How to Begin

Anonymous asked: “How do you get past the planning stage of writing a novel?”

Personally, I try to plan as little as I can. I don’t have the patience to wait. I like to be writing. For major planners though, I know this can be the most daunting step. You’ve worked so hard to plan out a perfect book and now you have to sit down and write it. 

The most important thing to know is that your novel will not be perfect. When you first sit down to write, even though you’ve been thinking about it a lot and planning, it is still your first draft. It’s a directed first draft, but it’s still a first draft. Don’t expect perfection, expect lots of words on a page. 

First few chapters will be the toughest. You’ll cringe at your writing just a little and think it needs so much work. It might. That might very well be true. Then keep going. I recommend setting aside some time every day to work on your novel. Keep with some kind of a schedule – it makes it easier to keep writing and making progress. 

One thing that can happen with big planners I know is that you have more fun planning than writing. This sometimes will happen. It can take work to get back into writing. Eventually it will happen, but really there will come to a point where you’ll need to stop planning and just keep writing. Planning can be a form of procrastination if left unchecked.  

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