So there we are. You’re finally ready to do the big step forward and level up from your short story habits to something hefty, important...difficult.
Yes, in short: you decided to write a novel.
That is wonderful news!
A few problems arise, though: "How does one write a novel? Where to start? How to start? Am I good enough?"
That’s why aBloodyWriter wants to help you out by sorting things out and getting your book started once and for all.
So? How to start writing a novel?
Let’s begin from the inception
What’s a novel?
A novel is a fictional work in prose that focus on characters, a plot and that has some realism (to any extent) infuse in it. Shortly, and oversimplifying, a novel is a long story that narrates something. You can find more on how long exactly HERE.
Planning a novel;
Old but gold 5 Ws
Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?
Almost anyone knows these questions. They’re the essential basis with which any story can begin. Whether you’re a plotter or a panster, these questions must have answers to some degrees from the get-go.
Who’s your main character? Is a she or a he? Does even have any explicit gender your main character? Is s/he a hero or perhaps an antihero?
What happens? What’s the reason your characters start a journey, or fight someone or tell about their life? What startled characters and/or change their normality? an accident or a meeting?
When does your story start? When the accident, the meeting happens? When does your story set?
Where does everything happen? Where does your character meet the antagonist or the love of a lifetime? Where the accident takes place?
Why does an accident happen? Why your character is the way that s/he is? Why the antagonist hate the guts of your character? Why does the character end up with the loved one? Or why not?
How does the accident happen? How your character challenge and/or defeat the antagonist? How does the character end up with the loved one?
These are some examples of the many questions you can ask yourself. What’s important is that you do ask yourself these questions, it doesn’t matter if before starting everything because you’re a plotter or afterwards, during the writing sessions, if you’re a panster.
These are fundamentals to get started
Know your audience
Something aBW dearly advise knowing, is to understand towards who’s the message of the novel. Being a story in the essence, you’ll surely want to convey one or two messages to your readers. Try to understand who they are, how they could receive a particular scene or the story in its entirety, and how you want your words to affect and change them once they’ve finished reading.
Everyone changes a bit with each book one read.
Also, your audience dictates how you display your plot, describe your scenes, and what should your story narrate explicitly and/or implicitly in the very first place.
You can write the same story in as many ways as many audiences exist; nevertheless, a children book and an adult story will differ in many aspects.
You can write about a kissing scene in either case, for example. Although, in a children's book you might want to narrate that scene with less passion, details and perhaps with shorter, simpler sentences. Whether in the case of a YA or adult novel things turn the other way around: you can display the passion of the scene with all its carnality, you can be graphical and use long, complex sentences.
Set up your world
You should always know how your world works and how's made, not just physically but mostly socially. It doesn’t matter if it’s a fantasy, a sci-fi, an historical or a dystopian book: you must know the core structure of the society in which you place your characters. How spoken and unspoken rules work, what’s considered a taboo and what happens when one character brake that taboo, what is socially accepted and whatnot. Those elements are compulsory to make your world feels real. Take a few days to set up those elements or to make sure to gather the right information to start with the right foot. Don’t rush things up and try to have at least the basis ready and well cemented into your mind.
Know the book's genre
After you understood your audience and set up your world’s rules (doesn’t matter whether a fantastic one or taken from reality) try to understand what’s the genre you want to write. There’s nothing more fastidious than a novel where comedy intersperses drama or romance is entangled with slapstick. Nothing wrong with having a bit of humour in a drama or a sad scene in a comedy, but that doesn’t mean to alternate between genres every two pages. That is simply confusing, and it shows all the inexperience.
Make a choice and stick with it.
Of course, considering everything you just learned.
These few points can help you in starting your new work. Of course, writing is complex, and more dilemmas will come while you continue to write. Luckily, aBloodyWriter will be always on your side, like with THIS brief list of advice, or THIS two methods to improve and write quicker. Meanwhile, while you'll gather information, search for new ideas, find fresh inspiration, don't stop writing, continue everyday with stories, poems, thoughts or whatever.
As that's what writers do. Write Stories. Create Lives.