A Beginner’s Guide to Writing a Novel

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No one is born a novel writer. But do you believe that we all have the capability to be writers? Impossible as it may seem, the answer is yes! If we have enough passion for it and if we strive hard to make it happen, novel writing can be as easy as writing ABC. Writing is actually not a very complicated thing. It is just like drawing, painting, and even cooking. It is an art! Your imagination is all that it takes to get it started. What makes it hard is not writing itself but how people make it harder than it really is.

The first key to writing a novel is the ability to dream and imagine. Think back to when you were a little child and dreamed. Your imagination took you to places you’d never been before. It made you do things you never thought you could do. Having superpowers… being in strange places… the possibilities are limitless. Writing a novel is your imagination translated into words. You close your eyes and let your thoughts drift while creating a web of related ideas, after which, you write them down on paper.

The second key to writing is formulating the premise of your novel. Let’s say you start with a huge asteroid moving through space. Suddenly it collides with another asteroid and instantly creates an explosion. Some of the explosion’s debris falls into the earth’s atmosphere. By accident a person comes in contact with it. This sequence of events could be your initial start from which you let your imagination take hold to produce the subsequent events.

The third key would be to create a stream of spontaneous ideas. Once you have the initial idea, delve down and allow yourself to be completely absorbed. Let’s say after the person comes in contact with the asteroid debris, he gains supernatural powers! Then he notices some changes in his being, not just physically but also emotionally and psychologically. This is where an avalanche of new ideas start coming in. You will notice you are no longer directing your story, your story is directing you. That makes writing now so easy. You don’t need to analyze anything because the story now starts to play like a movie. All you have to do is put it into words as the story plays in your head.

Next, make sure you are able to maintain your daydreaming and concentration as one event follows another. This state is called the “alpha state”. According to Judith Tramayne-Barth, this is the state between consciousness and sleep. Time stands still when you are in this state. Words keep coming to you until you start to feel pain in your legs and in your waist and then you suddenly flick back to consciousness and you become flabbergasted because you’ve not only written one or two pages but five or more without even knowing it!

The next key would be to practice flipping in and out of the “alpha state”. You can do this by rereading what you’ve written and internalizing it as if it was your first time. It might take some time, possibly hours or even days before you are able to go to your “alpha state” again but once you’ve become adept at entering the zone, it will only be a matter of minutes before you start writing a new dialogue.

So, you’ve finished your story! Now it’s time to do the final touch-ups. There is still one last thing that you need to do. Yea, you guessed it. You need to check the entire story again for spelling, punctuation, grammar, correct word usage and coherence. You might even need to revise it a few times before you are able to arrive with the final output. But don’t fret, it’s not much work really compared to writing the entire novel. What’s important is you now have your own novel, written by yourself, using your very own imagination. How much more proud could you get?

Hopefully not too proud to hire a professional editor. This is where many new writers fail. They don’t realize there are errors in their manuscript because they tend to see what they think they wrote instead of what is actually on the page. Believe me when I say, a good editor can make the difference between a decent book and a fantastic book. Do not skip this step.

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