OLD POST ALERT! This is an older post and although you might find some useful tips, any technical or publishing information is likely to be out of date. Please click on Start Here on the menu bar above to find links to my most useful articles, videos and podcast. Thanks and happy writing! – Joanna Penn
Many of you are writing, or have written first novels, and others may want to write a novel but don't know where to start. I started my first novel during NaNoWriMo last November, and have done sporadic videos keeping you updated. Click here to view the journey so far in chronological order.
See below for my latest update, and there are notes below for those that don't like online video.
In the video I talk about:
- It has been over 6 months of doing these updates, but I am now at 65,000 words…and counting…
- I had a breakthrough in terms of plotting in the last month. I crystallized the plot in my head, and wrote an outline that has given me the impetus to finish. I know what I have to write to finish the novel now. It took me about a day of thinking to rejig it, no writing, just thinking. This really helped. I also considered what I want in a thriller which is helping me focus my own writing.
- The first draft is to get to the end, not to focus on great writing. I am slowly getting this into my brain!
- Things came up as I wrote that were surprising to me – they came from my subconscious as I wrote, not as I planned. People talk about that, but it's the first time it's happened to me. It happened in the writing, not the thinking.
- In researching locations, I found part of the plot that added depth and a cool scene as I researched. So be open to changing things if you find them as you research.
- I'm aiming to write fast. Have finally understood that the first draft needs to be out of the way. I want to get into editing and enter the novel into Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. This has freed me and also given me a deadline of Jan 2011 for a fully edited, professional version of the novel.
Ja'Nese Dixon says
I wrote my first book during NaNoWriMo. Good luck!
Roger Lord Zeck says
Lots of good points in this post, but probably the most important is to get that first draft finished. Until you’ve got that done, all you have is an unfinished idea.
Research is important too, if your fiction includes factual elements, because if you get your facts wrong, someone somewhere will correct you. Publicly.