As a writer, you get used to looking for inspiration or tips for your writing in some of the strangest places – from animals, to food, to the checkout line at the grocery store – you never know what is going to strike a chord within. However, as any creative person or novel writer will tell you, there are times when you just feel stuck and in need of some novel writing tips.
Novels can feel overwhelming to write. You need to come up with interesting characters, plots, settings, and situations to keep your readers interested for a pretty long period of time. To help you along on your novel writing journey, we are going to provide you with some useful and effective novel writing tips to make the process as enjoyable as possible.
Novel Writing Tips
- Read: Just because you are writing does not mean you should stop reading. The more you read, the more ideas you will develop and the easier it will be for you to find inspiration for your own novel. Always aim to read more than you write.
- Explore: Try not to stick to just one genre of writing. Sure, you may like Romance, but it does not hurt to dive into Science Fiction from time to time. Do this with reading as well, because it will help open your eyes to different writing styles.
- Analyze: Take some of the books, novels, and stories that you like and admire and really analyze them. Try to figure out what you like about them, whether it be their structure or their characters. This can help give you some tips on how you should structure your own article.
- Tell your story: Often times, writers can get caught up trying to write what they think other people want to hear. They key to writing a good novel is to write the story that you have in your heart and in your mind.
- Outline: An outline is a great tool to help you outline what you need to write, and it is probably going to come in handy at some point during the writing process. However, it is not completely necessary, so spend time on an outline online if you feel it is going to help your novel writing process.
- Discovery writing: Sometimes just going with the flow in your mind is going to work as well. This is called discovery writing, where you simply just write.
- Experience: Some of the best fiction writing can come from experiences that you have had. A great novel writing tip is just to write from the experiences that come to mind.
- Characters: Great novels have great character. A tip for creating interesting ones is just to look around you. Feed off inspiration from friends, family, coworkers, or people that you might see on the go. If you make your characters believable, it will do wonders for your story.
- Flaws: Real life is not perfect, and your story and its characters should not be either. The most realistic characters can be the ones with flaws.
- Show: In writing, try to show instead of tell. You can do this with your characters’ personalities by showing their character traits and personalities through their actions and interactions.
- Obstacles: A good novel has characters who overcome obstacles. No one likes to suffer, but it is a part of life. If you show your character suffering, then their triumph will be more rewarding.
- Structure: Even if you are doing discovery writing, your story is going to need a beginning, a middle, and an end to make everything come full circle.
- Hero’s Journey: Study the Hero’s Journey, which is a type of narrative pattern and learn how to incorporate this into your own novel.
- Narrative voice: A narrative voice does not have to be warm and friendly, nor should the tone jump around. A narrative voice should always remain consistent in its tone throughout your novel.
- Point of View: Decide which point of view your novel is going to be best told in. Maybe it sounds better in third person than in first. This might take some trial and error, so do not be afraid to do a few drafts to see what is going to work best.
- Pace: Pace your story in a way that is going to keep your readers interested. As you are writing, ask yourself questions such as: are the scenes too long? Is there enough action in the story? Are things moving too fast?
- Humanistic quality: You are going to want to give your story as much humanistic quality as you can. This can be in the form of: sacrifice, rebirth, life and death, or redemption. Make sure that your story has qualities that people experience in their lives.
- Symbols: Symbols and imagery details in your story will help give your novel power and believability. It will also make it more interesting, and it will make the reader think.
- Transformation: People change and a story with flat characters will not get you far. Make sure that your novel includes story transformation that involves the character, world, and reader to change their perspectives and ways of thinking throughout the novel.
- Surprise: A good story should incorporate some elements of surprise, and it should also leave the reader feeling satisfied at the end. When you read a story, you want to feel like emotionally and intellectually stimulated – and elements of surprise and satisfaction are going to help make this happen.
- Tension: A good tip is to build tension throughout your novel, and then let it snap.
- Subplots: Every novel should have a plot, but you can also help enrich your novel by incorporating subplots into your story. This will help make it seem more realistic and keep the reader on their toes. However, be careful not to stray too far out of line from your story’s plot, because you could end up going off on a tangent with too many subplots.
- Multiple genres: Just because you might be writing a Dramatic novel does not mean you cannot throw in some funny moments or moments of mysteriousness throughout. This can help spice up your novel and keep your reader on their toes.
- Do not tell everything: Readers pick up a book because they want to think. You do not have to disclose all the details of your novel, and allow your readers to connect the dots themselves.
- Senses: Readers are just reading words in your novel. A tip to help engage your readers more is to appeal to their senses through touch, smell, and taste. A helpful way to give more life and vibrancy to your words is through some literary devices, tactics such as: alliteration, onomatopoeia’s, and metaphors.
- Proofread: Do not try to proofread as you are writing or directly after. Allow your writing to sit for awhile and then re-read it for proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation. While you proofread, also look for errors in plot holes, characters, scenes, or other places in your novel. Make sure that each part of your story is essential to the rest, as you do not want any extraneous words or paragraphs in your novel.
Another tip for the writing process is to find inspiration. Here are some great sources of inspiration that you can turn to if you feel you need to pick up some more tips for the writing process.
- Read through blogs online.
- Listen to dialogues and people talk. Overhearing other people’s conversations is a great way to be able to get your own ideas for your writing.
- Watch a good movie.
- Listen to some music to keep your creative juices flowing and uplift your mind.
- Join a writing group, because there is a good chance you are not the only one looking for tips!
Start Your Writing Engine
Novel writing tips can come from different sources; it all depends on where you want to go for your inspiration and ideas. Take these novel writing tips, tricks, and inspiration techniques and start writing. If you are thinking about writing a genre-specific novel, such as a romance novel, this course here will help give you the confidence to do so. Remember, the best tip for writing is just to write, so get your fingers typing or your pencils moving.