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How To Start Writing That Novel

The hardest part of anything is getting started. “Where do I begin?” you ask yourself. “How do I know where I’m going?” “It’s a long haul -- I’ll never make it!”

Well, every writer who has ever had a novel published has heard these words in his or her head. And if they can do it, so can you! What’s more, there are professional novelists who are eager to teach you the basics of how to start a novel.

Many writers feel blocked because think they have to know the entire story before they begin. In some cases, it can help to make an outline. But the best thing to do is to just start writing!

Visualize a character – let’s call him “Bill”. Is he in an apartment? An office? A park on a windy day? Start by describing him: his age, his height, his hair color. Then see where he goes! “Bill” will tell you his story, if you listen. Then other characters will appear, and their stories will intertwine with Bill’s. Pretty soon you’ll be writing a novel!

One of the secrets to getting started is to find the conditions that allow you to write. Some people need quiet and solitude. Others like to work in the middle of a noisy café. You need to learn what works for you best. Experiment. Try to find a place that you can devote to your writing. Your bedroom. A favorite park bench. The public library. See if you can concentrate there. Then, when you’re focused, start writing that novel!

It’s also important to figure out what time of day works best for you. Some writers need to do their work first thing in the morning, when their minds are fresh and clear, before the obligations of the day press in. Other writers like to work at night, after the kids have been put to bed or the dog has been walked or the thousands of things that fill the day are done.
Which time provides the best energy for you to work? Once you get started, you may be able to work at different times. But getting started often requires you to carve out a time that’s just for you and your new book.

The secret to doing anything is to take one step at a time.

And there are professional writers who want to help you to take that first step towards writing a novel.

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