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  • Erin M. Wright

So you've got an idea for a fiction novel, what's next?

As a two-time self-published fiction author, I have done a ton of research as well as trial and error when it comes to fictional writing. Currently, I’m beginning my third novel, which will be the last leg of my series. Since I self-published my first book, I often receive inquiries about my writing process, so I decided to dedicate my blog to writing tips. So, let’s get to it.

All great things begin as an idea and on the other hand, a lot of great ideas remain just that – a thought. When writing a fiction novel, YOU NEED a unique idea. Once you have it, sleep on it a few nights. You’ve got to be in love the idea, inspired by it, and most of all motivated about it. Your initial idea is the foundation for your novel. This same idea will be manipulated as you progress throughout your journey of creating your novel. Once you have your idea and you’ve let it marinate in your brain awhile, what’s next?

Let’s start pulling from your brilliant idea. Can you create a beginning of a story with it? Do you have an idea for an ending? What about a protagonist? Does your character have a desire they need to fulfill? Is there a defining moment that sets your character on a journey to better themselves or will your character spiral down into a dark place and suddenly find a way out?

Those are just a few of the many questions that should be circulating around your brain when thinking of your novel. When I wrote my first novel, I caught myself getting overwhelmed in the beginning stages with dialogue and what my characters would say in the opening of my first chapter. While dialogue is important – extremely important, you want to know where your story is going or your setting(s) so when you do start your dialogue, it is meaningful (but that’s another post).

Here is a brainstorm sheet or you can draw one in your notebook – if you’re an author or aspiring author YOU SHOULD HAVE A NOTEBOOK! Start off with your idea and get creative. Here are a few things to think about for your future best-selling fiction novel.

1. Main Idea (rough – what is your story about)

2. Setting (where does it take place? And/or how many places?)

3. Character (who is he/she/it/etc, do they have a best friend or foe?)

4. Major Events (write down two or three major events that will show the reader your character’s growth/demise, change the course of action in the story)

*remember all events must somehow move the story forward.

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