Writing success is all about overcoming writer’s block and putting your imagination on fifth gear. Novel writing can be hard work and you will need to devise a writing strategy that will stroke your creative fire.
Here are some novel writing tips that you can use as inspiration to get your heart and your hands busy writing the next bestseller.
Write the story that you’d love to read
While formula writing seems like the way to go, give a thought to what you love and care about. If your personal writing style is historical romance, don’t try to write something about aliens just because. The things that make you get a head rush, get your heart racing are what you want to write about. Make a list of these things and let your ideas revolve about these.
Develop a well-rounded character
Great characterization is an important part of your plot. Your characters need to be human, afraid to show the world their clay feet which is what will make them believable. You need to be surprised by what your character is capable of. This will add multiple shades to her personality instead of being a uni-dimensional character.
Build a thorough character sketch by paying attention to the minutest details about their idiosyncrasies and habits.
Throw the character in with the sharks
To write a compelling story, your character must have a problem or situation that feels like a slice of life that your reader will experience. The conflict – internal or external – can shape your character, give her depth and help her channel her pain into an interesting read. Also, she should have an intriguing backstory that will make people want to know her better.
Understand if you go through phases that feel like writer’s block
Writing is a personal journey. Just like you get tired and need some time and space to yourself in daily life, the same can happen when you are writing a novelette. If you continue to force yourself to write, you are only going to be unhappier with the results. Go back to life to renew, refresh and recharge, and come back to it when you are happy and high on life.
Be prepared for Eureka moments
Always carry a pen and paper or a mobile device that has a notes function. Take notes of everything you find interesting, which you could use to add body to your characters. An everyday situation that starts “normally” could be given a unique twist so your readers feel a stronger connection to your characters and plot.
Do the dialogue well
Never use adverbs to describe what your character is feeling. Let the words convey their feelings so the reader understands the emotions behind what is being said. Also, avoid referring to your characters by their proper names in a dialogue because it will just seem theatrical.
Make your story credible
Now, of course if you are writing about vampires or werewolves how do you make your story credible? The simple way to do that is by establishing some ground rules on what the character can do and what it can’t. You can give your character a rich backstory that will help the protagonist resolve the internal conflict to arise form the situation like a phoenix. Do not indulge in cheap tricks that irk readers like bringing in a new character right at the end who will right all wrong. The character has to be the crux of the resolution.
Consistency is key
If you are writing in a particular version of the language, stick to it. For example, decide at the beginning if you will be writing in UK or US English, past or present tense, historical or modern time period, and keep it consistent throughout the book. Choosing one particular “voice” will also help build the little effects, inflections and bring accuracy in your writing.
Papa don’t preach
While we may be taking a page out of Madonna’s famous song, it is true that you are not writing to preach. While you are the master of your book’s universe and your personality is going to shine through your book, it does not mean that your book is a pulpit. You need to raise questions with your writing but it is not necessary for you to supply the answers. Readers will lose interest as your voice will seem inauthentic.
Hope springs eternal
While you may wish to end your book with a cliffhanger, it helps your readers to get some form of closure if the ending is hopeful. You should allow for possibility where your readers can build a positive image of the situation that the character is faced with.