

7.Writers block: If you find yourself in the position of just not getting anywhere with your writing, then take a break. Switch off from it completely for a while, go out and get some fresh air, socialise with some friends for a while. In a nutshell, have some you time. In my humble opinion, more often than not writer’s block stems from trying to force success and overworking yourself.

8.Get into the mindset of your characters: This really is important in making your narrative believable and characters well rounded. It’s always a good idea to do some research relative to your character’s career or interests to understand how they feel in would behave in certain scenarios.

9.Don’t just write when you’re happy: This may sound like a peculiar one but I would avoid only writing when you are ‘in the mood’ and feeling good. Obviously when you do these periods can be very beneficial and productive but so are other moods as they can provide variety and more dimension to your writing. So the next you come from work having had a bleak day and feeling utterly frustrated with everything, you know what to do . . .

10.Save regularly: This is an obvious one but there’s nothing worse than seeing thousands of words which you’ve poured your blood, sweat and tears into get flushed down the toilet because you forgot to save. Always backup your work via something on the lines of a memory stick to prevent this from ever happening.


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