I wrote a novel. This is how you can too! (Okay, actually, I wrote 76/77 of a novel, and I’m going to finish it soon, but we’ll just focus on the starting today. Finishing can be talked about later.)
Oh, and, a disclaimer: this is how to write a novel, according to today Levi. Your writing process or the writing process that works for me in the future may be different.
I’m sure if you’re considering writing a novel, you’ve probably done this already, but I’m including this even though it’s obvious. Think about what the plot will be. Ask yourself if you’ll actually want to keep going with it for three months (or three years). Then you’re ready to…
2. Plan it out.
So, I go to Walmart and get one of those $5 sketchbooks. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not really that artsy, I just don’t get notebooks with lines because I never stay in the lines anyway. Once you have your notebook of choice, you should:
- Outline the plot. Use a few pages to do this so you have space for a fair amount of details.
- Draw a map of the place your novel is set in. (Especially if it’s another world.)
- Meet your characters. This may sound weird, and I personally look at authors who talk about meeting their characters with a judgemental raised eyebrow, but this is a crucial step (I’ve always wanted to call something a crucial step) and if you miss it, your characters will be shallow. You need to write down every detail about every person that ever enters the scene and understand why they do what they do. People are complex, your characters should be too. I’ll probably give some tips on creating characters in a future blog post.
- EDIT. Your plan is not set in stone, it is a constantly shifting idear that must bend to fit your goals and your characters. Your whole ending could change halfway through the book because you realize your main character would never _____ and therefore the ending is implausible. Be flexible.
- Talk through your plot with friends and family. They’ll tell you if it’s stupid.
Now to the most dauntingly scary, horrendously difficult thing you could ever do: typing on a keyboard. Just kidding, writing is fun if you let it be and if you get yourself in a good zone. Here’s a nice quote about creativity!
Anxiety is the hand maiden of creativity. – T.S. Eliot
Okay… I mean… It’s an okay quote I guess. I thought Google would have better options. Next time.
Anyhow, keep experimenting with what kind of writing environment helps you. Try different music, different location, et cetera. Personally, I like to write in my room while listening to Lindsey Stirling or classical music and drinking a Monster energy drink. (Not that I need the energy or the side effects, but that TASTE. It is bottled dragon mist.)
…And just keep writing and writing and editing and editing (more posts to come about this) until it’s beautiful.