Almost every writer is well aware of the level of effort and struggle that goes into the writing process. A writer has to struggle through a mix of self-doubt, resistance to writing, and added stress, which makes it difficult for him/her to progress and navigate through the process of writing a book or a novel.
The significance of routine and planned action often goes unappreciated by many writers. It is the formulation of a foolproof strategy and its immaculate execution on a consistent basis that separates great writers from the rest of the pack.
On that note, given below are some strategies that would help you write a novel that will engage the readers thoroughly, in the most effective and efficient manner possible.
1. Have an Outline
A firm outline works as a map and provides you with a firm direction in which you that will keep your audience engaged. It enables you to roughly set the number of chapters you want in your novel or the number of words you plan on writing in each chapter.
Moreover, the steps to write a book involve many hurdles in the way, but a well-structured outline removes a lot of these hurdles and improves your productivity during the writing process. An added bonus is the incentive to write every day.
A well-planned outline of your novel lays down the structure or framework of your story and breaks the whole project into a number of small achievable tasks. This will help you to complete your project by accomplishing one task at a time, build self-confidence, and track your progress at any time during the writing stage.
So by structuring your story, you will not have to stop and think about what to do next, thereby preventing any potential interruption in your writing flow.
2. Set a Daily Word Count
Writing a book or a novel will require a considerable amount of time, determination, disciplined behavior, and a daily routine. A daily routine refers to the ever-elusive commitment to writing a fixed number of words on a regular basis.
Setting a daily word count and writing each day to achieve it will relieve you from the stress and pressure of the feeling associated with a shortage of time.
For instance, if you have set a target of writing five hundred each day, you have to hit it no matter how much time it takes. On some days, it might take you fifty minutes when you are in the zone, but on some days, it might take you several hours or maybe an entire day to finish it.
Writing around and over 100,000 words in totality takes time, discipline, and some semblance of an organized routine. Each writer approaches this process in their own way, but the standard routine should involve a commitment to a daily word count rather than a time block. Writing to a word count will rid you of the pressure of feeling constantly short on time.
3. Identifying and Overcoming Resistance
Sometimes, you might end up wasting a lot of your time resisting the writing process by diverting your mind towards daily chores and other general-purpose activities such as cleaning, cooking, and eating. Such inclinations tend to keep you distracted from your main purpose and act as somewhat valid excuses for not being able to jot down words.
These activities are just a means of resistance that you must remain cautious of during the stretches when you don’t feel like writing.
A great prevention technique that can come in handy is to make a list of all your resistance activities. If you indulge in any of them in the future, you must acknowledge it, stop and jump back to work.
Overcoming resistance is vital for building a routine. Furthermore, following a routine will get you through the days of despair in the entire process of writing a novel.
4. Do Not Edit While Writing
One of the biggest hurdles that affect the writing process when words are flowing out of you onto the pages effortlessly is the natural human tendency to censor the first draft.
Making rigorous edits during the process of putting down your first thoughts is meant to severely hinder your creative juices.
Great writers avoid making this mistake, and so should you. A good strategy is to first write down the content in the form of a rough draft. During this stage, you must let go of the temptation to correct its quality and instead prioritize the number of words.
Remember that the goal here is not to produce a completely flawless manuscript but to finish the daily goal set of writing a draft regardless of its quality.
5. Consider Stakes and Conflict Elements
What makes a story interesting to the readers are the elements of stakes and conflicts incorporated in it. Conflicts are nothing but the lack of compatibility between the objectives of different characters in the story.
It creates an atmosphere of strange interest and suspense by adding to the preexisting doubts about the final outcome.
Having some clarity about the conflicts in your story is imperative as it will help the readers in having a better understanding of the driving force behind the main character and his/her motivation. The setting of sequences and events along, with other characters, affect your main character’s aspirations.
Whereas stakes are responsible for showing the reader what will follow if the character doesn’t get what he/she desires after many a conflict. Raising stakes will compel the character to take abnormal actions that might not concur with the character’s personality, and this may add an element of surprise for the readers.
There is no perfect method or secret sauce for writing the most engaging novel. All there exists is a combination of behavioral tactics that can be followed religiously.
The above strategies will assist you in handling your writing work and the obstacles associated with it. And irrespective of the strategy you use, you have to find a method that works for you and which fits your routine.
Lastly, if you intend to write an engaging novel from scratch, build a deeper understanding of your own self, your inherent abilities, and the weaknesses that you need to work on.
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