1) Don’t over-think your first draft, just write. It’s too easy to get lost in sentence structure and precise vocabulary, but you can tweak that later. Just get your story down. Be mindful that your first draft will contain a lot of rubbish, but just allow the words and plotline flow.
2) Don’t be too rigid with the plot. Start with a rough idea, but then as the characters develop, let them guide you; their journey and direction may surprise you, and in turn, the reader. I often start a crime novel with the murderer being one person, but then change who they are as the characters are fully formed in my mind. Listen to your characters.
3) Edit, edit, edit… you get my drift. I actually enjoy the process, honing dis-jointed phrases into hopefully more readable prose. Cull words, sentences, paragraphs, and even characters if they add nothing to the plotline, flow, or enjoyment. I will edit a manuscript four or five times before sending it to my Editor at the publisher.
4) Read. You can learn so much about what works and what doesn’t.
5) Write about what interests you, not necessarily what you know, as it makes researching the topic and writing it more enjoyable. I do find I can get distracted by research, so watch out!
6) Don’t give up when writing the middle of your novel; the dreaded slump. If you’re struggling, move away from the manuscript, work on something else, read, or just do something to let your mind wander as a solution may materialise when you’re not too focused on it.
Happy Word Flow One & All