Fictional writing is a whole genre of literature that is popular among people. It includes novels, short stories and plays etc. Novel writing emerged as a genre in 18th century and since then it has established itself as the most prominent kind of literary arts. When we read a novel like LORD OF THE RINGS by Tolkien or A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE by George R.R. Martin or any other fictional story, we wonder how the writers were able to create such amazing characters with perfection. Whether its the hobbit world of the Middle Earth or the dread of white walkers, these authors have created their own worlds out of their imaginations. After reading these novels (or watching the movies/series) we appreciate the mesmerizing stories and unique characters. Many people think they cannot write a story like this and believe these writers to be born with the talent. Literature might be a form of art but writing fortunately is a skill. And any skill can be learned by using certain techniques and methods.

If we have a look at the careers of aforementioned novelists, these masterpieces were not the first things they wrote. They had been writing for a long time and spent years working hard to get to the positions they achieved. George R.R. Martin, the writer of ‘a song of ice and fire’ had been a sci-fi writer since decades.

You write journals, personal diaries, articles for magazines and blogs on internet, but somehow feel that you are weak as a fiction writer. You have a good writing skill and creative ideas but somehow struggle to transform them in a long story. You think you are a little weak on the imaginative side and this is why its impossible for you to write a novel. Actually, there are many techniques that can help you develop yourself as a fiction writer and a good novelist. What kind of writing leads you to your first novel is the question we are going to address in the following lines.

Reading leads to writing:

A writer once said, “many people are writing, however, they should be reading.” Reading is the essence of writing. In order to write a good novel, you must read good novels first. A human being learns from experiences and reading fiction gives you an experience to use when you begin to write a novel. When you read novels, written by the masters of the art, you unintentionally learn to imitate their style, diction and structure of sentences. Don’t bother to learn how they treat their characters and develop the plot. Read classics and think how the novel develops and keeps the reader interested in the story. The time is gone when reading wasn’t necessary to write. We have the greats of literature who didn’t read much or didn’t have formal education like Shakespeare, Blake, Jane Austen and Mark Twain. But the times are different now. In modern times, reading is the essence of great writing. As Robert Louis Stevenson says,

“I kept always two books in my pocket, one to read, one to write in.”

Fiction and non-fiction writers:

Novel is a complete genre of literature and it has many more sub genres as well. We have historical novels, political novels, psychological novels and comic novels, only to name a few. So it doesn’t matter what kind of writing you are interested in. you can base your story on anything. Earnest Hemingway was a journalist before writing his worldwide appreciated novels like the old man and the sea and to have and have not. Remember he is a Nobel-prize winner novelist. J.R.R. Tolkien was a writer for the Oxford English Dictionary before producing the most amazing novels of his life. So don’t reduce yourself by thinking that you are a journalist or a translator and your genre is different from fiction. Believe me, every kind of writing can lead you to novel writing.

The most difficult part for a writer is not publishing or editing, it’s the writing itself. Novel writing can be a long process. It takes years to produce a novel. You might need to spend hours in writing daily. It’s an exhausting process that can lead you to frustration. In order to cope this frustration, you need to write on daily basis before beginning to write a novel. Even ten minutes a day can do the job if you cannot manage more. Write on diverse topics and get your stuff published in magazines, newspapers or internet. Write your story with patience and get it edited and proofread by some Manuscript Editing Services provider. There are a lot of them available online as well.

A road map to work on:

Before you actually sit and start writing the first chapter of your novel, you must have a sound plan. A solid plot is necessary to write an effective novel. Create a story, including the starting point, climax and the result. This will provide you a guideline to move along. Its not necessary that you write your whole novel in a proper order. A lot of people go random in their writings but as a first timer, its helpful if you keep things organized. Your plot assists you develop your manuscript without any confusion.

Genre of the novel:

You must be clear in head what you are going to write. This is important because your genre determines the settings (where the events of the story are happening), dialogues and the nature of characters you are going to create. Everything needs to be aligned and interrelated. A novel set in 200 BCE. in a Roman town demands different kind of dealing than a novel set in modern times.

Confidence:

There are people in the world to whom writing seems natural. They are fluent and appealing every time they write something. When you begin your first novel, you might get annoyed in the beginning. Because there are a lot of ideas within yourself that you can’t transform into language. Don’t lose hope, writing a long novel isn’t an easy job. People who have written dozens of novel go through bad days too. Stay calm and wait for the time when you feel relaxed enough to write. Bad patches come and go, what matters is that you don’t lose your confidence.

Your own interest:

Are you interested in a few ideas more than others? Are you a political enthusiast or a feminist? Do you love reading psychology or science fiction? Of course you have an interest. The main theme of your first novel should be something you are interested in yourself. If you are a Tolkien fan, you might go for fantasy or the good-and-evil fight stuff. Star trek fans might go for science fiction and those who read classics may choose historical themes. Writing becomes natural to you when you are about something that you think about often. Because you have tons of information and experience on the subject that you have acquired during your whole life.

Still think writing your first novel is difficult? I hope not. So go and grab your notebook to begin working on your first ever project of fiction. Ask yourself what you want. It’s the beginning that is the hardest of all. Once you start it, things start working in mysterious ways.