Welcome to my page dedicated to anyone who's always wanted to write a novel, but didn't know where to start. I'll post a tip each day from my book YOUR PERSONAL FICTION-WRITING COACH: 365 Days of Motivation & Tips to Write a Great Book! and then, I want to hear from you:  Like the Personal Fiction-Writing Coach FB page and leave a comment to let me and your fellow writers know if the day's tip or writing exercise resonates with you and your project. Grab your writing pals and send them over, too!

Read this first.

So you want to be a writer? Or maybe you’re already a writer, but can’t seem to get that novel written? Or you’ve written a few books, but the thrill is gone. Is there a trick, you wonder, to writing a great book, or even finishing a so-so book? Why, yes—there are three tricks, actually, that veteran writers like me keep top secret (shhhh!):

  1. Get started already.
  2. Clunk through it.
  3. Find ways not to stop until you get to The End.

The list probably isn’t the romantic, idealistic answer you were hoping for, but I wrote this book with the idea of dispensing daily inspiration to get you to think about your story—and to write. Because I know from experience your motivation will give out before your imagination will. This book is structured to ease you through the life-cycle of creating a full-length novel, from broad stroke advice and self-evaluating questions, to more specific tips when you get to the planning and writing stages. I’ve also included pitfalls to avoid, lessons I’ve learned and techniques to help you manage your writing time.

If you like guarantees, writing isn’t for you. That said, if you write a novel and put it out into the universe, I guarantee you will:

  • Learn a lot about yourself along the way. (Are you funny? Mean? Truthful? Brave?)
  • Be fulfilled in a way only other writers can comprehend. (It’s intoxicating.)
  • Change the world some. (Something that wasn’t there before, suddenly will be.)

And that’s cool. Ready? Let’s do this. ~

This daily serial will run through December 31. Each day's writing tip or exercise will be posted for 24 hours, 4am Eastern to 4am Eastern. Set a reminder on your calendar, fridge, or phone so you don't miss a single day of advice to get your novel finished!  (For general writing advice and to find out how I sold my first book, check out my Writers Q&A page.)

22. Too many ideas in one book

I have a writing friend who is clever and prolific and enthusiastic about writing. She should be a household name. But she’s had difficulty selling her books because she tends to clobber the reader with too many plot lines in one book:

Her hero is not just an FBI agent, he’s a vampire. And he’s a vampire because many centuries ago in another land, he was pursuing a serial killer, who turned out to be himself, because he has multiple personalities, and when he realized he was a murderer he persuaded a local vampire to bite him so he could have everlasting life on earth to right his wrongs…which is kind of backfiring on him because he has to kill people to stay alive. But when he meets the heroine, everything changes. The heroine is not just an innocent, she’s a nun. And she’s the great-great granddaughter of a woman the vampire murdered back when he was just a plain old human serial killer. And…

Is your head hurting yet? Right. My friend is a great storyteller, but she puts so many plot lines and so much backstory into her books, they get muddy and complicated. She gets bogged down in too many details and loses sight of moving the plot forward.

If you have too many ideas in your book, chip away the extraneous detail until you get down to one solid high concept idea. The book will be easier to write, easier to sell, and easier to read.  Share with other writers on Facebook.

Check back tomorrow for the next tip from
365 Days of Motivation & Tips to Write a Great Book!
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