Eleven Lessons I Learned While Writing My First Novel (2022)

I decided to write my first novel when I was about thirteen years old. I had no idea what a novel meant, nor was I able to make the difference between a short story and a novel. Not to mention that I was ignorant about the rules and the patterns that I should follow to create a story that sells.

I also never heard about How to write your first novel from scratch blogs, and all the other stuff that concerns writing prompts.

I just had this innocent desire to convert the idea in my mind into something vivid and create a world where I have control over everything.

Unfortunately, my first novels didn't make it to the end. I always stop writing at a third of the book before quitting it because of another tempting idea that looks so much more attractive than the one I would be currently writing. I'd think that I will be more productive with this new idea.

As you can guess, the new idea didn't work either. It was the perfect time to understand that the problem wasn't in the idea itself but in me.

The issue was what we call now writer's block. Whenever I feel that the story is stuck at some point, I just give up on it heading to another idea that may work.

Then, I realized that every novel I will write is supposed to be stuck at some point. It's a part of the process.

Let's be away from this nasty stuff and take a glance at some good news.

Last month, I completed the revision of my second novel.

Yaaaaay. Whoooo. It's time to party.

Before we dig deep into the serious stuff, I want you to bear in mind that I'm not an author yet, nor I am a professor that teaches creative writing.

But only someone who is passionate about writing novels, a girl who endured a couple of years learning and discovering the secrets of creative writing so she could write her first novel from scratch.

And here I am sharing all the lessons I learned while writing my first novel.

Let's dive right in...

# Writing Is Exhausting

Maybe you're someone who falls in love with writing after reading a couple of books, or because you're a journalist and you hope to write a whole book after being stuck with some tedious articles.

Doesn't matter what's your state or your job, we're all here sharing the same passion for writing novels and reading them.

However, writing doesn't seem to be always funny and cool. Sometimes, you need to crush your skull into a million pieces in order to find the right idea or the perfect expression that would fit the paragraph.

I've met some people who wanted to write badly and create their own novel, but they give up writing after one session or two. They call themselves writers who don't write.

take breaks from writing

There is nothing such as writers who don't write. All I know is that writers write. People who use this term would like to be writers and to be called authors. But they can't figure out how to write their first novel with zero experience.

Don't feel disappointed when writing seems hard or impossible. I've been there too. I struggled to write coherent paragraphs, I couldn't feel convinced with expression, words, or the plot.

Every sentence I wrote looked awkward, and I could spend hours working on the same chapter or the same paragraph without any results.

Thus, what I manage to do when I feel that writing won't work for me anymore, I close my computer and go for a break. Otherwise, I'll crash the computer and despise writing.

Writing isn't as hard as mathematics or philosophy, you just need to know how to deal with it. Give it time, write with ease, and embrace your writing style.

If you're still a beginner, then your writing won't be flawless, or perfect. It must be mediocre. Keep in mind that you're still a baby in writing, so you have so much to learn and some important lessons to cultivate.

As long as you're trying, writing will work.

Don't try to write a 1000 words or something per one writing session if you're a beginner. Set up to 500 words or less. Even one chapter in two weeks is a remarkable achievement.

# Give Up On The Story

tabke breaks from writing when you nedd is an important lesson while writing your first novel

Could you imagine that the world would bypass the magical story of Harry Potter if J.K Rowling give up on her novel because of a silly writer's block? Maybe she stopped writing it in the middle of the first part because she has no idea what to do with that green giant, or because she sensed that what she's done to Hermoine's face was so silly and childish (you'll understand if you've read the first part of harry potter's books and movies).

Just imagine rowling saying to herself :

"What the hell is that bullshit I'm writing. This is so stupid, no one would like to read it, even children"

Now, take a moment to condole all the great works that were buried before they even see the light, because of a lack of inspiration or maybe insecurity.

With my first two novels, I had control over my doubts and insecurities, I couldn't kick the belief that the idea was tacky and repeated out of my mind. And I was so stupid to compare myself to expert authors.

So, the important lesson to bury in your heart is to shut your mind from all doubts and stop doing foolish comparisons with expert authors. It's like you're comparing the knowledge of a Ten years old child with a seventy years old man's wisdom. Every writer has their own touch.

The way you will tell a story isn't the same way another writer would tell it. And yeah, even if you are both developing the same story and the same plot. So, feel free to embrace your doubts and ignore them at the same time.

# Writer's Blocks

That was one of the most important lessons that I learned while writing my first novel. Writers' blocks are demons.

As a beginner writer, you will surely dismiss writer's blocks, but as you get old in the writing world, they became funny and childish.

There is a simple trick that I use when I realize that I'm missing the plot or that I've made a mistake by including the wrong affair in the previous chapter which caused a bug in the story.

