Every writer writes a book differently, the ways to go about the writing process varies from person to person and pen to pen. There is not a one size fit all way of finishing an entire manuscript, however, there are technical tools and some questions that can be answered.
1.) How do you start a novel?
Start a novel by first writing a great short story no more than 1,000 words and then extending some of the main ideas into the longer draft. A novel is nothing more than an extended short story. If you can begin by telling your story in one sentence using the formula: “This story is about _ _ _” then you are well on your way to beginning a novel.
2.) Are there word counts to a novel? Does my novel have to be a certain length?
Every novel is different. I have stumbled across terms from novel, to novella, and even novellete, but what matters most is the quality over the quantity. A best seller doesn’t mean that it has to be 100,000 words. It can simply be 20,000 and have just as much depth. It’s not about the amount you write, rather how you write.
3.) What can I use to write my novel?
Every writer has different tools up their sleeve to help get the job done, some prefer Microsoft Word over Pages, while others like to be fancy and buy Scrivener in order to help with the detailing of plot as well as chapter organization, that is subjective to what you feel comfortable with.
4.) Once I’ve written my novel, do I need to find an editor?
Yes, you do need an editor but you don’t have to find one. You can begin with being your editor simply by editing your words at home and then have friends or a neighbor take a look at it. I wouldn’t suggest investing into an editor until your novel is ready to be placed on the shelves of various book stores.
5.) How do I self publish?
There are many different websites that will allow you to print paperbacks and gain copyrights, however, the one I think is useful for every self-publishing writer would be Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. It will allow you to self-publish online free of charge as well as edit your work so that you can be ready for paperback. Amazon has great advertising plans as well as places to network with other writers online.
6.) When I self publish should I find an agent?
If you decide that an agent is important to your development as being a professional writer then maybe self publishing isn’t for you. Agents don’t want work that have already been released to the world, they want what’s new and untouched by many. So, keep your work private and find the agent that is best for you.
7.) Where can I locate an agent?
Social media is a platform that is crucial to being a successful writer, it is where you can find an agent, gain beta readers, as well as be able to network with various publishing houses for internships. Twitter is where alot of agents spend their time looking for great work, reach out to the one who fits your genre and follow their guidelines on how to send a query letter.