If you have an idea for a novel but haven’t yet started putting pen to paper, it’s probably because it is a daunting experience. You may have even tried before and found that the ideas didn’t flow on paper like they do in your brain. That’s totally normal and, in actual fact, it’s part of the writing process. What is most important is believing in your idea and having patience. Here are five tips to writing a successful novel.
Use Your Life Experiences
Using your own life experiences is a great way to start getting down ideas for a novel. This doesn’t mean that it has to be autobiographical, just that it is a way to inspire the direction of your work. What you write about will feel more authentic to the reader because you will have direct experience of certain events or characters in your novel. The reader will be able to pick this up in the way you write, and it will be a definite plus.
Take a Creative Writing Degree
If you truly want to hone your writing skills so that you can produce a bestselling novel, one of the best tips might be to go to college and get a degree in creative writing. You will learn all the techniques needed, and you will also have experts on hand to direct your writing on the right course. If you are worried about the fees involved in going to college, student loans are available through private lenders. Any degree you undertake should be seen as an investment, and creative writing is no different.
Write What You Know
Unless you have heavily researched something, don’t write about something you know nothing about. The reader will know. If you’ve decided to write historical fiction, for example, you will have to ensure that you do as much research as you possibly can as no matter how small you think an element of the plot or even a seemingly irrelevant object in a scene, it will be picked up on if it’s not historically accurate.
Be Prepared for Criticism
Some people won’t like your work. Even the most read books in the world are hated by some. This cannot be emphasized enough and realizing it now will save you a lot of upset and wasted time. Literature is highly subjective and there will be people who don’t enjoy your book. What you need to focus on is constructive criticism and the praise your work receives. If you don’t you will end up giving up.
Putting a novel out to the masses is a risk in itself, so you must have some courage. You also need to go with your own instinct. There is endless advice on how to write novels and what you should and shouldn’t do, most of it completely contradictory. Despite us being our own worst critics, we still have a sense of whether our work is good or not, so use that intuition. Originality pays in the world of writing, but to be original takes courage.