5  Quick Tips To Help You Write A Novel

5 Quick Tips to help you write a novel

As NaNoWriMo is about to start I thought I would share some quick tips to help your creative juices to flow and get that novel written.

1. Use software that is designed for writers rather than a word processor.

Microsoft Word and other word processors such as Open Office are not designed with creative writing in mind. For a novel writer it is much better to use dedicated software. Scrivener (Mac and PC); The Novel Factory (PC only) and Storyist (Mac only) are excellent programs. They allow you to keep your research and your writing in one place, as well as keeping track of your characters and locations. When your novel is complete you can export to Word format to forward to your editor. They are also much more reasonably priced than a subscription to Microsoft Office 365.

2. Have a plan.

The plan can be as simple as a one-page synopsis or as complicated as a major project, but you need something as a guideline. I’m more of synopsis-type writer but if you want to produce a detailed plan that shows you every part of the story that is great. No matter what, your writing will take you in unexpected directions and tangents, but with a plan you’ll be able to get back on track.

3. Balance narrative with dialogue

A good novel will always balance narrative and dialogue. Too much narrative or description can distance your readers from the story and the characters. Conversely too much dialogue can mean that the reader no longer has a sense of place nor time. Like most things in life, balance is everything.

4. Who, what, where, when and how

It is a good idea to think about those five questions when you start each chapter. These can give you valuable insights and provide a way to focus on what you’re writing. The answers can be one word or short sentences, keep it brief. Examples of the questions are:
Who will be in the chapter (scene)?
What will they be doing? Or alternatively What happens to them?
Where does the action take place?
When does the action take place in relation to your timeline?
How long is the section? Or How will it affect the story? Or How does it affect the character(s)?

5. Use all five senses when writing descriptive passages

When you are describing a setting or a character think about them in terms of the five senses.
For a setting you should think about:
Sight – colour; shape; size; what items can the character see
Smell – natural or man-made; pleasant or unpleasant
Touch – texture; hot or cold
Hearing – natural or unnatural; loud or soft; pleasing or grating
Taste – is there the taste of something in the air
For characters think about them in these terms:
Sight – height; stature; hair colour; eye colour; tone of skin; signs of ageing, clothing and many more
Smell – perfume or cologne; body odour; ageing;
Touch – skin; clothing; caress or violent;
Hearing – accent; tone; volume
Taste – kissing
Obviously not all five will apply to every description and you don’t need to use them all every time, but it is worth thinking about them, that little bit extra may help your reader to imagine the scene or character much more vivdly.

These are very simple ideas to help your creativity. I hope that it inspires you to chase that goal of completing your novel and if you can do it this November then all the better.


Happy writing



What impact do you want to have in the world?

Impact is what we create when we do something that leaves an impression. The ripples from the original action can travel across many miles, even years and touch a lot of people. You might not know the extent to which your actions have an impact.

We have been thinking a lot about the impact that we want to make with Indie Authors World but this week it is even more poignant for us. Friday 12thOctober marks 11 years since our son Calum died from meningitis at the age of 12years. Calum was a kind, loving, happy, caring, fun, sociable lad. He drew people to him with his big smile, easy manner and love of life.

The impact of his sudden death sent shockwaves through our family, friends and the wider community. But this is not the end of Calum’s story. You see, we can all create an impact on the world that outlives us. How you live your life, what you share, what you teach and how you love others will live on in those lives you touched.

So many friends and family continue to keep Calum close to their hearts but his influence has reached many who never knew him. From the families of the people he saved when his organs were donated, through to the readers of the books that we have helped to publish. Indie Authors World exists because Calum’s death unleashed a dream that Sinclair had to finish writing a book. That first book, The Reluctant Detective paved the way for us to help nearly one-hundred writers achieve their dreams.

The impact ripples out further to readers who have been entertained by the fiction books or been inspired to get out walking or cycling. The family tales have warmed hearts and encouraged people to share their stories. Many have found help, support and new challenges from our authors who write in the personal development field. And the ripples go on …

There are two particular books that have a direct connection to Calum. The Thirteen Stones by KT Finegan, and Diablo, The Fantastical Adventures of an Unloved Chess piece by Chris Tait were both published by us in Calum’s memory. Please watch the interviews with both authors to hear about the impact their books are having.

We are now working on plans to have an even bigger impact with Calum’s Legacy Project. This will help 12 young people lacking in opportunity to collaborate, write, publish and sell a book. We are really excited about this and will be sharing more about this soon.

So how many lives has Calum had an impact on? Thousands and most will never have known him. The positive ripples in the pond of life extend beyond what we can see. There is something wonderful and heart-warming in that legacy.

So what impact do you want to have in the world?

Your actions matter – so be kind, encourage others, share your time, your smile, your hugs. Your impact and legacy will live on beyond you – so what you do now matters.

If you have a story to tell, then do it. If you have wisdom to share, then write it. Your words matter and if you want your book to have an impact we would love to have you join our Indie Author World family. You can start with a free consultation with Kim- share your dreams with us and lets add some more ripples to the pond.