So you’ve got an idea for a novel. It’s a wonderful idea. It excites you. You’ve imagined the characters. The intriguing plot. The dramatic scenes.

You’ve even started thinking about how the cover would look like. Even imagined yourself signing copies at your local bookshop!

But the only problem is that you haven’t started writing your novel yet.

Why?

There may be several reasons:

1. You haven’t any idea how to start (other than typing “Chapter 1”!)
2. You’re still mulling over some of the characters or parts of the plot.
3. You need to do some, perhaps lots, of research.
4. You’re just too busy right now.
5. You’ve no idea how to write creatively.

Which one do you think might apply to you?

The last item can be addressed in a straightforward way. If you’ve had no practise at creative writing, then get a book to teach you how and start practising with short stories.

As for the other items, my recommendation is to just start writing.

Don’t worry about what you’ve written. Just get the words down, put those letters on the page. The idea is to create a first draft without getting bogged down in detail. Without worrying about inconsistencies to begin with. Forget spelling. Forget grammar.

All the issues that you have can be addressed as you write your novel. Writing the novel is in many ways researching it. As you write new ideas may form, other ideas discarded. You’ll have a better idea on what areas you’ll need to research. Those items can be filled in later. Just move on the with the novel.

New characters may come. Other characters may go. The main character’s nemesis may end up as the main character. The main plot may become the sub-plot. Scenes you had planned may drastically change. The entire genre may change!

This is all explored as you write your first draft. But you’ll never get to do that until you start!

Even if you think you’re too busy at the moment, most people can find 30 minutes a day to to something they’re passionate about.

That’s the key thing. Passion.

You’ll needs lots of it to write a novel. This desire will be your driving force as you put in the hundreds of hours needed. You’ll spend all this time in isolation. There’ll no doubt be sacrifices. There may be heartache and despair. There may be elation and a deep sense of satisfaction like no other.

But you won’t know until you start.

Once you’ve got your first draft then you’ve got the foundations of the novel.

Now you’ll rewrite it. You’ll do several rewrites. You may do scores of them.

Writing is re-writing.

That’s where you’ll correct stuff. You may replace characters. Even amend the plot. Change the setting. Perhaps even the genre.

Chapters will jump around. Whole sections excised. Sub-plots introduced.

Writing your novel can be ardous. Perhaps there should be a warning label for those wanting to begin the journey.

But, if you have the passion, then it’s one well worth taking.

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