Monica Cafferky is joining us with the blog tour for her novel, A Winter’s Sleep. She has made a living with words for over 30 years, first as a journalist and more recently with her supernatural thriller The Winter’s Sleep. Here, Monica shares her tips for making a start on your own novel – “stop thinking about it, just start writing.”
Tip 1: You need to read.
Before you put fingers to keyboard, or pen to paper, you need to know your genre. Read the kind of books you want to write.
If you love spooky stories, it’s Halloween after all, read the classics like Dracula by Bram Stoker and The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. Or, opt for more contemporary novels such as Thin Air by Michelle Paver or my own The Winter’s Sleep.
Or do you prefer historical fiction? Fill your boots with tales from writers Philippa Gregory and Elizabeth Chadwick. If romance is your first love go for Sarah MacLean.
What’s important is that you READ. By reading, you will discover how to structure a story in your genre, how to construct a good plot, develop characters and layer in myth. Without these important elements there is no compelling story.
Tip 2: Start writing notes to yourself.
As the story starts to take shape in your mind you will have brilliant (I hope) insights, often when you least expect it – washing up, walking the dog, in the bath. It’s important not to lose these snippets of plot and character. You need to make a note of your ideas because, trust me, you won’t remember them later on.
Ideas are funny things, unless they’re fully formed, and repeated often, they slip away like a balloon in a strong breeze. Write these ideas down in your journal (that you use just for the novel) or create an audio note on your mobile, and then write it down later.
Let the foundation of the book take shape with these ideas, and collect these ideas together. You need to know what your book is about before you start the actual writing, otherwise you will find your story, and your sanity, unravelling around a quarter of the way through the plot.
Tip 3: What’s your character’s quest?by
Novel Kicks is a blog for story tellers and book lovers.