10 Practical Tips For Writing Your First Novel

Last Updated on March 9, 2023 by Dr Sharon Baisil MD

Writing a novel can be an intimidating task. It takes dedication, hard work, and lots of time to create something that’s worth reading. But it doesn’t have to be so daunting! In this article, I’m going to provide you with 10 practical tips for writing your first novel.

I remember when I wanted to write my first book…everyone around me was telling me how difficult it would be, but I knew if I followed the right advice and took action on what I learned, then anything is possible. So take these tips and start putting them into practice today. With enough determination and creativity, you’ll be able to craft your own masterpiece in no time.

You don’t need years of experience or extensive knowledge of literature; all you need is a clever idea, sound judgment, and some helpful guidance—and that’s exactly what this article will provide. Read on for essential advice on how to get started writing your very first novel!

1. Create A Clear Goal

Writing your first novel can seem daunting, but with the right tips, it’s easier than you think. Did you know that over 1 million books are published each year? With such a vast array of stories to choose from, how do you make sure yours stands out? Creating a clear goal before starting is crucial for any successful project, and writing your debut novel is no different.

It’s important to get specific about what kind of story you want to tell – this will help you stay focused as you develop plot points and characters. Defining why your book matters also help – having an answer ready when people ask ‘why should I read this?’ gives your work purpose beyond just being written words on paper. Knowing the message or impact you’re trying to create through your story can be especially helpful if there are times when motivation starts to wane. So take some time to consider the vision for your novel before diving into the nitty-gritty details! Moving forward, outlining your story will provide a roadmap for getting your story in shape.

2. Outline Your Story

Writing your first novel is a daunting task and it’s one that requires you to put in the work. But, if you plan ahead with clear goals and an outline of how things will pan out in your story, then writing your novel can be much smoother than trying to make sense of all those ideas as you go along!

So let’s break down what outlining your story looks like: Firstly, plot out the main events that will occur throughout the book – key moments or turning points that will shape how the story progresses. Secondly, decide on where each chapter should start and finish so there’s a logical flow from scene to scene. And finally, draw up character arcs for each of your characters; this will help develop their personalities more clearly as they move through different stages within the story.

Having these elements sorted before starting to write is essential for keeping focused on your end goal and ensuring everything fits together nicely too. It might seem tedious but taking the time to do this groundwork now means fewer headaches later when it comes time to actually get stuck into writing!

3. Develop Your Characters

Developing your characters is a crucial step in writing your first novel, as it will help you bring the story to life and add depth that engages readers. To give them more dimension, think of characterization like sculpting – chipping away at the surface until you uncover a meaningful shape beneath. Here are five tips to get started:

Firstly, don’t be afraid to make mistakes when creating your cast. It may take multiple drafts before each character feels right – even if this means completely starting over from scratch! Secondly, try adding small details or quirks that showcase their personalities without taking up too much space on the page. Thirdly, consider how they interact with each other and build relationships between them. Fourthly, allow some room for evolution so they can grow throughout the novel by going through highs and lows together. Finally, focus on creating real-life characters who are relatable despite any fantastical elements of your world setting.

Research plays an important role in making sure all these components come together in a believable way. So don’t overlook it; use evidence from existing works or study different cultures to create more vibrant stories than ever before!

4. Don’t Overlook Research

Research is a key element in writing any novel, particularly your first. It’s important to be aware of the setting you want for your story and to bring it to life with accurate details that draw from real-world references. A simple internet search can provide you with some great resources; however, don’t forget about libraries too! You may find even more information there than online or be able to access documents that aren’t available on the web.

Any good research should also include interviews and conversations with people who have knowledge related to your subject matter – this could add depth and color to the characters in your book as well as lend authenticity to its plot. Don’t overlook talking to experts either; they are often an invaluable asset when it comes time to check facts and will likely help inspire parts of your narrative along the way. With all these tools at hand, you’ll soon be ready to take what you’ve learned and create a unique world within pages of your own! Now let’s move on to creating a writing schedule that works best for you…

5. Create A Writing Schedule

Writing a novel can be intimidating. But, like anything else, if you break it down into manageable chunks and create a plan to stay on track, it’s much easier! To that end, creating a writing schedule is an important step in preparing to write your first novel.

Just like any other journey, planning ahead will help guide you along the way. Think of it as mapping out what should happen when – how many words do you want to produce each day? What are your deadlines for completing certain drafts or milestones? By setting realistic yet challenging goals for yourself and sticking to them, you’ll have a better chance at success.

