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Tips to Get You Writing that important first Novel

Updated on October 28, 2014

Is it Impossible?

How to Write your First Novel

It seems like an impossible task, the writing of a book; especially when you have never tried it. Questions arise: Is my story worth telling? Can I write well enough? How will I get it published? In 1976, I had some random thoughts and wrote it all down. I felt passionately about a few things and had no plans to write a book. I forgot about it and a few months later found the neatly typed pages while I was cleaning out a drawer in my office. It occurred to me that the random thoughts could be the basis for a motivational book and it wasn’t that long until “Born to Be Rich” was written. I was lucky. It was an easy book to write. Nonfiction is a good place to start a writing career, it is less demanding.


Novels are not that easy to write!

When I retired, I found time on my hands and felt I could incorporate some thoughts into a novel and began, “Seeds from Heaven.” It was not very good, but I studied books on how to write a novel and then took notes from novels that I enjoyed. I went on to write better novels and eventually reworked “Seeds” and after five years or so, the “Seeds from Heaven” was a polished novel. In retrospect, it was a large undertaking, beyond my expertise with that first draft.

Suggestions for getting your career underway:

If I were to offer suggestions to novice writers, it would be to read books you enjoy and take notes. Soon you will discover what makes good writing and with any luck will incorporate what you have learned into your writing.

A novel is much more intense than stringing a series of articles together. Plan to write an outline and when that looks good, you can begin. I see writers at Wattpad so often wondering what is going to happen in the next chapter—if they had an outline that would never occur.

Most of us don’t want to go so far as to take a creative writing course, however I would bet that would save a lot of trial and error as a good teacher would guide you and steer you into writing a bit better.

Regardless of how you may tackle this “writing thing” underneath it all is your creative talent begging to get it all out into the world where others will read it. A good place to start is to write articles at HUB and then go from there.

For me, I read a shelf of “How to be a Great Writer” books from the library and a book on “Voice” really helped me understand how to go about it. I’ll have a tiny article on this written shortly and you will see how understanding “Voice” can make the difference.

Another Method: Work with another Writer:

That is not going to be an easy task. Where in the world would you find an experienced writer who would take you under his wing? There are plenty of writers out there who would do it for a hefty upfront fee. There are excellent writers at HUBS and if any have written a book or two, you might get them interested in helping you out. Simply finding a good writer (who hasn’t written a book) is probably not going to work as these are Hubbers that simply write articles and not much else. You might post in your profile that you want some help and maybe someone will come along and make an offer to help out. One thing is certain; you will need a great story in order to get anyone interested. You could spread the word on your Facebook, Twitter and any social network.


There are many writers at Wattpad who have works in progress. Many are always wondering what their next book will be and you might be the answer. Be sure to read their books in order to be sure they are good writers as there are quite a few amateurs residing there who are still learning their craft.


My favorite writing associate, Amara wrote a single HUB and I was so deeply touched that we did a bit of corresponding and we ended up writing, “Eternal Defilement” her life story up to the age of seventeen. We included our emails as we wrote the book together in the back section. There were many difficult moments in producing the manuscript and the reader can see what a monumental task it was for Amara.

Begin with what you know

You might tackle an easier writing project before attempting a novel. Offer advice on what you have experienced. Carol Ward, a HUBBER wrote a short book "How to Succeed and Survive a Divorce" and discussed what she learned after going through a divorce. You might offer business advice, gardening tips, or virtually anything that comes to mind. After that experience, you might be ready to tackle that first novel.

Five years in the making : It is now a Rollercoaster Ride Christian Reading Experience

Books at Amazon Eternal Defilement: A Story of Betrayal, Abuse, and Destruction

Eternal defilement is offered in paperback print $19.95, Large print Is listed here $32.95 and the very popular eBook is only $6.95.


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    • Reynold Jay profile imageAUTHOR

      Reynold Jay 

      5 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      Hi Rebec, It worked for me. Writing the notes forces you to learn to use the language that you thought was well written. You begin by copying what impresses you then you can build from there. Very often when I need a description, etc, I copy the one I like best and paste it to the bottom of the page. Then I do my best to create something similar of my own. The result is often quite extra ordinary that I could not do if I did not use this system. See the following and you will get the idea how well it can work for you. This appears in Tammy and the Declaration of Independence.

      We were ushered onto the balcony that overlooked Capira and sat under scarlet parasols that shaded us from the afternoon Sun. It was a cool, clear afternoon, with a shimmering blue sky and a slight breeze drifted in from the north. Away to the east a distant range of snow-capped mountaintops undulated and swelled like a line of never-ending sandcastles.

      We were served mint-tea and gobble berry pastries by servants that I imagined were Kakuna citizens from their shorter stature; however I was not certain.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      You have listed several really good ideas to get help with writing a novel. I especially like your tip to read books you like and take notes. Thanks!

    • Reynold Jay profile imageAUTHOR

      Reynold Jay 

      5 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      Hi Fiona, LVD and Flourish. Akkkk! I see I have missed a response to two of you for quite sometime. I've been busy! That Hemmingway fellow sounds smart to me--was he a writer? Kidding!!!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      5 years ago from USA

      You offer great pointers. Many of us have books in us that must come out at some point. Hemingway had some excellent advice: “Write hard and clear about what hurts. ”

    • lydkendi profile image


      6 years ago from NAIROBI

      Useful tip Rey..thank you for the encouragement i believe in myself and one day will write a novel. Thank you again for great piece of advice.

    • Fiona Jean Mckay profile image


      7 years ago from South Africa

      Well, thanks for the advice - my huge problem is that I can never decide how to start off - I sit and stare at the page and that's about as far as it gets. I think the idea of doing a creative writing course is a good idea - do you have any recommendations for courses to take?

    • Reynold Jay profile imageAUTHOR

      Reynold Jay 

      8 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      Hi Christopher! Write anytime about your book and how it is selling etc. Thanks for the comment.

    • christopheranton profile image

      Christopher Antony Meade 

      8 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

      Great advice there Reynold. We could all benefit from taking it. Happy New Year.

    • Reynold Jay profile imageAUTHOR

      Reynold Jay 

      8 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      Thanks Tebo. I hope all is well for you in New Zealand today.

    • tebo profile image


      8 years ago from New Zealand

      Writing a book is a huge undertaking I would imagine. Great ideas for getting started. Voted up and useful.

    • Reynold Jay profile imageAUTHOR

      Reynold Jay 

      8 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      Hi Amara, We have written a wonderful book and we are just beginning the sales part of it. IT will be only a matter of time until you get the recognition that is so well deserved. --And Prektjr.dc thanks for taking the time from all of your great writing to stop by. It is much apreciated by Amara and me.

    • prektjr.dc profile image

      Debbie Carey 

      8 years ago from Riverton, KS, USA

      Wonderful information, my friend, as usual! Thanks for sharing these tidbits! Voted up and interesting! Have a great day!

    • Amara783 profile image


      8 years ago

      You are the reason Eternal Defilement is a book. I love writing but never ever thought I would co-author a book. I miss writing but my head can be never find it's place. Thank you for making a dream come true.


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