The hardest part about writing a novel is writing a novel. Now that’s a declarative sentence!
To write a novel you need a structure. A beginning, middle, and end. You need characters. Plot. Scenes. Most importantly, you need a spine the length of the book on which you can hang action, characters, metaphors, plot, twists, drama and the ending.
Think of approaching your novel as if it is a room you have to measure with an industrial ruler, one of those big, fat, yellow ones that carpenters carry and wipe out of their pockets like an old fashioned six-shooter. You take the measurements and you design your book.
Okay, you also need such a diagram for how you will write your novel.
You need a structure to your daily life. Your novel won’t get written without creating for yourself a creative corner in your life.
(Well, simple in the telling, harder to do.)
Before you start to 1) plot your novel; 2) create your characters; 3) develop your scenes; etc., get your own house in order. Design the way you will write your book.
Here are a few suggestions that will help you over the 100 days of writing.
Find a quiet place in your home, apartment, bedroom, garage, or wherever that will be entirely yours for the next three months.
Have a view so you can look out into space. Don’t make it too attractive or tempting a view, however. You just want to see beyond your computer.
Disconnect and/or turn off your telephone, emails, television, radio, or anything that might draw your attention away from your writing.
Create poster boards where you can post notes to yourself, paragraphs and pages you want to read again, edit.
Set a schedule of time when you will write. Don’t be too ambitious. Think small. Try to write for 30-60 minutes a day. And do like Hemingway did, quit writing in the middle of the sentence, so you’ll have a jump start on the next day.
Keep handy your necessary reference books, i.e., dictionary, thesaurus, maps,etc.
Have on hand plenty of coffee, cook, tea, whatever you drink. Don’t be going out to the kitchen to make some sort of a refreshment where you’ll be tempted to turn on the TV to check the weather.
Don’t show your writing to anyone for any reason until you have finished your first draft.
Everyday read out loud wht you wrote the day before.
Finally, if you have written a particularly good sentences or paragraph, print it out and pin it to your board so that you can glance up and read it from time-to-time, smile and think, “you know, I’m damn good!’