Writing a novel: a beginner’s list of things to remember

Hey, all you beautiful people!

Yesterday, I finally got some work in regarding Camp NaNoWriMo next month. Changed the whole novel I was supposed to be working on, searched names and wrote down points of characteristics and setting and I also looked at the Q&A side of NaNo.

While I was going through the advice by various published authors and writers, I learnt a lot of important facts about writing a novel and noted down suggestions on how to go about this venture. I thought I’ll share what I learnt.


Most of the time, pantsing is more effective than planning. Meaning, going with the flow and writing as you get is more preferred and works better that planning ahead about what exact thing you’re going to write. You decide the novel and main plotline, yes, but do you plan out what scene and dialogues before you even start typing or writing? Most would say no. A lot of times, if you’re like me, even if you decide everything beforehand, you might change it while actually writing. I never plan details ahead because I know I’ll change it anyway.


Make character sheets. Reserve one whole sheet minimum for every important character that appears a handful of times. This helps in not mixing up facts later, easier to look up when in doubt and also prevents the ambiguity of features. Page 26: blue eyes. Page 254: green eyes. Huh? 


Don’t get stuck up on editing while writing the first time round. If that’s the case, you will never finish writing the book. I tend to do that. Everytime I rewrite something or type what I wrote earlier, I make small changes, add new sentences, and delete some weak ones. Every single time; it’s the editor in me. And looking at my work through my critic mind, I’m never satisfied. But that might be the case for everyone, right? 

I’m going to try and curb my editing tendencies next month and concentrate on just writing. Fingers crossed.


Have enough sugar, caffeine and water with you. Even when I write short things normally, I despise getting up to get something when I’m in the writing zone. And the energy is required, otherwise I tend to doze (only sometimes).


Get enough sleep. I was watching YouTube videos from last year’s NaNo and noticed this emphasized. Getting in word count for the day is on the forefront of our minds, and sleep is often pushed to the wayside. This is not good.


Aand that’s all the main things I learnt. I saw a few more articles and YouTube videos but all that’s way more. I have to do some more research too.

I have one major problem! I’m writing in a more American setting whereas I’ve never been there, and I can’t put in Indian places and names because Indian practices and everything are really different. I’m juggling between having artificial names for the places and everything, and just throwing around some names from what I’ve read till now. I’m leaning towards fake places more because if I get any fact wrong while using real places, it’ll all come back to haunt me later. What do you think I should do? Or maybe I could ask someone a lot of details online.. Hmm..


20 thoughts on “Writing a novel: a beginner’s list of things to remember”

    1. Basically somewhere where teens being in a relationship out in the open is normal. And also the clubbing, university dorms parts.


      1. I just have a story that I’m going with which is more suited to the american setting. I don’t really have a perfect goal on publishing and all that yet. I’m just going to write


    1. That happens a lot! I’ve been meaning to watch videos and read up on writer’s block today. But then I’m lazy and I think I’ll put it off to when I have a problem continuing 😜

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh I know! Writer’s block is annoying, especially when you have an idea, and find it difficult to get it written down!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Great tips! I’m planning on trying NaNoWriMo in November so I’ll keep these in mind. 🙂 Also, I find it easier to write with fictional places in the United States so you have more creative freedom. However, if you do need any advice or help, I’m from the US so I’d be glad to help!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fantastic advice! Writing about a foreign place you’ve never been is hard! Many authors make up fictional towns set in a country (America for you) in order to have the freedom of creating a new place.

    Liked by 1 person

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