Today I am excited to introduce you to Olivia Hersman - blogger and published author! Olivia is taking the time today to share a guest post she wrote just for us at Dani Dearest sharing her passion: writing. If you're looking to start a new passion or have considered writing your own book but just don't know where to start, this post is full of great advice!
Renowned author Stephen King once wrote, “The scariest moment is just before you start.” And, if you’ve found yourself here, it means you might be right in the midst of the most terrifying part of the novel-writing process: getting started.
As an experienced writer, allow me to say that this feeling never gets easier.
With every writing project comes unease, comes fear. But it also brings a whole lot of hope, joy, and pride with it. So allow me to detail the beginning of the process for you, in hopes that writing may bring you the same joy it brings me every day.
If you want to write a novel, you must have something to say
What message do you want to share with the world? At the heart of every great novel is a voice for change or thought. Before you start writing, write down the message that you want to share with readers through your book and hang it up in your working space as a source of inspiration for the writing process.
(Spoiler alert: You’re going to need it.)
The hardest part of the writing process is getting those first words down.
Some writers preface the actual “writing” by creating a story board or outline, while others jump right in.
A word of expert advice: You don’t have to start at the beginning!
The most powerful inspiration for me to finish my first novel, Empty Canvas, was rereading the climactic chapter I wrote right at the beginning, because it was what made my heart bleed for my book. And I’m not alone – Stephenie Meyer started her book in the middle, wrote to the end, and then went back and wrote up until the halves met.
When writing novel, consistency and details are key.
Remember that your readers don’t know your story like you do. Your readers can’t see that amazing sunset you see in your head in the background of a scene between your two main characters. In fact, they have no idea it’s there unless you tell them it is.
But what’s more important than telling them is showing them. Make the descriptions in your book short, sweet, and so well-crafted that your readers feel as if they’re immersed in your world.
After all, that’s the goal! Be detailed, keep up the same point of view throughout the book unless you make it clear when there is a shift in narration, and stay true to your vision for the book. The last thing you want your readers to feel when reading your book is confusion!
The final, and most important, advice I have for writing a novel is to just keep writing.
There will be times at which you want to give up. You might even need to take breaks. But returning to your work is the most important thing you must do.
After all, unless you finish the book, it is not truly a book. When you feel like giving up, remember what you owe to your characters. Don’t leave their story left unfinished. I promise, you won’t regret finishing that first novel – after all, it means you, too, will be able to call yourself an author.
Olivia Hersman is an undergraduate student at Ohio University and blogger. She started her blog, oliviaruthblog.com, after completing many other writing ventures such as writing and producing a play, publishing a novel, running a wildly successful interview-style blog about Youtubers, and publishing a book of poetry. When she’s not writing, she can be found laughing for hours with her best friends or rereading one of her favorite books.