The beginning stages of writing a novel can be daunting, to say the least. There are so many steps involved that it can be overwhelming. Starting with a plan on how to approach the process can help eliminate some of the stress and keep you moving forward with your writing.
What kind of book do you want to write?
While it’s true that many writers have a single, solid idea for the story they want to capture, this is not the case for everyone. Some authors struggle with too many ideas. This is not necessarily a problem; ideas are a good thing! However, focusing on a single idea can help you feel more engaged and in control when you are ready to begin the writing process.
Maybe you have an idea for a historical romance, a thriller, and a science fiction novel. So how do you decide which idea to begin with? Take some time to consider which story you can see yourself devoting vast amounts of time to. Think about the types of stories you like to read most. Ask yourself, honestly, if you have enough knowledge to write the story, or if you will need to spend hours and hours researching it. Considering these questions should help you determine which idea to begin with.
Where do you want to write?
This question may seem like an afterthought to many people, but I would urge you to seriously consider it. Having a space that is yours to write in is a very important part of writing your novel.
I’m not talking about a fancy office or a personal library (although these are certainly acceptable), I’m only suggesting a place where you can close yourself off to the world and write comfortably. This could be a laundry room, basement, attic, or any space that you can set boundaries to entry. Somewhere you can go and those around you know it’s not okay to disturb you.
Set daily writing goals
Some authors write a novel a month and some write a novel a year. There is no correct pace. However, setting daily writing goals for yourself can help you feel in control of your writing. Whether your goal is to write 1000 or 10,000 words per day, creating that structure will help you avoid the feeling that you’re not getting anywhere with your story.
Be kind to yourself
Writing is an art form. No matter how much planning you do, you may have a day where you just can’t figure out how to get the story moving forward. That’s okay! Fill your word count for the day with free association, character backstories, plotting. As long as you are sticking to your plan and filling your self-determined word count, your still on track.
Starting with a plan for writing your novel will set you up for success in your writing journey while helping you remain organized and confident. The right plan will help you remain focused and on task.