Have you ever felt that writing is your true calling? Does it seem too free to write about the characters and their lives? If you answered yes to all these questions, then you may be cut out to be a novelist.
Becoming a novelist is a calling. Creativity cannot be cultivated or taught. If you have it, you have it. However, the sad truth is that just being creative and passionate about the craft is often not enough.
You need to know how to approach a novel. Writing is a deceptively, complex task. It seems pretty easy to do.
It is only when you start to write a novel that you realize all the intricacies of the process and truly appreciate everything that goes into it.
If you are passionate enough and have the drive to become a novelist, then you shouldn’t let anything hold you back. If you are confused about how to get started or what to expect, then here are a few tips to help you out.
Read, Read, Read
Before you start writing, you need to read. Reading various novels gives you a good idea of what to expect. Most successful novelists were avid readers from a young age.
You don’t have to want to be a writer from your childhood. But being a vociferous reader helps build your imagination and creativity. Once you do decide to become a novelist, you need to start reading to get inspiration.
You can think of reading as a way to improve your skills as a writer. Reading various novels exposes you to various ideas and helps expand your horizons.
Become a Productive Writer
One of the biggest impediments to choosing to be a novelist is that it is somewhat of a freelance job. You do not have office hours, and you are mostly working from home.
While it has its benefits, the situation is ripe for procrastination. Many new novelists fall into the trap of putting off writing for too long and then get discouraged.
Set aside a particular time of day for writing and researching your novel. Set a word count or page count target for every day.
It will encourage you to pen down a few chapters, if only to meet the word count. Even if you write half-heartedly, it is still better than not writing. You can always rectify your mistakes in the subsequent drafts.
You have to treat writing, as you would treat any other career. Your writing time becomes your office hours, and your writing space becomes your office space.
The writing space should be free from other distractions. It should be a well-organized and neat space that encourages creativity.
Search for Inspiration
Inspiration is where it all starts. You have to come up with something that sparks a fire in you and pushes you to start writing.
Start socializing and talking to various people. Maybe their stories or life experiences trigger your imagination. You can also look for inspiration in the news.
When you are thinking about making a career out of writing novels, you might want to consider writing a book series. If that is the case, then your primary idea should have enough potential to span a few books.
First Draft is Not the Final Draft
Once you have the inspiration and you have done the research, it is time to start writing. Start by creating an outline of the story that marks all the important milestones in the story.
Once the outline is finished, place it in a location where it is easily visible when you sit down to write. Your first draft doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be done.
Sometimes, the first draft is just a way to get all the cliches and bad writing out of your system. Embrace the process and go with the flow. You can always rectify the mistakes and fix the cliches during the subsequent drafts.
Becoming a novelist is not easy. It is a solitary profession since you do not have any colleagues. However, it doesn’t have to be lonely. You can find other writers in your city and bond with them.
Every person needs a tribe that understands what they are going through and can offer suggestions. Only a novelist can understand the trials and tribulations of writing a novel.
Your group can offer suggestions when you hit writer’s block. They can also be the ones to review your drafts and offer constructive criticism.
In addition to this, your writer friends can help introduce you to publishers. There is no point in writing a novel if you cannot publish it.
With the number of budding writers on the rise, publishers receive a considerable number of manuscripts to review. They may give you special consideration and read your manuscript first if you have a personal connection with them.
Use Appropriate Software
Even the best carpenter can only do so much with flawed tools. The tools you use have a huge impact on the outcome. For a novelist, the foremost tool is their creativity.
But this should also be supplemented by a novel writing software. Software specifically designed for writing novels makes the writing process much smoother than a standard word processor.
It will offer you formats for novels depending on the genre. It will also let you re-arrange the chapters and help you track the progress of the story. With formatting out of the way, you will be able to focus more on the writing part.
Moreover, if writing is going to become your full-time career, then you need the proper software to make your life easier and improve the quality of your writing.
Becoming a novelist is an exciting career choice. You get to experience various lives through your characters. You can live out your fantasies through them.
It is also an equally taxing career choice as it offers unique challenges. The tips mentioned above should help you in your journey to becoming a successful novelist.