This latest blog is about how to start writing novels as a beginner.

Writing a novel is a thrilling adventure that allows you to explore your creativity and share your unique stories with the world. However, it can be a daunting task for beginners.

In this post, I’ll walk you through the fundamental steps to get you started on your novel-writing journey.

How to start writing novels as a beginner

Find Your Inspiration

Every great novel begins with an idea. Inspiration can strike at any moment, so always be prepared to capture it.

Keep a journal or note-taking app handy to jot down thoughts, observations, and ideas as they come to you.

Dive into your passions and interests for potential story ideas. Remember, there’s no wrong source of inspiration.

Develop Your Characters

Compelling characters are the heart of any great novel. Take time to create well-rounded, believable characters with distinct personalities, motivations, and flaws.

Get to know your characters intimately, even if it means writing character profiles. Consider their backgrounds, fears, and dreams – these details will shape your story.

Do Your Research

Writers, especially beginners, usually write about things they know, but it’s worth making sure you do know it, especially if you write historical novels. Although it’s best to do most of it at the start, there’s no reason you can’t check a few facts as you go.

Plan Your Plot

A well-structured plot is the backbone of your novel. Begin by outlining the major events and conflicts that will drive your story forward.

You can use traditional three-act structures or experiment with other narrative frameworks. Having a clear plan will help you stay on track as you write.

Some writers, including myself, like to start writing when we get an idea and let the story grow organically. If so, you have to do a lot of rewriting to get it into a sensible structure afterwards.

Set Writing Goals

Establish a writing routine that works for you. Set achievable goals, such as word counts or chapters per day or week. Consistency is key to progress.

Whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, find your most productive writing time and stick to it.

Create a Writing Space

Designate a space where you can write free from distractions. It could be a corner of your room, a cosy cafe, or a quiet library.

Ensure you have all your writing tools and materials readily available so you can dive into your story whenever inspiration strikes.

Write Freely, Edit Later

Don’t let your inner editor hinder your creative flow. In the initial drafting phase, let your ideas flow freely without worrying about grammar, punctuation, or perfection.

You can always revise and edit later. Embrace the messy process of creating a first draft.

Stay Consistent

Consistency is crucial when writing a novel. Try to write a bit every day, even if it’s just a few hundred words. This steady progress will keep you motivated and prevent writer’s block from setting in.

Remember, it’s okay to take breaks if you need them, but try to maintain a regular writing habit.

Seek Feedback

Share your work with trusted friends or writing groups. Constructive feedback can provide valuable insights and help you improve your writing.

Be open to criticism, but also trust your instincts and vision for your story.

Revise and Edit

After completing your first draft, step away from it for a while. When you return, you’ll see it with fresh eyes. Start the revision process by addressing major plot and character issues.

Then, move on to sentence-level editing, focusing on grammar, style, and clarity. Consider multiple rounds of editing to refine your work.

Embrace Rejections

Rejections are part of the writing journey. Don’t be discouraged if publishers or agents reject your manuscript.

Many successful authors faced numerous rejections before finding success. Keep refining your craft, seeking feedback, and submitting your work. Persistence is key.

If, like me, you self-publish, or even if you go to a traditional publisher, you need a marketing plan. Even so, be prepared for low sales and negative feedback at first. Learn from it.

Celebrate Milestones

Writing a novel is a significant achievement. Celebrate your milestones, whether it is finishing your first draft, receiving positive feedback, or getting published. Recognise your progress and use it as motivation to keep writing.

Good Luck!

Contact Me

For more tips and guides for writing novels, give Geoffrey Monmouth a call today at 01925 445215 or email geoffrey@geoffreymonmouth.co.uk.