It is my personal belief that there is a budding writer in each and every single one of us. We all have a certain amount of creativity in us and we all share similar life experiences that we can draw on to give us the inspiration we need to write a novel. Some of the key aspects of any novel writing are the structure, plot; characters and genre of the novel you wish to write. The plot being the most important, as this aspect drives the story along.

When writing a novel, you firstly need to start with a short summary or synopsis of what you want the story to be about. This does not need to be more than a paragraph long, and will help you in structuring your story as it develops. Remember, your story must have a beginning, middle and an end. This will ensure that the story flows and makes sense as the plot unfolds. You also need to decide early on whether your story will be written in the first or the third person. Many authors prefer to write in the third person as it gives them more control over the story, and enables the story to be seen through many different characters eyes, (viewpoints) and not just that of the narrator's eye, which would be in the first person.

When deciding the genre of your novel, you need to look at your own interests. I feel this will determine the types of characters you create and help you to mould them and the story into what you want it to be. For example, the main character from the Sherlock Holmes novels would seem out of place in a Mills and Boon romance novel. The characters should fit the genre and the plot. Taking time to evaluate the types of books you read or have an interest in should help you to decide the genre you wish to write about. There are many genres available, ranging from short story fiction, crime fiction, romance fiction, childrens fiction, general fiction, womens fiction, science fiction, mystery fiction and so on…

When starting to write your novel, you need to have a rough idea of who your main characters are, as well as how they will fit into your plot. It may help to write a little bit of background information on a rough piece of paper about each of your characters so that you can see exactly what drives and motivates each character to act the way they do and say the things they do in any given situation. You could jot down points such as their names; appearance; race; gender; where they are from; what they do for a living; what they like or dislike; their age; their relationship towards the other characters, as well as any problems they might have that may need to be solved.

This background information will help you tremendously when writing your novel and will bring your characters and your story to life. Many authors find that at times their characters become so strong as the story progresses, that the characters themselves dictate how the story unfolds and even how it ends! When sketching out your novel, you could perhaps start your first chapter with an introduction to one of your main characters and give some details of any dilemmas they may have, so as to grab the reader's attention. The first page of your novel has to be engaging otherwise the reader will lose interest and put the book down.

When writing your novel, you should draw-in your readers by giving them detailed and accurate descriptions about the setting of your story. If you have not personally visited the location you are writing about then you need to do your research so that the descriptions sound as authentic as possible. Also take into consideration as to whether your story is based on the past, present or the future. When concluding your story, make sure that everything adds up and that you have left the reader and yourself satisfied with the ending.