If you have decided that the time has come for you to put pen to paper on your very first novel then it is important that you attack this in the right way. Writing a novel is something that is going to absorb great amount of your time until its completion and you should expect to be fully committed to this literary endeavor. Not everyone can be a great novelist like Orlando Figes, Jayne Austen or Leon Tolstoy, it is something that you will have to practice and work on as you would do with any other kind of craft. If then you are setting out for the first time with a blank page, here are some things that you need to be thinking about before you get going.
The first step is to consider the premise of your story, where does it start? In what location? What are the themes that you wish to explore? How many characters will you have? These are just some of the questions that you should be asking yourself before writing a single word. The premise is your safe place, this is what you will always come back to when writing the story and this acts as the backbone of you entire book.
It is often said that the characters drive the story, not the other way around and with this in mind you should spend a great amount of time thinking about characters and their development. You should spend many hours sitting down and exploring each character, you should be looking at who they are, what their motivation are, how they will change throughout the story and how they arrived in the story in the first place. The richer your character’s personality and story is, the better the novel will be.
When it comes to writing the novel you ought to think about who is telling the story. Are you the person telling the story in a narrative style from the outside looking in? Will you be involved in the story and tell it from a first person perspective? Or will you decide to tell the story as though you were someone else? The choice is entirely up to you but you need to think about this before starting so that you can focus on what kind of voice you are planning to use.
It may appear that writers are all-knowing men and women but this simply isn’t the case and there is a great deal of research that goes into writing a book. In order to write about places, events and characters, it helps if you have some experience of this. Whilst writing is about letting your creative juices flow, you must have some facts to back up your claims and so personal experience so that you can become even more creative. Think about the themes and topics within your book and spend time researching them before you write a single word.