Starting a novel

There are three ways to start writing a novel:

  1. Go in blank. Use your intuition.
  2. Work out the story in your head (before, or as you write).
  3. Plan out the novel in adavnce.

If you are the first or second kind of writer, all you need to do is start writing. Stop when you get to the end.

If you are the third type, you have two more choices:

  1. Plan out your novel separately to the writing.
  2. Use the same software to plan, structure and write the novel.

While you are doing this, you may wish to consider:

  • Listing the dramatic action that takes place in each chapter.
  • List the scenes (if there are multiple scenes).
  • Note the POV each chapter is written in.
  • Work out the dramatic reversals.
  • Note the time within the story (flashback, present day, flash-forward).
  • The location.

Finally, there are two more choices:

  1. Use a single file.
  2. Create a folder and use a single file for each chapter.

(Maybe you’re thinking — why would anyone split a novel into multiple files? It seems weird? There’s a psychological benefit in writing smaller chunks of self-contained text. A goal of a few thousand words is a lot less intimidating than 80,000.

Then comes the easy part. Planned, or unplanned. Single file, or multiple files. All you have to do is write the words.