Did you know that over 30% of the UK population want to write a book but only get as far as the first few pages? Well, I’m here to help you write your fiction book.
A blank page is probably one of the most daunting parts of the writing process, so I’ve put together some quick tips on getting your book out of your head and into print so that 2022 is the year you write your fiction book.
Let’s make 2022 the year you become an author!
How to find inspiration
There are several ways you can help yourself feel inspired when writing your fiction novel.
- Get out — coffee shops provide a myriad of inspiration, from listening to dialogue to using strangers as part of your story.
- Listen to music — this can help you decide the mood of your story. How do you want your readers to feel?
- Create a mood board for your book — it can be about the characters you want, then feel, where the book will be set.
- Read — never underestimate the power of reading and how that can inspire your own story. Stephen King is famous for his advice to any budding writer, and that’s to read, read, read.
Next comes the planning. Don’t underestimate this step when you write your ficiton book as it will come in handy when you start to write. You don’t have to stick to the plan, but having a rough outline of what your book is about, the list of characters; their names, their back story and what they like and dislike can really help you get started.
Having a plan doesn’t mean you have to stick with it… you can go off track, but having an idea to start and a rough outline of where the book will go is smart.
Remember a good book has good characters, so you might find that spending your time developing these first will help as you develop your story.
You might like to only plot or plan a few chapters at a time… or even write the first draft to get your idea down and then go back through it carefully for plot holes or missing detail.
I would always suggest that new authors have a plan as this will get the ball rolling and start the process. So give it a go and see how it works for you.
This article from reedsy.com is excellent for a full masterclass in planning your novel.
This is probably the most important part of any good book. In fact, good dialogue can cover up a weak story.
If the dialogue is punchy and realistic it can then deepen the characters which will help drive the story.
However, a lot of first time authors make the same mistakes when it comes to dialogue. I’ve written two articles that go over these common mistakes. You can find both of them here. Common mistakes first time authors make part 1, and part 2.
One really good way of checking your dialogue when you write your fiction book is to read it out loud and listen to how it sounds.
Another good way of understanding dialogue is to record people talking. We take it for granted how we converse with people and when we get in front of a computer screen we add in lots of stuff we just wouldn’t say.
This is also where reading comes into play. Read the authors you like. Study how they write dialogue. Then use that as inspiration for yours.
Dialogue is a great channel for character development. You don’t have to tell us everything in the story. Let the dialogue do the work.
So let’s skip to the other most important part of your book. Your cover. This is the window that entices people to pick up your book.
Unless you’re a famous author and have a mob of superfans then your books cover is going to be really important in terms of grabbing people’s attention and getting them to pay for it.
Study the covers of books that you enjoy or have grabbed your attention. What is it about them that you like? Is it the picture? The lettering?
Think of what genre your book is and make sure you choose something that fits.
You wouldn’t have a romantic flowery picture to denote a horror story. Likewise with a cat picture for a sci-fi novel. (These examples might be a bit extreme, but you get my gist). My advice for getting a brilliant book cover? Hire a professional. There is no point in putting in all of the energy of writing, editing and getting the book to print if you then let it down with a crappy cover. And you can spot an amateur cover a mile away.
You’re a writer, not a book designer, so invest in one. Your future sales will thank you for it.
Get help & join the community
So, you know what to do:
- Cover ideas/hire a professional
But what if your writing doesn’t quite go to plan?
Perhaps you’re finding it hard to stick to your word goal. Or perhaps you’re finding it difficult to get started?
How about getting some accountability?
One of the best places you can do that is by joining writers groups – and I have just the one for you. The Reluctant Writers Facebook group has been set up for budding writers to get support, and most of all some much needed writing time.
Come over and join in. I’m going to be launching a totally free writing aid that will encourage you to do just that, making your dream of being an author in 2022 a real possibility*.
Come find us here -> The Reluctant Writers Group
*success is determined by your actual participation.