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#TheWriteWay Post 13 - Don't Start a Novel Without Knowing These Things First

Hi all!

I've been MIA because I've been busy writing Astro Academy (I have 7 chapters done so far!) while also battling some insomnia, panic attacks, and dizziness. It isn't fun, trust me!

I'm also getting my Playstation 5 today after a month of waiting! I'm so excited :D Pair that with Taylor Swift's new album coming out AND a trailer for the next Mass Effect game, and I'm over the moon today!

Anyway, I'm back for another entry in #TheWriteWay series! This time, I'll be sharing what you should NEVER start a novel without.

Let's jump in, shall we?

The Genre And Age Group

This is important when you're trying to sell it. Are you writing adult, young adult, new adult, or children's fiction? Is it fantasy, horror, romance, or so forth? Does it combine several genres?

The Main Plot

What is your story about? What themes does it explore? I wouldn't recommend starting a novel without knowing the purpose of it all first -- the big picture.

The Setting/World

Where does it all take place? A small town or big city? The real world or a magical land? The past, present, or future? I like to make a map, especially when I'm writing fantasy worlds. It's helpful for you, the writer, and for your readers.

Your Characters And Their Motivations

Who are their characters? What do they want and how far will they go to get it? What do they love, hate, admire, dream about, and fear? Clearly define the hero(es) and villain(s) and why they act the way they do.

Your Sub-Plots

Books are long -- 80 thousand words, usually. Besides the main plot, you'll need little side plots to keep it moving along. What can you think of that relates to the main plot? I'd recommend writing a list and jotting down ideas.

The Ending

How does it end? The ending is a BIG part to any story. Happy ending? Sad ending? Do the characters die and villains win? Does the hero return home, or move on to bigger things? All your subplots have to lead somewhere -- right to the end.

How The Characters Evolve

As Joseph Campbell said in the Hero's Journey, every hero goes on an adventure and evolves because of it. What will they learn? Will they overcome their fears, or give in to them? Will they become good or bad?

Now, I'm all about creativity and making it up as you go along. I get it -- sometimes, the best ideas come in the heat of the moment. But before you start a novel -- to prevent yourself from writing your story into a corner or suffering writer's block -- you should have SOME kind of blueprint for it, even a small one.

Question for #TheWritingCommunity: What do you need to know about your story before you start writing? Feel free to share below!

Thanks for reading, and I hope I gave you some things to think about before starting that novel.



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