Tips and tricks on how to write a novel


As someone who has been writing books for a couple of years, I picked up many tips and tricks for making your novel better than the rest. No matter if you are writing a sci-fi story, a romance, or even a horror, there are always basic things you have to accomplish before you finish and publish your book. So here are 15 tips and tricks to ensure your book is the best it can be.

Make sure your title lines up to your novel: This may seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised to see how many authors mess up this simple step. For example, say your main character is named Kat Nix and she is in prison – it would make more sense for the book to be called Kat Nix – Cell 30 as opposed to The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Write a summary: As you continue to write, you will realize you can get off topic very quickly, and sometimes you will not even notice before it is too late. So one thing I do that helps me is write a summary for the book I am writing. Not only does it give it a professional look, but it also helps you so you can stay on topic. One example was when I was writing my first book – it was a romance drama, and I somehow threw a gang war into the mix. It was out of place, and so random that it threw off my whole novel. Luckily I was able to fix it – by deleting 100+ pages – but I was able to finish and complete my novel with the help of my summary.

Flesh out your characters: CHARACTERS = PLOT! I REPEAT – CHARACTERS = PLOT! I do not know how much I need to stress this simple fact! The characters of your novel are what make the novel! You can not have a conflict without characters or a plot. One easy way to make sure your characters are relatable and fleshed out is simple. TAKE YOUR TIME! Keep a journal of the characters that you make. Write down their features, dislikes, likes, flaws, and pros. Make sure they have a backstory that makes sense, and the best way to differentiate your characters is through their speech patterns. For example, a proper girl from a wealthy family would not use conjunctions like “Can’t” and “Won’t” but would say “Can not” and “Will/Would not” as opposed to someone who grew up on the streets of New York City, who would stereotypically use slang and conjunctions.

Take your time: This is something else I cannot emphasize enough. As I stated in my last essay, rushing to write a novel would only result in it being sloppy and difficult for readers to follow correctly. The last thing you want is for your readers to leave your story feeling unsatisfied and confused. It’s not unusual for you to encounter “writer’s block,” which is when you’re so uninspired that you can’t write. And for that, I would just advise you to have faith in your abilities. Most authors spend months to years writing a book, and if you are just getting started, it will certainly take longer, but that is all right! Believe in your ability to bring your characters to life and in the creativity that flows through you. However, don’t get too carried away. Taking your time is essential for writing a great novel!

External and Internal conflict: This is another tip I put in the article Tips, techniques, and advice on how to write! I said this once, and I’ll say it again. It is always a good thing to have an internal and/or external conflict. Without conflict, not only will the novel seem bland, but the character development would be little to nothing. As I said in tip three, characters = plot. And character development is crucial to the story; however, the conflict does not have to be some big, insane situation. For example, it could simply be that the main character doesn’t believe in themselves. A perfect example for this is my duology series – The Symphony Series The main character, Yoneda Kagami, has two conflicts impacting his life. His internal conflict is he feels like he can not amount to the expectations that his band has put on him and the external conflict was the main love interest being obsessed with him. Because of these two conflicts he was able to develop in a realistic but interesting way. Having said that, I understand that is easier said than done. Character development is one of the hardest things to do, but if you take your time to flesh out the conflict that impacts the story, your novel would undoubtedly be better than the rest. And as I said before, if you need any help with conflicts the book The Emotional Wound Thesaurus Would be a wonderful tool to use!

Genres: Genres exist for a purpose. When you first start writing, you have no idea what genre best suits your writing style. For example, when I first started writing, I tried to create adventure/action books, but I abandoned them because I did not know how to write a battle scene. After that, I discovered that I enjoy writing dialogue and romance, so I began working on that. So I’m officially a romance/drama author. Furthermore, try to understand which genres complement one another. I prefer a drama- and romance-loving audience. Thus I do not include a lot of comedy, action, horror, and so on in my books. The reason for this is straightforward. The book would deviate from the topic and be all over the place. That is not to argue that the two genres do not combine but writing a horror-romance as opposed to a romance-drama would be more challenging. Also, be aware of your main and sub-genres. And determining which genre best suits you is an easy process. There are online quizzes that may help you figure out which genre you belong in, study what books and movies you enjoy, and how to write in that genre. Or, as I still like doing, You can write short stories in any genre. It may be difficult at times, but it’s well worth it in the end!

Keep notes: Just like an assignment for school, writing down notes will help you tremendously. Not only will it keep your thoughts organized, but you’ll have your notes to refer to if you get off track. While you’re at it, divide your journal into parts. There is one for quotations, one for characters, and so on. Not only will this look nice, but organization is one of the most important aspects of a story. You may also establish a list of the characters you created and check them off as you use them. For example, I’ve created about 120 distinct characters and utilized about 50 of them in all. I save quotes I’ve heard/read and ones I’ve written myself in the back of my journal, along with potential story ideas. The front has character profiles, while the middle has character names. I have a number of sticky notes on my wall with more book notes and comprehensive descriptions. But it is not to argue that it is impossible to write a book without taking notes; it is just something I would strongly urge someone who is just starting in writing to do.

