Friday, October 16, 2015

Train Yourself to Be a Novelist

So you want to be a novelist? You can spend your entire life dreaming about what it is like to be a novelist, but you will never know what it is really like until you take that first leap into writing.

Keep a Journal of Ideas


All writers get ideas, notions, and snippets of possible novels. Forget about trying to remember the ideas and write them in a journal instead. Some people keep their ideas in files on their computer, but writing them down into a notebook has worked best for me because there is less of a chance that I will lose my work if it is in hard copy. Buy a cheap notebook at a dollar store and some good pens. Make it a habit to write down ideas, titles, and personal thoughts in your writer’s journal every day.

Study Writing


All writers who are worth their weight in pennies know that they need to study writing and grammar to continuously improve their skills. I am no exception, and neither are you. Visit the library and take out books on writing. Visit used book shops and buy even more. Plan on reading at least 3 to 4 books on writing and grammar a year.

Writing Exercises


In the beginning, plan on doing at least one writing exercise a day. There are plenty of free online resources for writing exercises and there are books, as well. I’ve been selling my words since 1997 and I still do writing exercises, especially when I am in a bit of a slump. The effort never goes to waste because I publish the completed exercises on blogs and content mills.

Create a Schedule


Create a realistic writing schedule. Plan to write for at least 30 minutes a day in the beginning. Don’t schedule too much time because you will set yourself up for failure. Keep track of your daily word count when you are writing on the computer. Plan on increasing your word count each day, even if it is only by one word. Most important - stick with it. Don’t give up, no matter how frustrated you might get. Just keep on writing, keep on typing, and turn your dreams into reality.

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