Your 1st Novel is a Start Up

A lot of people have expressed their desire to write – but their inability to actually start writing. They have cited reasons ranging from “I don’t get the time” to “I don’t know how to start”.

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                                                                Writing your 1st Novel

I would like to begin this discussion by asking YOU to treat your 1st NOVEL like a Start-Up. A venture, a business – for which you need to strategize and then begin and succeed (ie finish writing and then go for publication).

So like for any other Biz Venture, you need to 1st define the following:

  1. What you would like to write about? Eg Politics, Romance, Current Affairs, World Affairs, Novel etc
  2. Who would be your target audience? Eg young vs old, age demographic, gender demographic, which country etc
  3. What shall be your medium of writing? Book/blog/newspaper/magazine/e-zine etc – with a specific focus on online or offline (ie a printed version)
  4. Do you wish to start your own venture? Do you wish to contribute to some else’s venture?

Now that your VISION is clearer, you now need to focus on detailing out these 4 points for your NOVEL.

Shall explain with an example around a : NOVEL on contemporary short stories.

Going point-wise from the above guide:

  1. What would you like to write about – NOVEL on contemporary short stories. Start by defining what contemporary means? And how short should a story be? Write 5 stories one a definite GENRE, eg Romance, Thriller, Murder, Mystery, Religious – and share with friends and family for feedback
  2. Who would be your target audience? – since its a NOVEL of short stories – you are targeting people who do NOT have time to read full length books and/or are looking for light reading. Now its time to spread these 5 stories of the defined GENRE of your choice – to friends of friends etc (to gain more feedback). Look at getting positive feedback about what “went right” and skim off the constructive feedback from the negative feedback. If someone says he/she didn’t like a story – ask WHAT did they not like and try to record it.
  3. Based on exercise 1 and 2 – decide whether you shall go for an e-book or physical publishing? In both options try to see if you wish to go for self-publication or get your stories selected and backed by leading publishing houses? Ps – here you may wish to explore self-publication which offers the option to publishing company to earn a % of profit – this shall make them aggressive in their sales and promotions.
  4. If you are writing your own NOVEL of short stories of a defined GENRE – then it is your own venture :). Contribution mode can be if you submit your stories to other publications one at a time for printing (both online and offline)

Once these are written down on paper – my friend – you are ready to actually Start-Up! Ie you are ready to start writing…

Now for the support systems which you will need to build in, as you are writing – and writing is an individual job:

  1. Have a “running mate” – something like a co-founder in the start up realm. Someone who can constantly motivate you when you are down.
  2. Have a “critic” – your NOVEL is not just your start-up but its your baby. So for you it is very near impossible – so look for a critic. NOTE – the critic cannot be someone who criticizes – but a critic is someone who does constructive criticism
  3. If possible – pitch to various publishing houses for getting your novel selected – they shall then assign you an agent – who shall actually turn out to be your time keeper!
  4. If you are going in for self-publication also – the company shall alot an agent for you – someone who shall egg you on!
  5. Define goals and milestones for yourself – with defined treats on achieving these very milestones. Ensure that these milestones are time specific – it is very easy to forget yourself in writing and having a spill over and not being able to keep a deadline of submission.

Aloha – and happy writing…

Or should I say happy “Starting Up” 🙂

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