Writing is hard work and there is no guarantee of success. But don’t be put off. Enjoy it. Grow as a writer. Learn things you had never before considered. Reach new people with your writing. Explore unrealized possibilities. Novel writing allows the author to spend a lot of time in a fictional world, apart from the worldly problems. Books are booming, with hundreds of thousands published worldwide, every year, in various forms. And it seems that everyone really does have a novel inside them for the competition is rife.

But…dusty drafts in the bottom drawer never get anyone anywhere. It is understandable that you are afraid of the unknown. Jump right in and give your character those fears and imagine the type of character you will create.

It is not all that hard if you think logically. Novels are like a mathematical formula for human behavior. The simple formula is to take Character X. Put him or her in Situation Y. Then depending on how the character acts, you come up with Result Z.

Let’s begin:

1. Write the story you would most want to read. Think about the books you love. If it is a mystery, then don’t try to write a historical romance or science fiction.
2. Begin with one character. Make him/her flawed yet believable.
3. Give that character a compelling problem. Invent a challenge, torment him/her and propel him/her forward. Add conflict – whether external or internal and make it a good one.
4. Make things happen. The greatest characters in the world have to be challenged, filled with issues.
5. Make it believable. If your story is not believable you will lose your reader’s attention.
6. Stick with it. Even if you’re tempted to give up – don’t – you must finish the story. Then edit and revise.
7. Ignore the rules. Everyone’s got advice and theories; people want to pigeonhole you, put you in a genre with its own rules and conventions. Be true to your own writing.

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“Linda has published sixteen books. She blogs about the publishing world, posts useful tips on the challenges a writer faces, including marketing and promoting your work, how to build your online platform, how to get reviews and how to self-publish. She has mentored many authors and edited their work.” 

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