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.)

31. Can you write about events from your own life?

I believe writers can’t help but draw from their own life experiences—we put a tiny bit of ourselves into every novel. If you do write about events from your own life, I suggest you embellish or tone down as necessary to make the event appropriate for the type of book you’re writing. I remember reading a book written by a friend and one scene in particular seemed out of place—the pacing and the wording changed and the scene briefly interrupted the flow of storytelling. When I told my friend how much I’d enjoyed the book, she asked if I remembered a certain scene? I said I did. She laughed and said, “That actually happened to me.” Which explained everything. Because when writers are determined to shoehorn their own experience into a fictional story, they can unwittingly make it too specific, too detailed and out of sync with the rest of the story. This is referred to as “author intrusion.” If you draw from true events in your life when you write your novel, be mindful of not inserting yourself into the story in a way that disrupts the telling.

Q:  Do you plan to include events that happened in your life in your novel?   Share with other writers on Facebook.

Check back tomorrow for the next tip from
YOUR PERSONAL FICTION-WRITING COACH:
365 Days of Motivation & Tips to Write a Great Book!
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