You need an idea and you need the work ethic to make that idea come to life.

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This is a very important part of writing a novel. If either the idea or the effort aren’t there, or one of the two things aren’t executed properly, there’s a good chance your novel won’t turn out well—if you even finish it, that is. But don’t worry, there are different methods you can utilize to keep the stain of failure off your novel. Here are five simple ways to develop an idea for your novel and get the damn thing done once and for all.

5. Research

Now, this has a couple of different meanings. One, the kind of research you do depends on the type of story you’re writing. For instance, you might have to research different kinds of science equipment if you’re doing a Sci-Fi story. If you’re doing a story involving a famous old western town, you’ll probably want to keep things as accurate as possible. This means you must study up on your history. You never want to wing it when it comes to things that if done incorrectly, will take the reader out of the story.

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The second type of research you’ll need to do involves the marketplace where you’ll eventually be selling your work through. You’ll want to go to different bookstores and take a look at what they have on the shelf. Ask what sells best and see if you can come up with something a little bit different that’ll stand out among the hundreds of other books on the shelves. This will be very tough as whatever idea you come up will most likely have been done many, many times before.

The final type of research you’ll need to do is looking into the online marketplace. Amazon will be your number one place to research. Look on their list and see what books in your genre are selling the best. Use the top books as inspiration for not only ideas, but also how you might want to market your book when it’s done. But remember, NEVER RIPOFF OTHER WRITERS. If you take someone’s idea and only slightly change it, you’re a thief.

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4. Sit Down And Think

Once you come up with an idea you must be willing to put in a decent amount of time to really flesh it out. Take a long period of reflection to make sure this is something you want to spend the next couple of months working on. If the idea is not going to be worth all of the time and effort required to create a whole novel, you’re better off just putting it on the back-burner. You don’t want to put all that work into the story only to realize halfway through that you’re not sure if you even like the idea anymore.

Just because an idea isn’t great doesn’t mean it’s garbage, though. This is why you just put it on the back-burner. You never know when you’ll stumble upon it later and realize you’re ready to tackle it. Like meeting someone right after a rough breakup, sometimes a good idea comes at the wrong time. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue it, you just need some time before you’re ready to give it your best effort.


3. Make A Game Plan

Figure out the kind of book you want to write. Sounds simple, but it’s much more complicated than that. You must figure out how many chapters you want it to be. What major events you want to occur during the novel. What kind of tone and overall theme you want to set. If it’s going to be in first or third person.

Taking care of these things before you start to write will save you a lot of grief in the long run. Many writers just start writing. They have an idea and start writing about it, but they don’t have a plan in place. Without knowing the overview of the story and the technical aspects, you’ll be much more susceptible to not finishing the book. And even if you do, it’s highly likely that you’ll need to do major edits on the first draft.

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2. Have Fun And Believe In Your Work

People can tell by your writing if you either have a real passion for what you’re doing, or if you’re just trying to get it finished so you can make a few bucks. A good writer puts their heart and soul into their work. The reader will feel a connection to the author and understand the passion that went into the story. This doesn’t tend to happen when a writer dislikes what they are writing about or if they don’t think the work is any good.

I know when I first started to write I’d think, who’s going to want to read this? But you shouldn’t worry about that. Just focus on doing the best you can and have fun. An audience will find your work if it ends up being good. And if it’s not, at least you got plenty of practice. The more work you put out, the more you practice, and the more you improve will eventually bring in a dedicated readership. You just have to believe in what you are doing.

1. Put The Work In

If you take anything away from any of our writing articles, it should be this. Your novel is not going to write itself, and it’s doing no good just sitting inside your head. As the old saying goes, nobody became successful by sitting on their ass. And you know what? If you don’t put the work in, you have no right to cry about the rewards you didn’t earn.

Having an idea is only the start. When the rubber really hits the road, you’re going to have to commit to putting in the time and hard work. If you only write here and there, you’re never going to get done. And if you keep telling yourself you’ll get serious starting tomorrow, you’ll just keep putting it off until your idea is just a distant memory and the dream of becoming a writer is dead and buried. So, I’ll say it again. SIT DOWN AND WRITE!

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If you found this helpful, please share it with your friends and family. And while you’re at it, check out some of these other great articles, too!

Why You Shouldn’t Edit Your Work Until The First Draft Is Done

PC Culture and Literature: Is it Killing Creativity?

Let’s Talk About Sex: 6 Tips for Writing a Good Sex Scene


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