There are as many different ways to write a novel as there are weeds in your garden. Some people diagram and outline several pages before starting the first sentence and some just sit down at the computer and begin!
However you decide to proceed, I recommend you spend substantial time organizing in your mind first. Have a general plot, a beginning and an end - at least.
Your characters will become flesh as you picture them and hear them speak. Their trials will become yours. Expect to laugh with them - cry with them. I have one book I'm holding off on editing, as it is heart-breaking. And yet after much internal struggle, I knew it had to be written the way it was.
I have written eight novels (two will be published this year) and I have found it helpful to keep large index cards for each major character, which describes them and gives their background as well as character traits. I give them birthdays, sometimes birth defects, parents, anything that will help them be "real."
In my computer, I have ten pages of dialogue between a man and a woman. That's all - right now. But from that, I am contemplating my next novel.
You can start with a photo - a favorite scent - an ad in a magazine. Anywhere! But start. Write something everyday, if possible. It helps to keep the juices flowing.
Writer friends - please feel free to add your input. That's what it's all about. Sharing.
Welcome to my blog. I hope you will return often for that second cup.
Writing has become more than a way to make lists or keep in touch with friends. It is a vital part of who I am. For the past few years I've been writing essays, devotionals, a memoir, and several novels. I invite you to join me on this site so we can explore ways together to improve our writings. Words can be beautiful or they can be hurtful - even devastating. The well-placed word or phrase, the choice metaphor, a fresh perspective - each can add to the reader's participation in sharing the thoughts of the writer. I invite anyone who wants to improve their work or even if you have never attempted writing beyond a grocery list to return often. Feel free to add your thoughts. There are no grades given - no critics to deter you. We do this as friends - chatting over their second cup of coffee. (or tea, if you prefer.)