10 Things Aspiring Novelists Should Know

10 Things Aspiring Novelists Should Know

Writers Write creates resources for writers. This post includes 10 things aspiring novelists should know before they start writing a book.

Writing a novel will take up a large part of your life. If you are serious about doing it, you will want to waste as little time as possible.

Before you begin writing your novel, here are 10 things you may want to consider.

10 Things Aspiring Novelists Should Know

  1. Your novel is not a personal journal. Consider the reader. Read: The Author’s Promise
  2. Writing is a business. You enter into an agreement with a reader. You agree to entertain in exchange for their money. You agree to inform them for their time.
  3. Readers don’t like charmless heroes. Just because your protagonist happens to be an anti-hero does not mean you are free to make him or her 100% unlikable.
  4. Only experienced novelists who have successfully completed two published books should attempt to use an anti-hero as a protagonist.
  5. Antagonists should be people, not things. Read: Why A Disease Cannot Be An Antagonist
  6. If you aren’t willing to listen to advice, if you aren’t able to learn from your mistakes, and if you aren’t prepared to let go of stories nobody wants to read, you will probably not succeed.
  7. You have to read a lot to be able to write.
  8. Using examples of famous authors who were published more than 30 years ago to justify long passages of description in your boring manuscript is not a good idea. Publishing has changed. Readers have changed. Read: Word Counts – How Long Should Your Novel Be?
  9. Self-publishing does not mean you don’t need to pay somebody to proofread and edit your book. Readers are insulted when they find mistakes in books. It’s like serving guests dinner on dirty plates.
  10. Always delete the first three chapters of the first draft of your first three novels. It will always be filled with backstory you don’t need.

Top Tip: If you want to learn how to write a book, sign up for our online course.

by Amanda Patterson
© Amanda Patterson

Are you looking for more inspiration? Read these posts:

  1. The 5 Qualities Published Authors Share
  2. The Writing Secrets of 10 Authors
  3. 10 Writers On The Inspiration Myth
Posted on: 18th June 2013