How to Write a Novel by Michelle Spray

Step one: Story Writing. I’m starting a new book (books) … come along for the journey!

When looking up how to write a book or novel, everyone has different ideas on how to start. You will see that you need to know your characters, plot and outline, show don’t tell, and have an idea of how it will end … but how overwhelming is that?

Most of us don’t know who the best friend will be or how a story should end. If we’re writing fiction we will need to add some sort of obstacle that we may not know yet or we will need to change things or put a different spin on something to make it more interesting.

My suggestion? Just write! Write everything down. Don’t worry about character names right now. Don’t worry about problems: antagonists vs protagonists. Don’t worry about grammar. And if you’re stuck on something add blank lines, highlight, or add some sort of symbol so you can find it later.

Step one will be the brain dump. I recommend doing this on a laptop or use voice text to “notes” in your phone if you don’t have a dictation program. This way you can easily import everything into Word and you won’t have to retype everything. But if an inspirational journal is your favorite, I have a few on my Amazon author page that you will love.

Anyway, write a general idea about a certain moment. Remember some memories about that moment and list them in bullet points or “tell” for now. Don’t worry about describing the mood of the wispy clouds or including details about the landscape of the meadow just south of the majestic cascades. It’s ok to just say things like “cloudy” or “hillside” or “city” or “the time we went to the park” at this stage.

Don’t worry about dialog and grammar and POV (point of view) … that will all come in time. Get lost in your memories of the event. You can change everything later: names, truths, who said what, who didn’t say what … as well as determine if it’s fiction or something else.

You can go back and worry about punctuation later. Does the period go inside or outside of the quotation marks? It doesn’t matter now. Just start writing!

Finally, it is helpful to write as if no one will read it and no one WILL read this version so it doesn’t matter. Write it just to get it out of your head.

Let’s do this thing together and let me know how you’re doing! I’d love to hear from you!