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How to get started writing a novel

27 October 2017

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How to get started writing a novel

Don’t get the wrong impression about the title of this blog post - it applies to both new and seasoned authors alike.

Sure, if you’ve never written a book before, you won’t exactly be swimming in experience and intrinsic knowledge of how to get started, but even the most successful authors need to occasionally return to basics if the words aren’t flowing.

This post isn’t about beating writer’s block, either - quite the opposite. The chances are, you’re bursting to write, but you’re not entirely sure how to get started.

With that in mind, here’s our four favourite tips for starting the process of writing a novel:

1. Think about it as lots of mini projects

Even if you’ve got a solid story arc in mind and have already mapped out your characters, the thought of beginning the writing process can be rather daunting.

If that’s how you feel, it’s probably because you’re looking at the process as one great, big chunk of work.

Instead, break it down both in your head and on paper. Write in bite-sized chunks; start at the end, in the middle or jump all over the place. You don’t have to write in a linear fashion.

Remember, this is your first draft and it’ll likely go through many iterations. By breaking the big job into lots of smaller jobs, it’l become far more digestible.

2. Turn everything else off

This is something of a ‘productivity 101’ word of advice, but it really does make a difference when you’re starting the process of writing a novel.

Turn off email and the TV, and ask those closest to kindly give you a bit of time to get on with your work (they won’t mind - we promise).

The less distractions you have, the less chance you’ll have of inadvertently involving yourself in another activity and losing the will to write at all.

3. Put yourself in the right environment

For some writers, the hustle and bustle of their favourite coffee shop is the ideal place in which to start writing. For others, the solitary confinement of the back bedroom with the door closed is a location in which they feel most inspired.

Your environment plays a massive role during the writing process. Pick the place where you feel most creative and start the writing process there.

Mix it up, too; a change of scenery even halfway through a paragraph can make the world of difference.

4. Try free writing

This is the ‘getting started’ method that baffles lots of aspiring authors.

The idea is that you simply start writing.


Whatever comes out of your head and lands on the page.

Even if it is complete garbage or gobbledegook.

By doing this, you’ll put yourself in a writing mindset and, you never know, something absolutely awesome might come out of your random ramblings.

Wrapping up

Have we inspired you to change your environment, turn off distractions and just start writing?

Go for it - that book isn’t going to write itself, after all!

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