What's On My Mind

Creating a Novel: Turning That Idea into a Reality

Sometimes an idea hits you like a large sack of rocks. It may just be a little case of curiosity. Other times it’s something else. This isn’t one of those I-wonder-what-banana-milk-tastes-like kind of ideas. It’s a big idea. An idea that could create a whole new world or revolutionize the way we think. This idea is huge. It’s wonderful, it’s amazing, and it’s an open opportunity for upcoming genius.

And then suddenly you think to yourself, “I could write a book about this!”

Well, guess what? You can.

This is where most of us start. We’ve all seen a book before– well, hopefully all of us– and the idea of owning one, having the rights to call it our own and actually making money off it, sounds just too good to be true. Almost everyone has come across this feeling before.

The saddest part though, is that most people give up on it.

It’s true, writing a novel is much easier said than done. A novel can takes years to complete. It takes time, effort, and the right mindset to get across that huge hurdle of, well, actually writing it. You’ve already begun the process by coming up with the idea. Now it’s time to follow through!

Photo credit: Charles Jeffrey Danoff
Photo credit: Charles Jeffrey Danoff

Write everything down.

I can’t tell you how important this is. Most of us forget about whatever was so inspirational or mind-boggling only a few hours of leading our daily lives. It’s natural. So don’t trust yourself to remember, jot it down. You can write it on a dirty napkin for all I care. Just make sure to empty your ideas out on a paper.

Keep it original.

The saddest part of coming up with an awesome idea for me is realizing–weeks later after I’ve already written a large chunk of my manuscript– that my amazing idea was just a nice fan fiction created by my subconscious of another novel or movie I had seen. Make sure it’s really “your” idea. I know it’s disappointing to not be the first genius all the time but that’s the price of creativity.

Grow your ideas.

Most of the time the first idea that pops into your head that day won’t be the last time you think about this novel. You may be brainstorming all the time and picking little bits of inspiration off your daily life. Either way, turn this far-fetched or out-there idea into something more realistic by developing the characters, setting, and the plot.

Be inspired.

Don’t be afraid to observe the other works around you. Whether you are reading up on blogs (like this one!), magazines, novels, and anything and everything you can get your hands on, in the end your writing will only improve. You’ll be amazed at what little tips and tricks you can pick up just by reading. Then again, writing is best learned through reading, of course!

Start Writing.

This step may seem a bit too obvious, but sometimes the hardest part is getting that first sentence down. Don’t worry. It doesn’t have to be pretty. Just jot down whatever is on your mind! As you move along you’ll continue to refine your writing and your blossoming novel until it’s ready to be sent to the editor. Trust me. You’ll have to scrap a lot of parts and rewrite a lot. That’s just part of the process. Just make sure to write a bit everyday and keep going at it.

Welcome to TeenWritr, a little weekly segment to help teens like myself achieve their writing goals and dreams. Whether you’re a novice writer, a prize-winning author, or are thinking about trying your own hand at writing a book, this segment is for you! Every Friday I’ll publish a new aspect of the novel-writing process to help you turn that dream into a reality. Thanks for all your support!
–Corine
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