How Do I Start My Novel?


A lot of people would like to write but aren’t sure where to start.  They allow this to paralyze them. There are no hard fast rules to writing novels but there are some guidelines that need to be followed.

Wherever your opening paragraph begins in the story, it had better draw your readers in and make them want to find out what happens next. A good opening should hint at what the story is about.

The opening paragraph in my novel reads as follows:

A cool breeze swept over Josh’s face tousling his too long hair across his forehead and into his eyes. Brushing the loose strands to the side, he stared out at the glassy water with only one thought on his mind. Laura. He would be going to Iraq in a month and there wasn’t a thing he could do about it. Six months wasn’t that long, but it felt like an eternity right now.

I hope this draws you in, it most definitely hints at what the story is about and paired with the title “Always and Forever”, provides a little foreshadowing.

You don’t have to start your story at the beginning. Some stories begin with the ending and are followed by back story explaining how the character ended up where they are. Creative writing isn’t a science, whatever works go for it.

Some people do a story outline in advance and others start with an idea. Just begin writing and you’ll be amazed at how your story unfolds. You don’t have to know how it ends.  Once you start writing it will take on a life of it’s own. Be prepared for the happy accidents that seem to come out of nowhere when the creative juices are flowing or when you pray for a little help. Just keep it on the track and don’t let it wander off course.

Remember it doesn’t have to be good to begin with. You can do as many drafts as you like. I have done so many revisions I’ve lost count, and plan to go through my manuscript one more time before resubmitting it. Get it done then get it good.

Write, Write, Write! The more you write, the better you will get. I still have a lot to learn but there is such a difference between my first draft and my current one.

-Jan R


How Do I Start My Novel?

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