Tips on Finishing that Novel

For a long time, whenever I started a first draft, I would always get stuck on the third chapter and then ditch. Writing your first novel without calling quits is hard. There are times when you just hate the story and want to rip it up and start from scratch. (Or maybe that’s just me.)

I ended up learning the hard way with many incomplete novels scarred on my hard drive. So, here are some basic tips:

1# Make sure you have a real plot. This may seem like a no-brainer. However, many of my story ideas were built from characters and moments that I wanted to see without having any purpose for the story at all. You need a full plot, not parts of it.

2# Make sure you have an ending. Unless you want a “lost” ending, plot out your ending. The whole story has to be slowly building up to the end. You don’t want your ending to feel out of place or forced. Also, unless you’re planning a series, you don’t want to leave it open either. Before you even write a word, you should know how everything is going to end.

3# Don’t fret over the little details. I believe in writing the skeleton of the story first, then going back to add more flesh and details. This way I have the entire story down. I have fewer worries with writers block because I’m only writing what’s important for the plot.

4# Write while you still like it. People change and your perception of your story will change. Those few week where the story is like a blazing flame in your mind, hungry to be scribbled out on paper. Take advantage because this will be the easiest time to write your story. Once the flame is out, the writing process will begin to feel like labor again.

Remember these are just things that helped me when I wrote my story. Every person is different and has their own way of handling things. An idea to consider is write a few short stories for practice. Find out what techinques works best for you to get down that story.

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