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Hi all I’m in the process of trying to write my first book. I was wondering if you get people to read as you go? Obviously being my first I’ve no idea if it’s any good not. Suggestions or advice?

Asked by: Jason Titley

  1. Amy Mager on November 21, 2018

    Hi Jason, I am currently training as a professional Beta Reader. I'm quite busy at the moment but later down the line if you're interested, I can be of service to you. Feel free to connect with me if you'd like to know more/ask questions.

    Congrats on starting your first book!!

  2. Adrian Sroka on November 8, 2018

    Hi, Jason.

    How are you going to explain the past? I hope by using a scene, or scenes involving existing characters. If, however, you intend to introduce new, rounded-characters then they will need fleshing out. You need to introduce and define them to the reader to bring them to life. For example: what are the functions of these newly introduced characters. What roles do they play in your novel? Are they minor players, flat-characters, or well-rounded - main characters?

    I hope that helps.

    Good luck.

  3. ELSIE BYRON on November 8, 2018

    Hi Jason. Well done on beginning your story. The way most people work is probably posting several paragraphs at a time, usually they will get read and then someone will comment on them. Then you could post a few more etc. If it's a short story or poem they are usually posted in full. It's up to you how much you post. If you get stuck with something or not sure how to do something then you will always get help and advice from other writers on this 'ask a question' page. Hope this helps. Keep going.

  4. Jason Titley on November 7, 2018

    Thank you that’s great. I must admit at the minute I have no ending. I sit down and I know where I want the story to go next then I fill in the bit between.
    I have 3 main characters and have got to a point where a point in the past needs explaining that doesn’t involve these characters. Do you think it’s ok to leave the main characters to fill in this bit of the story?

  5. Adrian Sroka on November 7, 2018

    Hi, Jason.

    I cannot possibly cover all the aspects of a novel in one post.

    I assume by a first book, you mean a novel.

    Good luck if you have the beginning, middle and end to your novel. Yet evidence has shown that most would-be authors are pantsers - not planners. They start somewhere in the middle of their story, then add the beginning, back-story and ending, much later.
    That is no bad thing, because the more you write, the more your ideas and your characters will evolve, and the more your novel will take shape.

    Things for you to consider

    Keep your plot and storyline as simple and straightforward as you can make it.

    In what time and place is your novel set?
    What is the theme of your novel.?
    What does your protagonist hope to achieve, partially achieve, or fail to achieve at the end of your novel?

    Make a list of rounded-characters including the protagonist. Don't have to many - 5 or 6 is best. Write down what identifies and individualises each of your characteristic from each other.

    For example: Is a character greedy, generous, cold hearted, loving, hard working, lazy, peace-loving, violent, good natured, bad tempered, rich, poor. I could go on.

    Make a list of 30 working chapter titles, each based around a single idea. Don't worry if you cannot think of that many. Go with what you have got. Ideas for more chapters will come to you the more your storyline progresses.

    Dialogue - Can I say it. Does it make sense when spoken aloud.

    Dialogue should not be used to explain to the reader what is obvious to the characters. That is a lazy way to convey information. Dialogue should be used to drip-feed information to the reader. Perhaps, give them a puzzle to solve.

    I hope that helps.

    Good luck.


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