Books on writing are everywhere, but there is no one definitive guide to writing a novel. However, there is a lot of great information out there to get you started. Here are 10 tips to kick-start your career as a writer.
1. Don't be afraid to take risks. Do something different with words.
2. Write in a clear and honest voice with strength and style. The characters need to be real.
3. Paint with broad strokes and let the readers fill in the blanks. It is not necessary or preferred to tell every detail in your characters' life.
4. Grab the reader on the first line of the first page.
5. Creating a believable character is one part imagination and one part skill. You must be able to see your story people in your mind before you can expect your reader to do so.
6. If you don't get emotional about your writing while you are writing, don't think your reader will care. You might have to shed some tears along the way.
7. Don't describe the obvious. If your character is walking into a kitchen it is not necessary to tell the reader there is a stove and a refrigerator. That goes without saying. Describe the stove only if it is pertinent and unusual, say an 8-burner restaurant-style grill.
8. Providing details is how you make a believer out of your reader. Here's an exercise you can do so that you notice more details in your everyday life. Every night make it a habit to write down 5 interesting or unusual things you noticed during the course of the day.
9. You must read voraciously in your genre. You cannot hope to write a mystery novel if you never read any mysteries. Same goes for romance or fantasy. Don't try to write what you never read just because you think the money might be there.
10. Don't assume your book, if published, will be an automatic best seller. Have realistic expectations. It might do great but it may just be a stepping stone on your path to novel-writing greatness.
You will not believe how quick and painless it can be to get that novel finished and ready to go to the publisher.