Top Writing Tips to Get Your First Novel Published
So you think you have a really cool idea for your first novel but don’t know where to begin with the writing?
Ok, here’s a question. Is your novel going to be a mainstream novel or a category novel? What’s a category novel, well it’s one that fits into in a category such as romance, science fiction, historical, crime saga, suspense, you get the idea.
A mainstream novel has a unique style and theme. These are books that cannot be put into any category. They are difficult to write, and even more difficult to sell. They are the type of novel we call literary – the type that wins the Booker prize.
Before you start your writing journey, do read lots of books including novels that have been published recently in your chosen area. Choose the publishing houses that are printing work like yours. You can send for guidelines and their current catalogue. The length of the book will depend on the category. If you want to write light romances, you’ll find these vary from 50,000 to about 55,000 words. Historical romances and sagas are often 100,000 words or more.]]>
Have an idea of the sort of reader who will purchase your novel. Make sure that each chapter in your book has a hook. So this is a paragraph that raises a question in a reader’s mind, and one that can be answered only by reading further.
Your novel must have a character with a problem, and that difficulty should be presented from the start. If it helps, write out your story on a sheet of paper on on a spreadsheet. If this is your first bookit is best to use a background that is familiar to you.
Don’t rush into your writing. It is essential that you write regularly or you are in danger of losing the thread of your novel. Plot comes from characters, but remember that plot and character must fit perfectly together.
Don’t forget, every incident in your plot – like every word in the narrative, should be there for a purpose.
A novel should start with a problem at the beginning of your story. Make sure your plot has that ’X'factor – make it different. Somehow make the publisher want to buy it! Most of all enjoy writing and following these tips.
John (Tim) Mitchell trained as a journalist at the University For the Creative Arts (Farnham) after spending two years at the Arts Institute at Bournemouth specialising in audio-visual production.
After a brief spell freelancing in radio and print journalism, Tim went onto work for the UK Central Government’s Defra and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) in marketing/communications before working for RedRok Media