For example, I decided to set aside two hours every morning before work to focus solely on my writing. This gave me enough time to get into the flow of things without feeling rushed or overwhelmed by trying to juggle multiple tasks at once. It also allowed me some flexibility during those times so I could adjust depending on my energy level or distractions that came up throughout the day. Now, eliminating distractions becomes the next step in this process…

6. Eliminate Distractions

Picture it: you, alone in your study on a Thursday night with only the dim light from your desk lamp to keep you company. You’re ready to create something beautiful and meaningful – your first novel. But before any of that is possible, there’s one major obstacle standing between you and success: distractions. Here are three ways to help eliminate them:
1) Turn off notifications for emails or other applications so that they won’t take away precious time from writing;
2) Choose a space where you won’t be disturbed by family members or roommates;
3) Clear out the clutter around you because this can often lead to more distractions.
To make sure all these steps work, try setting up an atmosphere conducive to creativity. Make it feel like a place of refuge where ideas flow freely and uninterruptedly. This could mean playing music in the background or having inspirational quotes displayed near your workspace. Having these strategies in place will help foster a productive environment when creating your masterpiece! Taking control of your focus is key if you want to write without interruption – just remember, every distraction eliminated brings you closer to achieving your goals.

7. Read As Much As You Write

Writing a novel is no easy task. It can be daunting and oftentimes difficult to stay motivated while doing so. That’s why it’s important to read as much as you write! Reading books similar in genre or style to your own writing can help give you ideas for structure, characters, plot points, and more. Furthermore, reading helps build up on the craft of writing itself – understanding sentence structures and how an author builds tension within their narrative are invaluable to any aspiring writer.

Reading doesn’t just have to be done when drafting your own novel either; take some time every day to pick up a book that has nothing to do with what you’re working on. This will foster creativity by exposing you to new authors and styles that may influence your work in subtle ways. Plus, who doesn’t love getting lost in a good story?

TIP: Make sure you keep track of which books inspire you most when creating your first novel. Keeping notes on different tactics used by other authors can prove useful down the line!

8. Take Breaks

Writing a novel is like taking a journey. It’s important to take breaks along the way and recharge your creative batteries, just as you would with any other form of travel. To put it in another sense: writing can be likened to running a marathon – you need to pace yourself or else risk burning out early on!
Taking regular breaks helps keep our ideas fresh and allows us to look at our work from different angles so that we can identify areas where improvements are needed. Breaks also give us time to reflect upon what has been written so far and think about how best to move forward. If we don’t take this valuable opportunity for rest and recuperation, then it could lead to writer’s block or worse; an unfinished story. So if you want your first novel to reach its full potential, make sure not to neglect those all-important mental refreshers!

9. Get Feedback

  • Getting feedback is an important step in the process of writing a novel. It’s an opportunity to take your work to the next level and make sure you’re on track with where you want it to go. Here are some tips for getting constructive feedback:
  • Reach out to experienced writers or editors who can give you honest, professional opinions.
  • Ask family members or friends whose opinions you trust to read through your work and provide feedback.
  • Join online communities dedicated specifically to providing advice on writing novels so that other authors can review each other’s drafts.

No matter which method you choose, be prepared for criticism – it’s part of the learning process! Feedback from others will help you identify areas that need improvement and enable you to refine certain parts of your story. As well as making changes based on external input, don’t forget about taking time for yourself throughout this process too – reading over sections regularly and observing how different techniques feel when applied in practice. This allows for greater self-reflection which is essential if you want to create something truly unique! With thoughtful consideration and valuable critiques from both inside and outside sources, there’s no limit to what stories we can tell. Now let’s move on to revising and editing our work!

10. Revise And Edit

Once you’ve done all the hard work and written your first novel, it’s time to revise and edit. This can be a daunting task – like walking through a dark cave – but trust me, it will make all the difference!

Take a step back from what you have written, and read it again with fresh eyes. Make sure that there are no gaps in the plot or inconsistencies in character development. Are your descriptions vivid enough? Have you used metaphors to bring your story alive? Editing is an essential part of any creative process, so don’t skimp on this important stage.

Now it’s time to get down to business: look for spelling mistakes, typos, grammar errors, punctuation blunders, etc. Take out anything which doesn’t add value to the narrative or disrupts its flow. Once all these nit-picking tasks are completed, go through one final read-through to ensure everything looks perfect before submitting your manuscript for publication!


Writing a novel can be an intimidating task, but with dedication and hard work, it is something that anyone can achieve. Knowing the steps to take will set you on the path to success.

The first step for any aspiring author should always be to create a clear goal. Outlining your story and developing characters are also integral parts of this process. Don’t forget about research either – it’s important to make sure everything in your book is accurate! Establishing a writing schedule helps keep you focused while making time to read as much as you write ensures that your writing remains fresh and interesting. Taking breaks every now and then will help break up the monotony and give you renewed energy when returning to your project. Feedback from friends or family can provide valuable insight; use their suggestions without losing sight of what makes your story unique. Lastly, don’t underestimate the importance of revising and editing–this is where all of your hard work really pays off like putting the icing on the cake!

Remember, everyone has different methods they prefer when embarking upon such a large undertaking. Experiment until you find what works best for you so that eventually ‘the pen becomes mightier than the sword’!

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