Nov. 13, 2017

How to Begin (for new writers)

(Pesky Note! Be sure to enter November's contest. 50+ authors, 50+ prizes and gift cards. Just click here at SHELLEY YOUNG to see how.)

How to Start Writing a Novel 

You dream of writing, but feel like the task is too daunting. What if I told you it isn’t as scary or overwhelming as you think? I can only speak of my experience, and if writing comes easy for me, hey – it can come easy for you! I have written and published twelve full-length novels and four flash fiction reads. I also have my 13th book that will be released soon. Here’s a pic of the cover.

You can also be a published writer.

The question I’m asked often is, ‘How do I get started?’

The comment I hear most is, ‘I just don’t have time to sit down and write.’

My answer is, ‘Start anywhere. Take a few minutes and simply type.’

But before you do that I can offer a few suggestions that can make the process a little easier and will have readers loving what you wrote from page one. Okay, here it goes…

  1. Start with something exciting, as readers love opening a book and feeling as if they’re beginning a journey.

  2. Make your main characters these three things: interesting, facing some kind of challenge, and make him or her the kind of person that readers care about.

  3. Open with something believable, relatable or compelling.

  4. Hook the reader as early as possible.

  5. If you’re writing nonfiction self-help, address the problem from the first sentence.

  6. If you’re writing a memoir don’t start with the day you’re born. What do you want people to know about you and the life you’ve led? Focus on this and give it to the reader.

  7. Bring the reader inside the world you’re writing about.

  8. You don’t have to use fancy words. What you do have to give is a dilemma the reader hopes will be resolved.

  9. You don’t have to know ahead of time what the next chapter will bring. Trust your inner voice and allow it to lead you instead of you leading it.

  10. Most importantly, open your book with tension. This is true for fiction and nonfiction and is the number one advice I’ve gotten from top notch literary agents I have sat down with.


    What is the name of your favorite book? Open the first page and notice what drew you into the story and kept you reading. Writing is so much fun! You – the author – are creating a world for someone to enjoy. There are a lot of things that goes into a book that makes it bestseller worthy. I say don’t worry about any of those things in the beginning and simply write. I’m so certain you can be a writer, for a limited time I’m offering a one page critique. You can send it to

    If you want to learn more about writing there are plenty of books on the market. I have also written a writing guide that teaches on writing while you pen your novel. You can check out Anyone Can Write!: Unleashing the Novelist Inside of You by  clicking the title. But above everything, don’t let anything stop you from achieving your goal. If writing is your dream, make it your reality. You might find that writing will come easier to you than you believe.


    Te dua,