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How To Plan Your Novel

By Edited Feb 19, 2014 0 0

Planning

Introduction

The single best thing you can do for yourself as a writer is to create a schedule and a plan for your writing. From detailing your personal goals to tracking your accomplishments, the planning process is something that will help you stay on track and reach all of the goals you set for yourself. With these helpful tips, you can jump-start the writing process and commit to your manuscript. 

Setting Goals

The first thing you want to do is figure out what your goals are and how you will achieve them. Go to any office supply store and purchase a planner. It will help you in the long run. Personally, I prefer to have a separate planner for my writing because it helps me provide detailed information for myself that I will need to use. Then, whenever you are going to begin working, make sure you get out your planner and check it to see what your daily accomplishments should be.

In the back of your planner or notebook, write down some of the long-term goals that you want. These are things that are end-game plans. What is the number one thing you are trying to accomplish here? Second, I suggest that you keep a daily and/or weekly checklist of things that you want to get done in that short of a time frame. These will all be short-term items on your list. Once you have completed your daily or weekly tasks, cross them off your list. The ritual of checking things off will help you feel more accomplished and give you the idea that you are working towards something big. 

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Rewards

To keep yourself from throwing in the towel, consider giving yourself monthly or weekly reward. This could be anything from going out to the movies or having a night in to relax and take a break from the writing process. Either way, those rewards will be the motivators for you to complete your project. The big motivator, of course, would be to finish what you are working on, and that is a reward in itself, but consider that small gifts will help keep you in line, even when you are having an extreme case of writer's block. 

Research

Part of planning and organizing a writing project has to do with a lot of research on your part. Set aside some time to conduct research for whatever you will be writing about. Look up topics on the internet to get you started. Also, studying some of the writers in your own personal library will help you understand how experienced authors write. Read up on some of your favorites every day and take notes on what makes their writing so special; what elements did they use to grab the reader's attention? My personal suggestion is to read the first and last chapters. These will really help you with your hook, pitch, and with conclusions. You may also want to do some practice writing exercises where you try and accomplish what they have with the first chapter of their book. 

Other ways that you can conduct research include talking to other established authors and asking them questions about what they did. Try to find some interesting writing webinars or seminars that you can attend. Make sure you bring a notebook so that you may take notes. 

Blogging

Social networking is a great outlet to try as you muster along in your manuscript. You can get many people to read some of the things you have written and give you honest feedback about your project. You should plan to do this at least once a month. Blogging will also help you get your name out there and establish yourself as a writer, which will be a crucial element once you publish your book. Think about the ways that you can connect with people through social media and decide how you will attempt to juggle this with your main plan; writing your award winning novel. 

Writer's Block

All of us will face writer's block at some point. It is something you simple cannot avoid. However, you need to make sure that even when you are having a bad day, that you still plan to write. It is important to keep practicing and keep at it. Most of us who give up because of one case of writers block are the people that never finish what we intended to start, and that can hurt, a lot. While it is reasonable and okay to take some break days, you don't want to turn that into a permanent thing. If you live for writing and you want to get your name out there, you have to push through it no matter what. Try putting motivational quotation cards around you at all times so even when you aren't in the mood to write, you are surrounded by things that will hopefully motivate you and change your mind.

 

Don't be afraid to write nonsense. Nonsense can be very, very helpful when we are in times of need as writers. If you can't focus on the project at hand, write a silly poem, post an entry on your blog, or free write about anything. No matter what you are doing, you are writing and exercising your brain, which is more than the people sitting on the couch stuck in their writer's block void are doing. Be brave and creative! There is no shame in trying! 

Conclusion

The planning part of your project can be the most unnerving thing about writing. Even so, if you have high goals and checklists to keep you focused and stay on task, you will be sure to find success. Don't give up on your dreams! So many people decide they can't do it just because they had a bad day. Don't be that person. Be the person that is going to show the world what a great writer you are! If you have faith in yourself and believe in what you are doing, then you can accomplish anything! 

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