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CelticLady

Embarking on writing my first novel. Advice, please? :)

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Hi everyone, 

 

I know you haven't seen me in a while, but I would like some advice because I am trying to plan out my novel. I have my basic plot, though I have to work out the ending a bit. I have almost all of my characters. I do need to do some research. But, I am wondering, should I just start to write? I am not an organized person to begin with. And I like to just write and get into the flow of things.  I am not sure what else I might have to do. Thank you.

 

 

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One of the threads here recently suggested that you have the ending worked out, because that gives you a target. If you change the ending later on, you may have to go back and rewrite a whole bunch of stuff.

 

Otherwise, put your fingers on the keyboard and let them move.

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Write and write and write.  You can fix it afterward.  It's always easier to get it fixed than to first put it on paper (or computer screen).

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Posted (edited)

Well, have you figured out whether you're a pantser or a plotter? Many creative writing courses advise beginners to figure out what works best for their writing process: to write a detailed outline or to "fly by the seat of their pants".

 

Personally, I'm more of a plotter. I have found out that writing without an outline almost always leaves me with unfinished works.

Edited by Lucian Hodoboc

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Just start writing, as long as you are enjoying it. Obviously, you have some reason you want to write this novel...as long as you have your main purpose for writing in mind, the details will iron themselves out as you go.

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17 hours ago, CelticLady said:

But, I am wondering, should I just start to write?


I'd suggest watching these five short free videos about the Story Grid. You'll learn how to do a Foolscap one-sheet overview, what genre is and how that informs your work, and so forth. I would have completed my debut novel much sooner if these resources were available four years ago when I wrote the first 55k words for NaNoWriMo.
 

 

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Lucian and Carolina have some great advice. You’ll drive yourself crazy trying to plot if you’re a pantser (trust me I’ve tried), and vice versa. But knowing where you want to end up and some high points along the way can keep you headed in the right direction. 

 

 

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And post some in the Critique section so we can enjoy the development of your story!  We like to walk toward the final page together.

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21 minutes ago, Nicola said:

And post some in the Critique section so we can enjoy the development of your story!

Yes!

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Thank you for your advice and suggestions everyone! I appreciate it. My novel is going to be a mythical tale very loosely based on a short story I already wrote, a long time ago.  Oh, I am still a new member. I need some comments before I can post in that section. But, maybe I can find something good to post in the reading room. I just posted a couple of paragraphs there awhile ago.

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29 minutes ago, CelticLady said:

I need some comments before I can post in that section.

You just need two more comments!

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It's just ten comments.  It doesn't matter what forum they're in.  Then you can post something in the critique section.  But make sure you give at least two other people critiques for every piece you put up.  :)

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Posted (edited)

Everyone here's given great advice. What I did with the story I'm about to finish is, since I'm kind of between a pantser and a plotter, figure out the world and the characters first, get a grip on the general story, have a general ending in mind, and try to write a little every day, especially on the weekends when I have the most time. I fit bouts of research in every so often, too, for however long it took. Please don't think I'm bragging, but since this story is fairly short, it took me around five-and-a-half months to write about one hundred and forty-three pages. I also went back and did some heavy editing as I went, which I don't particularly recommend, unless that's your style, since it can really slow you down.

Edited by CM24
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Yes indeed,  everyone has been great on here!  I have a premise and moat of the characters. The world is post- Christian Medieval Ireland and Scotland is in there as well   I have the ending.    No,  I don't think you are bragging.  I did get a program that will help me stay organized,  since I am horrible at that. 

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Nothing too great lol.  I tried to download bibisco,  buy my computer didn't want to download ot though I am pretty sure I was following the right steps.  So I am  using the free trial of The Novel Factory. 

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I cannot access the rules to the Critique and Feedback Forum. Are there any other rules other than responding to two other pieces that members have written?

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One tool that I find helpful for keeping track of characters and scenes, and for organizing a whole lot of stuff that is otherwise almost impossible for me to remember, is Scrivener. 

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1 hour ago, loriw27 said:

One tool that I find helpful for keeping track of characters and scenes, and for organizing a whole lot of stuff that is otherwise almost impossible for me to remember, is Scrivener.


Agreed. Whenever I begin a new character I jump down to the Characters folder and jot down a few things and maybe an image if I have an idea of what the character looks like in my head.

image.png.32ea022480f1380a74396f5763d9174b.png

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