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Anna Walker
18 April 22:13.
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How do you write a novel?
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First you put just chaotic thoughts and undefined feelings on a sheet of paper. But when you develop a good protagonist and a sophisticated plot, it all starts making sense. Spending time on your own sometimes is necessary for finding the most accurate words. This is a pleasurable solitude which helps you overcome any self-doubts and fears. You need to know yourself in order to feel emotionally ready to deal with fictional characters.

You might gather the material for the greatest novels while scrutinising the world outside, but perhaps you need to first know our own universe of wishes and insecurities in order to produce the very best texts. Searching for the right words as if transforms the world from being in just soft skin colours to a place in the most saturated hues. And all hardly perceptible echoes from other people’s souls as if become a memorable arrangement of sounds which we enjoy and want to share…

Inspired by the idea of sharing, I’ve published my first novel at the age of 16. Since I did enjoy making fictional characters as realistic as possible, I decided to publish another one two years later. Writing mainly about travellers enjoying different cultures, religions and places, I’ve realised that the variety of people we encounter every day is the very best motivation to write.

Perhaps, what makes us all experts in the process of writing features, short stories and novels isn’t the number of books we’ve published. We have the expertise as long as we dedicate time to reading and writing every day.

The best tip I could give is read as much as possible every type of literature you have access to and think critically about those texts’ strengths and weaknesses. Try reading novels, comic books, features, news and even listicles. Everything could be a source of knowledge. You just need to evaluate critically what makes a great piece of writing according to your standards. You will also notice what good writers emphasise on in their descriptions of people and environment. Pay attention to notable phrases. Try to memorise your favourite combinations of words and integrate them to your work. Words have the power to make readers relax or shiver, love or detest… so they have to be well-chosen. Favourite words have special fragrance you’ll immediately feel attracted to.

Observe people around you – the tilt of their head, the twist of their torso, what they gaze at, how slowly they take a deep breath, whether their posture is rigid… Pay attention to all those details and write about them while constructing your characters. Listen to everybody’s stories. This inspiration will evolve naturally into a piece of writing. These narratives could be more exotic than the ones you encounter in favourite novels. The life itself offers the strangest scenarios of the most charming love stories and the most horrific betrayals.

Spend long time writing. Good everyday practice will make you come up with new plots more readily. You’ll feel more confident while constructing the rising action, the climax etc. But spend longer time editing. You will master the art of finding the best words when you leave a draft aside for some hours and then go back fresh and determined. The art of writing is also about the discipline of distracting yourself for a couple of hours of your own plot. For instance, with regard to producing long texts, I’d suggest you edit the following day and start writing the new daily dose straight after that. In this way you won’t be confused while linking the chapters.

And do your research thoroughly. There is no excuse for unverified content. Accuracy is the hallmark of high-quality texts. Being a perfectionist would help a lot. You need to criticise constructively your own work. Good text aren’t the ones you have nothing to add to, they just have nothing to remove from.

An extra tip would be live as wildly as possible. I do believe that great writers should also have exciting personal stories to tell. If you feel contented in your own narrative, you’d feel confident while constructing the ones of other people. When you’re a colourful character yourself, you’ll doubtlessly enjoy the variety of people and their desires and insecurities.

When it comes to me, eventually I’ve chosen the path of journalism. It’s true that news reports require different attitude. Not everything I’ve mentioned is relevant when you aim at writing impartially and concisely for news outlets. Yet, being unapologetic while editing and thinking critically when encountering any kind of story are skills we all need, regardless of the texts we write. Just make sure you’re ready to be kindled by the exciting world out there. 

Here is a video I'd suggest.