So, you have an idea for a novel. You have an outline. It's time to start letting your novel grow. It can be a daunting process, beginning a novel. It's going to be over 50 000 words of awesomeness. At least… that is what you hope it will be.
The first line. How should you start your novel? There are so many dos and don’ts out there that it seems every line you come up with hits a snag. Should I start with a prologue? A monologue? A setting? Action? My advice: Pick something and roll with it. The writing process is a long journey but only you can make it arduous. Your first line, likely even your first page, may change completely once you look back over it after finishing your draft. Your first page may end up becoming a scene you wrote later in the book. Yes, the first page needs to be able to hook your reader but right now just concentrate on writing. Let the words flow.
It is the same scenario for every chapter. Write the words down on that paper or screen and worry about the details later. Your first chapter should be about allowing the story to grow. This is when the plot comes together, characters are born, settings are created. Your first draft is probably not going to be a masterpiece. You may even cringe when reading it back. Worry about those mental checklists later when you write draft 2, 3, 4, until you have a complete manuscript (then worry about it some more).
My advice is: just write and enjoy the journey. Allow your characters to pursue adventure, fall in love, fight, cry, laugh, save the world. Be dazzled by the brilliance that is your imagination. Editing is the next step. Editing polishes those words into something amazing. But… that comes later.
Scarlett Van Dijk
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A Writer's Tale
Scarlett Van Dijk
Writer of young adult, fantasy series, the Sky Stone series, poetry and short stories.
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