Obviously to start you have to get words on paper. Or to be more specific, skip the paper and go right to the computer. I started with a 3 subject notebook, highly unadvisable. But hey, I learned one thing about writing rather quickly! One down…999 x 10 things to go.
Then comes the complex. You have to plot, even if you are a fly by the seat of your pants kind of writer, a panster, your book needs to have a plot. You have to keep your characters consistent and have an overarching plot that isn’t resolved within the first few chapters. You need an antagonist, turning points, dark moments, and resolution. There are many more elements required, and if you want to learn them, may I suggest a starting point: NaNoWriMo.
If this is a foreign term to you, it stands for National Novel Writing Month and is an online community of writers striving for a 50,000 word goal by the end of the month. It must be a new project and requires daily contributions and planning. You can join the forums and find likeminded people to pester you if you are slacking off.
Sound like torture yet? For some it may be, but it can also be a great introduction to writing. Jeffe Kennedy had a nice post over at the Word Whores Blog and Anita Mumm posted one on her editing services blog Word Cafe. So for those of you who have thought about writing a novel, or know someone who wants to, send them over to NaNoWriMo and good luck!
Remember, November is more than Movember, it’s also NaNoWriMo!