If you have grown up winning essay writing competitions and being the 'walking thesaurus' in your classroom, it is very likely that you have at least once dreamt of writing a novel of your own. Remember how reading Harry Potter had you casting spells in the air, or how Sherlock Holmes made you feel like a young detective genius? Ever wonder why all that enthusiasm eventually fizzled out?
Don't worry literary geniuses, your favourite authors have some insightful tips to help you take that first step you've always been afraid of. But before we dive into the world of words, here's a quick reminder for you to enhance your all-round development by learning a number of skills with PowerPass. Master digital marketing, content curation, financial planning and so much more with the tap of a button. You can instantly become an exceptional writer with only a few steps. Don't forget to grab your passes soon and become job ready.
Now that you're all set with some skills in your pocket, let's hear it from our favourite authors through this novel writing guide.
- Emily Henry
- Dan Brown
- Erin Morgenstern
- Agatha Christie
While you’re wondering how to start writing a novel, you can scroll through this article and understand the various novel writing basics.
(Author of the famous novels Beach Read, People We Meet On Vacation and Book Lovers)
Emily is one of New York's bestselling authors and understands the struggle of budding writers. As a predominant author in the romance genre, here are some of her tips :
- Just start with your rough draft and get through with it. All else will follow and you will have plenty of time to fix your script later. First drafts, if done quickly, will make it easier for you to commit to it. This will also help you lay a solid groundwork for your novel and will help you with easy edits.
- A 'bad book' is always better than 'no book'. No two people will have the same reviews about a single piece of art and that's okay.
- While deciding which project to work on, choose the one you love best and are most excited about. It will help you yield better results.
Through these tips, Emily offers an interesting perspective on how writing requires a long-term commitment, which is why it is imperative for you to just start. The best writers in the world started off with the worst drafts, but they stuck by it, had the patience and ended up writing bestsellers. Don’t let the fear of rejection get the better of you.
(Author of the famous Robert Langdon series—The Da Vinci Code, Angels And Demons, Inferno and The Lost Symbol)
Most readers are familiar with Dan Brown's prowess and his ability of making cryptic concepts sound interesting. Here's his take on the basics of novel writing:
- Make your audience curious. Keep adding mysterious quotients and solve them during the latter part of the novel. This will leave your readers hooked onto your novel.
- Don't focus on the number of words you write daily, rather focus on the number of hours you put in.
- Choose the 'how' over the 'what' —aka—focus on the story instead of the outcome in your novel.
- When it comes to thrillers, don't just give away information. One important novel writing essential is to learn to withhold certain keys.
The master of thrillers says it best, when writing a thriller, your main motive is to make the reader feel as involved in your story as your characters are. The unravelling of secrets and character plots in between make your novel far more interesting and difficult to put down.
(Author of the famous fictional novels 'The Night Circus' and 'The Starless Sea’)
Erin's works are one of fiction's finest and yet she doesn't believe in very 'hard and fast' writing rules. This is what she sees as novel writing essentials:
- Remember to enjoy what you write and have fun with it. It is most likely that your audience will love to read most of what you loved to write about.
- As mentioned above, don't go by a stuck set of rules for writing, just go with the flow and see what works best for you. There isn’t one fixed novel writing guide that you should follow.
For all fiction writers, imagination is key to all your writings. Don't simply discard an idea because you think it sounds too good to be true or too silly. People read fiction because they want something that's unbelievable or extraordinary. Give that to them, and don't worry about adhering to a fixed set of rules.
(Renowned mystery writer and author of the famous, Murder On The Orient Express)
Do you even love books if you haven't heard about Agatha Christie? The writer behind well-known characters like Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot has some insightful pieces of advice for young mystery writers:
- To be one among ambitious writers, start plotting your story while everyone else is thinking about writing.
- Use your own interests in your story and never force an idea. If there are cultural references that you know or excerpts you have studied that can be used in your writing, do it.
- Plot a character that isn’t perfect but is relatable. Your characters should have flaws and be personable. Create a background story, their set of desirable and undesirable traits, etc.
Just like a good painting that requires a rough sketch, your novel should have a plot well in advance too. It's okay if you can't figure out how it ends in the beginning, but know what you want it to be about. Do a thorough research on the qualities that will go well with your character based on their upbringing, culture, etc. Your novel will be worth a good read!
In the end, all writers have a different journey. Some get their big idea as soon as they start writing while others put it together in the end. Some writers prefer a daily word count goal, while others think that it's best to focus on the hours put in. Pick what suits you best because in the end, you do you.
Now that you have learnt how to write a novel from your favourite authors and have navigated its dos and don’ts, you can start with that novel idea that’s always been on your mind. To do so, you can take a glance at Powerpass and master how to become an exceptional writer and weave stories.
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