10 Things I’ve Learned While Writing My Novels

  1. Set Manageable Goals – For me, setting a goal of writing a page a day for my current novel has helped me stay on track ,and gives me a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. You may discover your manageable writing pace is faster than mine, but the important thing is to stick with it!
  2. Reward Yourself – For every 5,000 words I write, I reward myself with a special treat or watch a movie. Nothing fancy, just something to look forward to when I reach my goal.
  3. The Internet Is Your Best Friend – Doing research isn’t such a chore when you have a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips to assist you in setting up a scene or finding the perfect hair style to match your character’s personality.
  4. Use A Motivator – My motivation for completing my first novel was to use the story as a memorial for my two cats. On days when writer’s block kicks in, it’s important to have a good reason to fight through it.
  5. Get Your Friends Involved – Ask your friends if you can bounce story ideas off them or have them read your query letter and synopsis for errors before submitting them to a literary agent or publisher. Friends can also help by just being there for moral support.
  6. Have A Notebook Handy – I keep a notebook on my desk for jotting down ideas, flashes of inspiration, character sketches, etc.
  7. Pull From Personal Experience – This worked for me as a new author, using some of my memories of dormitory living and campus life to help create the collegiate setting in my first book.
  8. Read A Lot – When I’m reading, I make a vocabulary list of words that catch my eye, take note of sentence structure and the flow of dialogue, or the way an author conveys a certain emotion in the story. These are all ways I can make my own writing stronger.
  9. Join A Local Writer’s Group – This is a great way to network with other authors in your community.
  10. Take A Shower – Sounds weird, right? During the writing process, I’ve discovered that relaxing in a nice, hot shower can trigger brainstorming. In fact, I highly recommend investing in shower markers for those times when the imagination starts running wild!

“The ideal of calm exists in a sitting cat.” ~ Jules Reynard

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