Writing a novel is not for the feint of heart. It is a huge undertaking that can take months or even years to complete, depending on the amount of research and detail you need to you put into your work of fiction or non-fiction. Even knowing this, it can feel like it's taking too long to complete your novel, or that you'll never finish. If you feel that way, it may benefit you to read a few tips and tricks on writing and promoting your fiction in order to speed up the process without diminishing your book's quality or value to your readers.
One of the ways you can speed up the process is by creating an outline or a breif synopsis of the plot as well as short character descriptions. This can help you get your ideas down so that you do not have to continuously stop and think, What happens next?
You’ve got a great idea for a book. You’re ready to write it, but you aren’t sure how to begin. While there are tons of software products out there to help writers get started, most of them take tons of time to learn and setup, especially if you plan to fill out all the pieces of information, like character names, biographies and settings. Thankfully, you can start your next fiction project without investing a lot of time in prep work. Let me tell you how.
0. Open Your favorite Word Document and Give It a Name
You can use any title here from a working title to your story to something descriptive. I’m working on a fiction novel right now that’s saved as Vampire Erotic Thriller. I don’t actually have a proper title for it yet, so I saved it as its theme. It’s going to be an erotic vampire thriller, and that’s good enough until I get closer to finishing it.
Wanting to write a novel is just half the battle. Any new writer knows just having an idea in their minds and perhaps an outline of how the overall story is going to go is just the beginning of the work that lies ahead. Of course, for those who are doing historical or even science fiction novels there is research to perform. Fiction is one thing but readers still want some fact that they can pull from.
Once all this is done, it’s now time to write the novel. Then write it again, and again. Yes, before a novel is done it could go through many drafts as we edit and polish it. The question though is how many drafts does a novel actually require? Some might say as many as it takes. The only problem is that some of us may be forever editing and rewriting a novel to get it perfect, and this can lead to over-editing. So, with this in mind let's look at a method known as the 5 draft method that some writers follow in order to work efficiently and effectively.
Draft 1: The Junk Draft
This is the draft where the writer just lets the ideas flow forth. Just get everything down on paper or typed out. It's the draft where we don't stop to think too much just get the bare bones of the story into existence.
Once you’ve completed your book and performed the last content edit to check for plot holes, flow, punctuation and sentence structure, there’s still one more edit that you should perform prior to publishing your book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo. This absolute last edit before formatting and publishing your book ensures that your sentences are tight and word redundancy is minimal.
1. Find “LY” Words
This check is fairly easy. Open your Find/replace function and type “LY”. Then, click “Find All”. This search finds every word in your manuscript with an “ly”. You really really really really want to reduce this number. LY words are modifiers, and you shouldn’t need many of them, and they can prove to be a distraction to readers. Go through and try and cut this number in half. The only place I don’t tend to remove these is dialogue, but I do try to pull them out of all the text that isn’t dialogue.
We’ve all been here. You’re on a roll. you’re writing 2,000 to 10,000 words a day on your new novel. You’re slated to get your new first draft done in two to three weeks, and all of a sudden life kicks you in the ass. It’s been anywhere from four weeks to six months since you’ve looked at that bad boy, and you’ve forgotten where you are going with it.
This is a crap scenario right here. You’ve read the last line you wrote and drawn a blank. This happened to me a few days ago. I was slated to get a first draft not only done, but published in less than six weeks. Then, I looked at my publishing schedule for the year and realized I wrote five books last year, and I have six to nine scheduled for this year. It’s time for a new website. This website, actually. So, I spent the last three weeks on this website. When I went back to my novel, I could not remember what I had planned to do next. Soneofabitch.
Thankfully, there are ways to get back into your next book quickly.
Important Pre-Planning Stages of Writing a Character Driven Book
When starting a character driven novel it is important to plan and organize your thoughts and ideas before starting to actually write. You want to develop a solid plan of action and know where you want to go with the story line before beginning to formally write. When beginning to plan the stages of a character driven book it is significantly important to include you vision for each character and really plan out your outcomes and plot prior to writing the first chapter.
Character development will be the most important goal that you will want to establish early on in the book if your aiming to write a character driven novel. You should start with your main character or your antagonist and begin creating their personality and come up with the type of persona you want them to have. Map out the inspirations and goals of your character and first determine what drives your character to do the things they do. You will want to come up with a clear vision of the character and really be able to write from their perspective before starting the writing process.
A plot driven book or plot author book is when the main focus of the book is going to be about the plot. There are two main things that are going to be included in this style of writing. These two things are going to include the plot twists and the external conflict. This means that the story is going to be about the development of the situation that is happening inside of the book. Therefore, the characters are going to have to make quick decisions so there will be less development of the characters in the story. There are three main genres that are going to be plot author books. These genres are going to be romance novels, mysteries, and fantasy novels.
Pros and cons of a plot driven book
The first pro is that it can help to foster anticipation and excitement in the reader. The second pro is that the book is going to have good structure. The third pro is that there will be space for exploring more ideas that can be bigger than the individual people or the relationships that they have throughout the book. The first con is that they are going to need a lot of different events inside of the book to make it compelling. The second con is that there are going to be a lot of unexpected twists. The third con is that the books are going to have a lot of ideas about society and technology.
There is a process involved in the preplanning stages of every plot driven book. It is important to understand the difference between plot driven and character driven. A character-driven story may deal with transformations and relationships among the characters in the story. The plot in a character-driven story is, often, simple and it may focus on struggles among the characters. Defining a plot driven book is simplified because the characters have various actions that have resulted in the plot of a story. The plot-driven book or story takes the action of a character and will have a result from the action or the event of a character. Keep in mind, a great character will need a great plot. The plot of any book is driven by the actions of the characters.
Writing a book and publishing a book are only the first steps to author success. This is because you could have written a great book, but this does not matter if no one knows about it. Thankfully, there are promotional tools and things you can do to help spread the word.
Social media is a great place to promote your book. You can potentially reach thousnads and even millions of people with properly timed and hashtagged tweets and posts. You can also start a blog, create promotional and informative articles and share those across your social media accounts. There are even sites where you can promote your book for free.
Additionally, there are also several Amazon books available to get you gather book promotion ideas so that you can create your own custom book promotion strategy. Great Noevel marketing books include: