Are you passionate about literature? Perhaps writing a book is one of your new year goals or you simply want to improve your writing skills. Whichever the reason is, you will find these 10 novel writing tips to be helpful.
1. The obvious tip, write
This should be a no brainer. You can not improve your writing skills, if you do not write, Obviously this is easier said than done. But if you want to improve, you have to write every day.
you can do that by simply taking 30 minutes, at the minimum, and write about your day, or what you think that mysterious stranger was doing at the park, or how you think tomorrow will look like.
you never know, this might even inspire you to write your next book.
2. Demonstrate, don’t dictate
This is my own way of saying, `show, don’t tell.
the most common example of this is when you are writing a scene, where your character is either sad, scared or downright angry.
Example 1. Amina barged into my room and as soon as she set her eyes on me, I knew she was mad.
Example 2.Amina barged into my room- her fists were clenched and her eyes darkened as soon as she set her eyes on me
Example 3 Amina barged into my room with clenched fists, darkened eyes and I knew this could only mean one thing. I was in trouble.
as you can see from the examples, 2 and 3 looks way better than the first. you use words to describe the emotion, without writing what it is. this makes your writing better and leaves it to the imagination of the reader.
This might be hard. Heck, I even struggle with it myself. But there are websites and apps, to help you. when in doubt, just google a way to write the emotion.
3. Be a psychologist to your characters
Oh, I am not joking. this is one of the important writing tips and also a crazy one, I can share. You probably already heard that you should get to know your characters, then given a list of questions to answer on their behalf. I do not know, about you, but it did not work for me.
so before writing every chapter, I asked myself. if I was marlines psychologist, and we were in a room just the two of us, what would she say, do, look and how would she behave.
this should give you an idea of the character and the basics to start writing, or give you an idea to continue with your story if you had writer’s block.
4. Being a perfectionist is going to hurt you.
Do not overthink every word you write, concentrate on the creative side of writing. If you try to make everything sound perfect on your first try, you are going to end up hating it. Your first draft is allowed to be messy, have errors and plot holes. It is there to get your idea down on a paper from beginning to end.
5. Every thought matter
Ideas pop up everywhere, it could be while you are doing chores, at work or while walking. Heck, it could even be something you dreamt about last night. What you need to do is write them down immediately, those ideas are your first defence against writer’s block.
Have a place where you write them down, this could be a journal, an app or somewhere you can look it up afterwards. during Nanowrimo, I use to write my ideas on my palm, so I did not forget it. It does not have to be a full description of what should happen in the entire book or chapter.
A simple, Marline is going to jump off the cliff and see something strange, will do.
6. Have your own space
Having a place where you can write without too many distractions, is really going to help you. Let’s face it, writing is not always fun and worse if you have a specific word count to reach. So we usually look for excuses, which tend to present itself with distractions.
This place does not have to be a room solely to you. You could wake up at a time, where people in your house are sleeping or vice versa sleep late.
7. Cliche is not that bad
I am only recommending this to beginners. It is not a sin, to write a cliche book and you get a free pass if it is your first story. People love cliche books and it is the easiest quickest one to write.
Here are a few examples of cliche plots:
- Best friends end up together.
- the love triangle story – cough. twilight, cough.
- The rich boy goes for a regular girl.
- the nerd changes his looks and becomes popular.
- the girl next door.
These are all classic cliches, one probably overused, but people still love them. So do not be afraid to use them and you can add your own spin to them. For example, the girl next door ends up to be a serial killer. I know, dark twist.
So use them and twink them to your own liking.
8. Join a writing community
Having people who have the same interest as you, is fun. Not only will you be able to share writing tips, but you will also be able to motivate each other. Writing is a lonely hobby and when I started writing, I gave up most of the time. but after joining a writing community, I was motivated, inspired and always wanted to write. New ideas where poping here and there and I met people who were willing to help me.
There are many writing communities on the internet. the popular one is Wattpad, but there are others as well. Find one that you feel comfortable in.
9. Would you pay to read your book?
I hope that your answer to this question was yes. You should write a book that you will want to read, not for others. If you start writing with the intend to please people, you will hate your story. Writing is all about being heard, about your voice. So keep that in mind.
10. The last of the 10 novel writing tips, go read.
I started with one of the obvious novel writing tips and I am ending with one. Read a lot of books, not only in the genre you are writing. Expand your horizon and you never know, you might come up with a unique idea for your story.