Omg. I am so proud of myself. I began writing my novel on the 28 December 2016 without any plan/outline. And I finally completed my first draft 23rd February 2017.
It’s been a wonderful experience for me as well as being the quickest time I’ve ever completed a novel if this length. Awesome!
Seriously so many emotions are going through my head right now but relief is definitely one of them.
I figured out what works for me. Here are some things I learned from writing my novel.
1) never give up.
2) writing is like a marathon. Don’t think of it so much as writing a massive book but writing smaller sections. Each scene is like an inferconnecting puzzle piece which joined together creates an overall image or novel.
3) be passionate about your story. Essentially as you’re the first reader, don’t try writing scenes which bore you senseless – it’ll translate to boring your real readers (if you aim to get published) afterwards. Make every scene count towards either progressing the plot or developing your characters.
4) surround yourself with inspo. Whether that be from binge watching tv series, watching movies, reading books, newspapers, gossip columns, youtube, real life events/interactions.you are a writer – be creative.
5) do not edit as you go along. It will disrupt your flow.
6) forget about perfectionism. Focus on getting the words down no matter how shit or clunky it sounds. Edit later.
7) aim to write at least 1k words a day. On a good day I can write that amount easily in 40 mins. But usually it takes me 50 mins or so.. Not that long.
8) write even when you don’t feel like it. The beginning is always harder but once you push past the first 100 words the words start to flow easier until you’vd written a whole scene.
9) some writers need detailed or rough outlines, character profiles and/or timelines and that’s perfectly fine. Personally, I discovered I work better without much preparation. All I do is think of a situation/theme and what kind of characters fit that structure then I get stuck in. If I’ve got enough inspo from various sources which I’ve read or glanced at a few months/weeks prior to writing I may draw on them. The story subconsciously marinates in my brain as I go along, so essentially I’m creating a mental plan. I know what scenes i want to occur between my characters but I don’t know how I’ll get there which makes it more fun and exciting for me, hence I don’t lose interest in the project. Also, no plans means no feeling of writing being a tedious chore. Even better.
10) stopped writing on my laptop because it was too bulky. So instead I rely on my phone/tablet. It does the job. Ease of portability has definitely made a difference to my output. Somehow typing on actual keyboard keys is slower and time consuming. Unlike Microsoft Word Apple pages doesn’t have auto-capitalization. As I can’t be bothered to purchase word, I hardly find myself using my laptop as much when it comes to my writing.
11) if you’re stuck on writing a particular scene or you’re afraid you’ll make it sound suckish for whatever reason, do not fret. Continue writing the scene – it’s probably not as crap as you expect once you read through it. There might even be a few germs of ideas, so when you’re editing, at least you have a starting point. Having something down is better than nothing.
12) I don’t believe writing should be a labour intensive exercise in torture. Don’t worry about quality while you’re writing the first draft, just time yourself before you start writing and turn it into a game where you try to write as many words as you can before your brain just says no more and refuses to allow you to write.
13) have a clear idea of your ending, even if it is really vague. It acts as your goal to actually finish the project.
14) celebrate important milestones like reaching a specific word count but also document your writing progress by nothing down the dates you achieved these wonderful milestones. Your confidence in yourself really flies.
I’ll post some more tips in a separate post because it’s quite late (3 bloody am!) here.
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