Everyone has a novel in them. You’ve heard that I’m sure. But there’s a world of difference between having an idea for a story in your head and having a finished manuscript on your computer. If the majority of people have an idea for a novel, then does that mean anyone can write a book?
It’s not quite that simple. Writing a novel involves so many steps. Let’s break these down to see how easy – or difficult – writing a novel is.
You can write a novel if:
1. You have an idea in your head that could be expanded into an 80,000 word manuscript and are able to outline a beginning, middle and end with enough intrigue to sustain the plot.
2. You understand point of view, characterisation and plot development and know whether you are going to write in past or present tense.
3. You are skilled enough as a writer to avoid too many writing clichés and overuse of adverbs, etc.
4. You are disciplined and motivated enough to make time for writing on a regular basis. We’re all busy people, but books don’t write themselves.
5. You are confident enough to take criticism from beta readers who are willing to read your manuscript and give feedback.
6. You are willing to make changes to your novel, even rewriting parts if they don’t work, or redrafting the whole thing if it will improve the story.
7. You are strong enough to work your way through writer’s block and know how to do the necessary research that you may need to make your story more authentic.
If all of the above sounds like you, then great – you can write a novel. But if it sounds like too much of an undertaking, then maybe start with something smaller – like a short story or a few poems. No matter what you write, it’s all time well spent to improve your skills and if a novel is your goal, you’ll get there eventually.