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I hope to be a novelist...

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I already have a few good story ideas. The plot is mapped out in my head, but wording the beginning and then transitioning over to get the main story going is very difficult for me.


If anyone has any tips for me, I'd greatly appreciate it. I'll let you read what I write!

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Not that I'm published or anything (cowardice has that effect), but, may I ask you a few questions?


Have you written anything before? Like novel, novella, short story? And completed it?


The first step to everything is practice. You will write a first thing and believe it is wonderful. It's not. Trust me, few chosen ones are able to pull the trick with a first book. Most people have written thousands of pages before publishing anything.

As time passes, you will look back and see you have improved.


The second step is being very, very critical with your work. It is never perfect, and never will be, but by being critical it helps to see the flaws.

Being critical with other works is also a must, learning to see the flaws in movies and books can help you stay away from various cliches (while some cliches are not bad, others have been so overdone, in a "I'm your father" fashion, it's not even funny).


Read, read, and keep reading tutorials, criticism, and forums about the topic. You will learn a lot. Giving the book to your friends and family usually does not help. My experience with that has been very disappointing. Either they had no knowledge about the topic to give a good criticism, or they were too afraid to hurt my feelings to say what a POS I had just written.

Some even compromised to help and, in the end, didn't give a s.... about it, which was specially frustrating when expecting to receive some feedback.

Your best choice would be an editor, but they're not cheap, and are usually the first step to publishing.

You might be able to find good forums that will give you great feedback, it might be the best choice. Pages like Fanfiction.net are not so much, due to the fact that most people will give positive feedback, and you need criticism, not "that was great, I want more!".


Plan ahead, write a guide about how the plot will develop, write down every kind of note you can imagine. Specially world creation, character creation. You will find some good tutorials on character creation on the internet.


Research, everything you can. Even if it's fantasy, you need to do research. Researching on the ethology of wolves will help you create a believable werewolf, studying how large buildings work will help you in the creation of a large, futuristic city. There is no limit to research and will help you get a sound, interesting plot in a believable environment.



Once you have everything written down starts the tedious project of revising. Do not assume it is well written. It is not.

The first read, you'll see it yourself. You'll notice structural flaws, word repetitions, paragraph repetitions, redundancies, unnatural or forced conversations, etc. The second read, you'll see more of it. By the third, you'll keep seeing even more (try to rest a couple of months between revisions, or you'll know the book by heart and will stop reading it more than visualizing what's on your head).

By the fifth revision, you'll try to publish it and the editor will see even more flaws. But the manuscript will be more sound and perfect than if it hadn't been revised.


Overall, it is a work for a good 2 to 3 years.


I really liked this article on the topic;




So, good luck with it. It is hard work, it is stressful, but it is so satisfying to see something of your creation in your hands. Writing is a door to a world of unlimited wonders.

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I LOVE to write novels, and someday I hope to publish my own book. But in the mean time, I'm just trying to earn some skills on writing.

I spend A LOT of time on NaNoWriMo, it's a really fun, free program where every year in November, you have one month to set a goal word-count and you try your hardest to reach it. It's really fun, they have the forums and there are a bunch of people there who are in the same boat and have a lot of suggestions.

If you want to check it out, here's the link. I usually live by all the advice you can find on Nano when it comes to my writing.


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Well, I agree with just about everything DragonNighthowler said. Everyone needs lots of practice.


Also, you have to be grateful of the critique people send you. Every story has it's own flaws, especially a story written by a new author.


It's also good to be surrounded by other writers you can talk to and ask questions to. Like aralyn27 said, it's good to go on NaNoWriMo (but she only put a link to the young writers website, which I'm on, too, but only teens and younger people can go on there).

On the NaNoWriMo website, you can actually ask for critique from writers, but much more than that. It's a really great community.

You should try it sometime.

And there's a plus--if you win NaNoWriMo, you get a free ten (or five, in YWP NaNoWriMo) free copies of your book from Createspace.


Here are the three sites:




(But YWP is only for people under the age of 18)


I guess that's all I have to say. But if you ever need help with poetry (which I love and I'm going to be publishing a poem book soon), or need a critique, then ask me!

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I agree with everyone here. And NaNoWriMo is fantastic! I've done it for over four years now and have a couple books from it (unpublished, of course). I highly suggest, as MillionWords suggested, that you find a group of writers to work with. A writing class I took last summer involved work-shopping each other's work (in a group of 30) and the critiques were very helpful.


The NaNoWriMo forums offer a lot of information for anything book/writing related and have come to be a great resource for me, personally. But nothing beats a good group of writers working together. I used to Skype with a couple others from around the world to hash out ideas and develop plots. Not only is it fun but also helpful for that one plot twist or character you're not quite sure about. The best qualities of a good critique group are honesty and constructive criticism. Those people who say everything you write is amazing are great for an ego-boost but won't help you develop and improve as a writer in the long run. And learning how to critique others on their work in the same manner will help you with your own pieces (I can attest to that as I have been running a book review blog for over 2 years and it's helped me more than I can say).


Most importantly, though, don't beat yourself up over your writing. It's not going to be perfect the first time, or the second. That's the nature of it. The key is knowing that it can get better with time and effort. And don't worry if you think your idea(s) aren't original (I suffered from that for quite a while). No idea is truly original these days but each writer will have a different take on it. No one will write the exact same characters as you, or plot, so in the end, just write. Read the genre(s) you like to write, and if you're not sure how to begin, try mimicking your favorite author's style. It's a great way to learn your own writing "voice" and might give you an idea of how you want to start (in the middle of a scene so there's lots of tension and action from the start, a prologue-type beginning with background information, maybe an interesting description of the setting to put everything in perspective for the reader, etc.). Each writer has their own way of writing and there's no one correct way.


Now you don't have to listen to anything I have to say, of course. I'm an aspiring author like you, but those are just some tips I found useful myself and wanted to share. smile.gif If you ever want help worldbuilding, shoot me a PM. I write fantasy and have a tendency to go overboard (world map, created mythology/religion, country histories, plus everything for my novel like character bios, plot outlines, location descriptions, etc.), so I can help with designing a new world.

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