FAQs for Aspiring Authors

Writing a novel requires authors to make thousands of decisions on a daily basis.

Every time a writer sits down to draft, they have to make choices about what’s going to happen, the words they’re going to use, and a dozen other factors that will impact how the story is told.

Unfortunately, many aspiring authors never get around to making the big decisions, let alone the thousands of small ones a working author is faced with on a day-to-day basis.

That’s not just unfortunate; it’s unnecessary.

I’m going to go ahead and answer those big questions for you, so you can stop procrastinating and actually get down to writing your novel.

Q: How long should the first draft of my manuscript be?

A: 50,000 words.

Q: What genre should my book be?

A: Your favourite genre to read.

Q: Should I focus on a single character or a big cast of characters?

A: A single protagonist.

Q: What tense should I write in?

A: Past tense.

Q: What point of view should I use?

A: Third person limited.

Q: Should my book have a prologue?

A: No.

Q: Should my ending be happy or tragic?

A: Both. Have your protagonist achieve their goal, but loose something in the process.

Q: Should I work with a writing coach?

A: Yes.

Q: Should I plan out my story before I start drafting (planner) or make it up as I go along (pantser)?

A: Plan ahead.

Q: Should I follow an established story structure like the Hero’s Journey or the Hollywood Three Act Structure when plotting my story?

A: Yes.

Q: What if I come up with an even better book idea while writing this book?

A: Write the idea down on a piece of paper and put it in a drawer. Now you know what your second book will be about. Get back to work on the first one.

Q: Should I use Scrivener, Microsoft Word, or something else?

A: It doesn’t matter. Just pick one.

Q: How can I possibly find the time to write?

A: Stop watching TV, Netflix, and YouTube. Stop wasting time on Social Media. Stop getting drunk and participating in time wasting recreational activities. When everyone else is relaxing and having fun, get to work.

Q: Should I join a writing group or online community so I can get feedback and support?

A: Yes.

Q: Should I self-publish or go traditional?

A: It doesn’t matter yet because you haven’t finished writing your novel.

Q: How do I get a literary agent?

A: It doesn’t matter yet because you haven’t finished writing your novel.

Q: What should my cover look like?

A: It doesn’t matter yet because you haven’t finished writing your novel.

Q: How do I put together a massive book launch?

A: It doesn’t matter yet because you haven’t finished writing your novel.

Q: Is writing a novel going to get easier the more I write?

A: Not really. It will always be difficult, but it will become difficult in new ways.

Q: Will all this incredibly challenging and exhausting work be worth it in the end?

A: Absolutely.

There . . . you now have the answers to the big question.

No more procrastinating.

Go.

Write.

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