Know what makes a story: Here’s a metaphor, consider a book to be a sandwich! You will need a couple of components to make it interesting and not boring. And, because it is similar to a sandwich, we want the novel to be excellent! Narration, Dialogue, and Description are the three primary components of a novel. If you can master all three of these elements, your novel will be fantastic. 1. Tell your narrative as though you are the protagonist. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the third, second, or first person; if you can write your story from your point of view, your reader will have no trouble following along. 2. This relates to character development in some ways, but be sure your characters are communicating effectively. Make sure their speech isn’t choppy or erratic, and try not to change speaking patterns unless necessary. Paying attention to discussions and studying how others communicate is one method to improve your conversational skills. 3. Make use of sensory language to describe your book’s locations and stories using all of your senses. Describe how something smells if it smells pleasant. If a character has beautiful eyes, make an effort to describe them as accurately as possible. All three elements are responsible for bringing your work to life and making it feel genuine to readers. If you can master and learn how to utilize these three points, your novel would definitely stand out more than the rest!

Research: This is extremely crucial! Most authors skip this stage altogether because they want the plot to center around them. But it will not work if your novel takes place in India but is written as if it takes place in America. And because you did not do any study on your location or anything else, you’d wind up as a buffoon! (With due respect, of course…). As an example, suppose you’re creating a character with a disease. If I want my main character to have D.I.D (dissociative identity disorder), I need to perform some study on the disease. However, research may be applied to any aspect of your story. What if your main character had lightning powers? Investigate lightning! Learn everything you can about the element! What if your narrative is set in Vermont? It simply makes sense for you to search it up and become acquainted with it. So, before you begin writing, thoroughly research the setting and anything else you feel is important to your novel.

One tip for romance!: Romance is my main genre when it comes to writing, so of course, I have something to say. If you are like me, and love to write romance, here is one gigantic tip you should write down! Make. Your. Romance. Realistic! Nothing is worse than a rushed romance in a novel. Take your time with the characters. In reality, no one is randomly going to go up to the most popular girl in school and confess his love. That is completely unrealistic! Instead, they would try to get to know them, befriend them, then ask them out! Along with that, not all romance deals with kissing and touching! Sometimes the best romance is an unrequited one! Nonetheless, you should never, never rush a romance in a book! It is practically a disgrace to all romance writers. But at the same time, do not trail it out too long as it may become repetitive and boring! For more romance tips, I suggest three sources. 1. The Perks Of Being A Wallflower is a wonderful book that depicts romance excellently, any book by Yoru Sumino, and the anime Oregairu or My Youth Romantic Comedy Was Wrong As I Expected.

One tip for horror!: Horror is a difficult genre, but it is fulfilling in the end. The only tip I can give for an upcoming horror writer is to use cliches to your advantage. Cliches like “A dark and stormy night” or “Lightning struck” are something you can benefit from. And one genre that goes great with horror is thriller! Also, it would be wise to do some research on older English – such as Mary Shelly (Wrote Frankenstein).

One tip for sci-fi!: Sci-fi is an interesting topic because you can do so much with it. But most sci-fi takes place in a dystopian world, where something happened to the Earth or the people living on it. But one thing that is amazing about this genre is it’s one of the only genres where you can unleash your creativity to its fullest! Because it is usually set in the future you can come up with almost anything! So use that to your advantage! Make new weapons and cars! You can even step it up a notch and make a new species/race!

One tip on comedy!: Honestly, I am not a comedic writer, so my advice for this genre would most likely be very mediocre. But when it comes to comedy, your goal is to make your reader laugh and smile, but do not intentionally try to be funny, or it might come off as forced. Instead, let your mind just flow, and make jokes as you go!

One tip on smut!: Smut is an intriguing style of writing. It is typically aimed at young adults and incorporates romance and a touch of the adult aspects of a relationship. One tip I was told when I was introduced to this type of writing was; “Write it like a romance, nothing else”.   Because that’s exactly what smut is. It’s romanticism taken to the next level. So, instead of writing adult scenes that you are uncomfortable with, skip over them and merely imply that they occurred. It is possible to make no reference to and still be deemed smut.

Trust yourself: This may seem corny, but I have discovered that many authors do not believe they can write a decent novel. What has benefited me throughout the years, though, is my faith in my skills. I understand what I can and can not write, my limitations, and my strong and weak spots! I trust myself to create fantastic books, and I also trust myself to execute them! You must always believe in yourself as a writer! I know it’s not easy, but believe me when I say it’s all worth it in the end!

As always, I hope my writing advice has helped any upcoming writers! I wish you all the best of luck in your novel-writing journey. And as always, happy writing, MCHS!