Writing is tough work. Lots of energy expended and no guarantee of success is assured. But it doesn’t have to be a frustrating experience. If you follow these tips before starting your novel, I guarantee you’ll be ahead of the curve.
Tip #1: No information dumps: Backstory is important, but let’s be real here, there’s no place for massive information dumps in the beginning of a novel. Readers need to be hooked or else you risk losing them. If you must have backstory, make it brief and get on with the rest of the story. There will be more time for it later in the novel.
Tip#2: Create Mystery: No you don’t need to write a Mystery novel per say to do this. It will work with any genre, and you may just get the reader to sweat over what’s happening next. Yes, having a reader sweat it out is a good thing. Example: I introduced a major crime in the introduction of my debut novel, THE LEOPARD VANGUARD. If readers wanted to learn the outcome of the crime and its participants, they needed to finish the book. Do this to hook your reader early.
Tip#3: Use dialogue to advance your story: An effective way to keep plot moving is to use dialogue. This avoids unnecessary narrative which can bog down your story. It’s also a great way to develop a “voice” for each character, to make them original and not just cardboard-cutouts inhabiting your story.
Tip#4: Use an effective Title: Perhaps this is the most important part of a novel, the title. If your title is weak or just plain unappealing, there’s a strong chance your book won’t even be picked up. Study bestseller titles on the market today and brainstorm with others to try and see what type of titles you can come up with. Make sure that the title you choose will be more than enough to peak potential reader interest.
So there you are. Follow these tips and you’ll have one compelling novel, one that entices and excites your readers.
T.A. Uner blogs about writing, sales & marketing, and self-publishing. He is the author of several novels. Please be sure to visit him at LeopardKingSaga.com and subscribe to his blog posts via e-mail, for the latest in effective writing tips and strategies for success.