It can take several years to craft that all important first novel. The first novel for most authors is arguably the most difficult and will probably require the longest time to complete. There are of course exceptions, some authors find that their creative process takes longer with time. There are strategies and habits which will support writers in completing that first novel. They are deliberately broad, as everybody is different and approaches with their unique perspective, but these suggestions should be appropriate to most people interested in being a novelist.
1. Take up the habit of writing every day
Writing will become a little easier the more you do it. In time it’s not that the writing as a discipline itself is easier, you just become more accustomed to the practice of doing it. If you are anything like most writers, you will find yourself being more adept at slipping into a creative mindset and be able to arrive straight back into the subject your story. Similar to climbing a mountain such endeavours require consistent training to prepare to handle such a massive task. Most authors discover that taking up the habit of writing every day enhances the writing mind and the neural pathways that relate to creativity, opening the door for ideas to form. Writing a book can appear to be serious undertaking, but exercising the skills of writing will enable the process to be more comfortable.
2. Finish the first draft.
The first draft does not have to be great, anything else is a misconception. In most cases the first draft of literature work is not anything special. In fact sometimes the first draft is down right terrible. Do not expect any miracles the first time. The vital factor at this preliminary stage is to sustain the progress and output until the goal has been reached. While working on the first draft do not be too concerned with editing the content, the first draft is more of a test run. After the first draft is finished and is resting in your hands or on your computer, then the process of editing can begin.
3. Rest periods are important.
If this stage in the writing cycle has been attained, the first draft of the manuscript is now ready. The content may not be perfect or the finished article, but you have revised and edited the document many times. What is the best course of action now? It may sound counter-intuitive, but many authors have learned that placing the manuscript in a desk drawer or leaving it untouched on the computer for a period of time does help immensely. The longer it is left in the drawer the better. Now when you return to the document you will be in a position to study the text objectively and from a more distanced lens. This will allow the writer to examine and review the manuscript from a fresh perspective.
4. Read the text yourself.
This may at first sound like a peculiar or unusual thing to do. But this technique does actually work and is effective for many authors. While reading the work out loud you will be able to distinguish more vividly the sections which require improvement, or when the content has ground to a halt. The pattern and pace of the document to an audience other than yourself will become clearer. Reading the text out loud will especially be useful in writing dialogue and developing character-charged scenes. How the manuscript sounds to your ears is probably how it will sound to everyone else.
5. Feedback is welcome.
The book has now been written and edited. For all intents and purposes the manuscript appears to be completed. The best step at this stage is to invite others to read the work and gage their perspective. Many writers find this stage to be daunting or unpleasant, requesting that other people read their work can be problematic. Choose people with an opinion that you trust, definitely select more than one. If the individuals your decide to sound out have an interest in literature and especially the genre that’s all the better. The feedback and input of others can help to improve the final product and iron out any sections that aren’t working.