The time has finally come: you’re going to start your novel.  This is a very exciting time in most author’s lives, however it comes with several questions and a few things you can do in order to streamline your process.  Here are some of the best tips out there from experienced authors:

1.)  Write something that YOU would want to read yourself.  Don’t pander to an audience!  Do something that’s true from your own heart.  You must be able to draw on your own experiences.  That doesn’t mean that you have to write what you’ve experienced, but you must be able to relate to what your characters are going through – at least tangentially.

2.)  Think of a great plot, and then create a metaphor.  One of my screenwriting teachers taught me this.  Taxi Driver is one of the great American screen classics, and the taxi driver is a metaphor for loneliness.  Think of a concept that you want to illustrate, and then create a metaphor for it.

3.)  Avoid cliches and tropes.  This is self explanatory.  Sure they are there for a reason, and one or two cliches in a story might comfort a reader.  But too many, and the reader will become bored.  Shake things up a bit.

4.)  Always back up your work!  Back up your computer on a regular basis, onto different hard drives.  You could even use a cloud storage system such as Backblaze or MyPCBackup (I recommend this highly for authors who generally need to back up smaller amounts of data).

5.)  Make it believable.  If your readers can’t believe it, then it won’t work.  Note that you don’t have to stay true to planet earth as we know it, but you must stick within the world building rules that you have set forth.  This is what fantasy authors often do.

6.)  Have fun.  If you’re not having fun writing it, then nobody is going to have fun reading it!  Ensure that you’re engrossed in your own story first and foremost.