I am going to share with you the easiest method I know of for writing a novel.
This is one of the methods I endorse in my book, Magnify And Multiply.
The first thing you need to do is think of a character. This will be the main character of your book. If you are writing an adventure, this person will be your Hero protagonist. If you are writing Romance, then this person will be a Man or Woman who will eventually (hopefully) find love. Your character could even be a dog, or a child, or a fairy or vampire. Do yourself a favor and create a character you know something about. If you know a lot about playing music, then a musician would be a great character to create. If you know a lot about video games, then a gamer would be a good choice.
When you have your main character chosen, have given them a name, and decided what you want them to look like, create a second character. This could be either a family member, friend, lover or coworker. Someone that will regularly interact with your main character, but is ‘on their side’. Also give this person a name and decide on their appearance. This character can be a little more outside your area of expertise, but they need to be believable. If your main character is a musician, then maybe your second character can be a band manager or recording engineer.
Now, you need to create your third character. This person will be the antagonist. Every story has one. A bad guy. Someone who somehow thwarts the desires of the main character and keeps them from achieving their goal, be it finding a treasure, saving the princess, or simply finding love. Make sure that the antagonist you create has opposing traits to your main character, this will make it easier for readers to understand that the main character and the antagonist are at odds with one another.
Now that you have your three main characters, it is time to do some basic plotting for your novel. Some people do not like to plot their stories out, and they write by the seat of their pants, these people are ‘pantsers’, but for the easiest possible way to write a novel, you need to be a plotter instead. Trust me. You don’t want to get twenty-thousand words into a story and not know where it is going, and then just give up because your story has lost all its momentum. You need to plot if you want to get through the novel writing process without too much indecision or having to wrack your brain, searching for some kind of resolution to the quagmire you have put all your beloved characters into, without knowing how to get them out of it first.
Here is how you can easily plot out your story: Write out 25 – 50 single sentence events that will happen in your story, from beginning to end. To help make your novel more successful, I suggest using ‘beat sheets’ AKA plot templates. There are several genre-specific plot templates that can be observed in nearly every successful book in any given genre. There is a template for Romance stories, and there is a different template for Hero’s Journey / Adventure stories. Each genre has it’s own basic path that the story must follow, in order to keep readers emotionally engaged and thereby interested. Writing fiction is very much about taking readers on emotional journeys of the imagination. If your story does not rouse emotion, it will not succeed. In the history of the world, millions of books have been written, and it is universally accepted that some types of storytelling are much more emotionally engaging that others. That’s why I suggest you follow a beat sheet. History has proven that stories plotted out according to them are more successful than unplotted stories that the author just made up as they went along. So, begin your novel by writing out 25 – 50 distinct plot points, according to the beat sheet or template that best fits the basic idea of your story i.e. Romance, Adventure, Coming of Age, etc.
When you have your 25 – 50 plot sentences written out in order from start to finish, start filling in the spaces between them with 500 – 1000 word sections. These will be come the chapters of your book. When you have done this properly, you will have a novel that is about 20,000 – 75,000 words long. Those numbers are padded because you will very likely write some chapters that are shorter than 500 words, and some that are much longer than 1,000 words. This is normal. Your creative juices will be flowing freely, not having to decide what is going to happen in the story anymore, because you already did that when you plotted it out. Now, you can focus on fleshing everything out, describing everything that happens, and everyone’s reactions, thoughts and actions resulting from events in your story.
That is the lion’s share of the work as far as actually writing your first novel is concerned. When you have your manuscript completed, id will be time to get it edited. When you are just starting out, it might be too expensive for you to hire a professional editor, which can cost one cent a word, making a 75,000 word novel cost 750 dollars to edit. If you cannot afford professional editing in that kind of price range, don’t worry, there are free book editing options.
If you can afford a professional editor, do it. There is really no substitute. They will find things that you will not find. I know you will probably think that your manuscript is perfect when you send it to an editor, but no manuscript is perfect until it is edited, and even then, it really depends on who’s reading it. The goal is to get as close to perfect as possible prior to publication. That is an editor’s job. You may think that they are taking your baby and turning it into something else, and you are right. They are helping your baby grow up. They are taking out things that should not be there and putting in things that should. A good editor will never guess about these things, they will know exactly what they are doing, and your book will be better because of it.
When your first book is properly edited, it is complete and ready to be published, and it is also time for a party.