Important Things To Consider When Writing A Novel &Raquo; Screenshot2023 09 206.17.10Am

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Many of us dream of one day writing a novel. However, writing a successful novel can be harder than many of us realize. Not only does it take time and effort to write, but you need to make sure that it attracts and grips readers. Below are just some of the considerations that are important to make before you start writing a novel to increase your chance of it being a success.

Have I got a great story?

The most important aspect of any novel is the story itself. It’s important that you spend time planning out your story in detail beforehand. You want your story to be unique and unpredictable. It also needs to have a great pace – don’t put all the most exciting parts at the beginning or the end. It could also be important to iron out any plot holes. Once you’ve planned out your story, spend time questioning the decisions of every character and every event that happens to make sure that they make sense. 

Is it long enough for a novel?

For a story to be classed as a novel, it needs to be over 40,000 words. Anything less than 40,000 words is a novella. Some publishers only publish novels, but there are many publishers who do publish novellas (and self-publishing is always a route too). In fact, novellas are quite popular on ebook stores because of their short length (just be wary that the likes of Amazon do have a minimum 2,500-word policy). All in all, you don’t have to feel the need to pad out your story if you think it can be told in fewer words. 

How can I make my characters interesting?

Characters need to have depth to make them interesting. Beyond their physical appearance, you need to consider their personality traits – including their strengths and weaknesses. You should also consider backstories and goals for every key character. It is also common for great characters to go through some kind of change of attitude or beliefs throughout the story. This is known as a character arc. However, an arc is not always necessary – static characters can be just as compelling providing that they are complex and unique. 

Which point of view should I use?

Most novels are written from a third-person point of view. This allows you to delve into the perspectives of multiple characters and adopt a more neutral standpoint. A first point of view has to be told from the limited perspective of a single character. This can be a fun chance to delve into their thoughts more deeply and adapt their tone of voice, but it can be more challenging as a result. A third-person limited point of view is a compromise between the two – the story revolves around the perspective of one character, but you have the freedom to tell it in your own tone of voice and break away from their perspective if necessary. The second-person point of view is much less common and typically reserved only for gamebooks. 

How will I stay motivated to write?

Many people never finish a novel because they either a) get writer’s block, b) keep doubting themselves, or c) prioritize other life commitments and have no time to write. It’s important that you schedule time each week to write. This doesn’t have to be every day, but ideally, it should be multiple times per week at times when you feel more creative. Focusing on creating a finished rough draft that you can then tweak after rather than trying to perfect each chapter. Meanwhile, surround yourself with inspiration (including other books and new experiences) to help you beat writer’s block.

How will I publish my book?

You can either approach a publishing company to publish your book for you, or you can self-publish your book. Self-publishing is cheaper and you can enjoy a greater share of the revenue, however, it’s also more work as you have to fully promote the book yourself. This post on how to publish a book explains more. 

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Michael Levitt Chief Burnout Officer

Michael D. Levitt is the founder & Chief Burnout Officer of The Breakfast Leadership Network, a San Diego and Toronto-based burnout consulting firm. He is a Keynote speaker on The Great Resignation, Quiet Quitting and Burnout. He is the host of the Breakfast Leadership show, a Certified NLP and CBT Therapist, a Fortune 500 consultant, and author of his latest book BURNOUT PROOF.