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Episode 8: Researching your novel + thoughts on “Big Magic”

The last episode in this 5-part series on How to Get Started Writing a Novel (find all episodes here).


Writing update:

  • Here is something related to my manuscript Finding Lucy, which I am revising bit by bit.

Reading update:

  • A mini-review of Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • I mentioned that I’m represented by DGLM
  • I’ve written two ebooks, DIY Chick Lit and DIY Writing Retreat. They are writing guides and they are short and resource-packed (i.e. lots of prompts and tables).

The lesson!

Would you be interested in a series on how to do research? What other questions do you have about getting started writing your novel? Please share in the comments!

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Episode 7: How to get started writing a novel, Part 4–Drafting!

AKA the actual writing part.

Welcome to Part 4 of a series on How to Get Started Writing a Novel. My original goal was for you to go from pen and paper to, say, 10 pages of a novel…and so far, I’ve talked about ways to brainstorm ideas using place as a starting point, more ways to brainstorm ideas, and how you might make an outline.


So! Now it’s time to actually write!

Quick writing and reading update:

  • I revised a chapter of my manuscript Finding Lucy twice, womp womp.
  • The Passing Bells is still pretty good, but losing a bit of steam.

Now! Onto the lesson.

Drafting resources…

Things to try:

  • Give yourself a word limit (I use 500-1000 words)
  • Give yourself a time limit (I use 20 minutes)
  • Try the Pomodoro Technique (I use this timer)
  • Send your work to someone else to read; take turns reading each others’ work
  • Remember that you like to do it–this is what you want to do (right??)
  • Write the next thing that happens

Do you have any resources that help you write your first draft? Or any special techniques that you use?

Come back next week to learn about RESEARCH!

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Episode 6: Getting started writing a novel, Part 3–Outlining!


Links to Parts 1 and 2 in this Get Started Writing a Novel series:

The Passing Bells Trilogy is by Phillip Rock; I’m currently reading Book 2: Circles of Time

Harry Potter is an example of third person close (at least in the first few books)

A bit more on point of view: third person omniscient vs. third person limited (which I call “close”) from Nathan Bransford

Something about Finding Lucy, the manuscript I’m revising, is here.

J.K. Rowling is an outliner; here are her outlines (so pretty!)

George R.R. Martin is a pantser. I hunted far and wide for the video I mentioned (i.e. Googled it approximately 10 times), which was just a tiny little clip to begin with. Does anyone know where it is? Share in the comments and make me look slightly more legit.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is by Rebecca Skloot

Stephen King’s On Writing

Do you outline? Do you improvise? Please share in the comments!

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Episode 5: How to get started writing a novel, Part 2–more ideas!


This episode, number 5, is the second in a series called How to Get Started Writing a Novel. You can listen to the first episode in this series, Episode 4, here.

As always, I share a quick writing and reading update. Then I give you some prompts, including some meta-advice for how to *use* prompts (like, you don’t just have to write stuff down on paper with a pen).



How do you come up with ideas for novels? Where do they come from, to you? Please do share in the comments!