Okay, I became stressed, I have o idea how to picture the story, everything is messy and confusing. Not to mention that the characters sound aimless. However, screw all, I'm going to add a new scene even if it's not the right place for it.

Yeah, I'm going to add a new dialogue or a new character, maybe a fight scene would do the work. What do you think about some treason between friends? I'm sure it's supposed to move the plot ahead.

Trust me, adding random events is a great way to move with the story and to make it more exciting. And remember that you have nothing to lose as long as you still have the editing step where things can change completely.

You have nothing to lose by taking the shot.

# Fear Judgment

Judgments are the enemies of art.

When I started writing for the first time, I was too afraid to reveal my desire of writing a novel to my family and friends.

There were so many factors to my fear. I was afraid that they will take me for a fool because I'm writing a novel, or because they will read one of my novels and mock me because of my silly expressions and modest plot.

Just think about it a little bit, no one gives a sh*t about you. If a cousin of yours comes to you and told you that she's about to take a ballet course.

She makes some moves in front of you to assess your opinion about her dancing, and you can see that she's not a good dancer or she is not as flexible as Ballet dancers must be.

You will talk with her for a few hours and then forget about her mediocre performance.

The same thing applies to you. People will read what you wrote, and whether they liked it or not, they will forget about it.


We're just applying the art of witnessing life as simple as it must be.

Nobody cares.

Do what you want, write this novel the way you want to write.

Write in your own voice, and embrace your silly flaws. Write as an absolute beginner who is still figuring out how to write his first novel from scratch.

No author was born to write a perfect novel. It takes time.

# Don't Doubt The Idea Of The First Novel:

doubt your first novel idea

If you believe in the idea, then it will work.

My first novel was talking about a twin sister.

It spins about a girl called Lamar who lives in a house where parenting love is just a myth. She struggled to coexist with a violent dad and an obedient mom. And thus, it was hard for her to make friends and trust people.

The girl gets to discover that she had a twin sister and it happened that this sister studies at the same university, and then an adventure of investigation begins.

The other twin is called Dana, and she had another friend which is also a part of the main cast. So, I have three heroines, and for each heroine, I have to include a boy so I could make a love story for each one of them.

I also wanted to create for every character a unique personality as well as a mysterious life, problems, issues, dreams, and hardships.

That was a huge mistake. Unfortunately, I hadn't those kinds of lessons to read and to avoid such missteps.

I was just a beginner who still trying to extract the secrets to write her first novel. It wouldn't make sense to start with such a large story that requires a lot of time and effort.

No doubt I give up on this story.

Now, let me talk a little bit about My first completed novel.

This was a simple story about an imaginary world where women's rights are neglected. And if a woman lives alone deprived of the existence of a man in her family, then she's doomed to death.

Amata is a survivor who was lost in the vices of a sinful love story that caused her banishment and misery. After she found out that she was alone with her baby girl in that terrifying world, she decided to make her girl masquerade as a boy.

This story follows the life of this girl and the difficulties she faces while she's incorporating the boyish version of herself.

It was a simple story woven into a cruel world of enigmas, drama, and love.

The characters were simple and manageable. I knew what I should do with every one of them and how to create a reasonable ending for each one.

So, for the idea to work, you have to keep the environment as simple as possible. Don't try to create superheroes. Write about normal people living a hard life with some interesting circumstances.

Trust me, even when you will feel stuck, you would easily inspire by some real-life events. It's like magic.

# Don't Be Tempted by Movies And Series

Don't watch movies or read fictional novels while you're writing.

Let me get this straight.

It was supposed to be simple, with some secrets to reveal and some drama to include. Suddenly, it turned out to be a science fiction story. And that was the end of it. The story was screwed.


I was watching The 100 at the time. It's so funny but I was tempted by the scenario and those great adventures of Clark and Bellamy. And I couldn't prevent myself from imitating some scenes in my story. And because the story was totally different from the movie, the novel ended up being corrupted.

Sure, the same thing applies to books and novels. Not to mention that you'd be filled with the feeling of inferiority because that author is skilled while you're not.

# Don't Feel Bad Cutting What Must Be Cut

One of the most difficulties of writing is Editing. You can go and ask every author or writer, and he'll tell you that writing novels is easy but editing is challenging because it reveals the secrets of creative writing.

First, let's take a moment to appreciate your achievement in completing the story. If you reach the phase of editing, then you overcome the obstacle of writing the story.

Yaaaay. Don't forget to party.

When I edited my first novel, I was forced to cut some pretty long paragraphs. It may be around 4000 words that I deleted.

Foremost, I felt sinful, I couldn't help myself from thinking that I wasted a huge time and effort making those paragraphs and those expressions. Deleting them would feel like I'm expelling one of my children.

Then, I got to understand that this is a part of the process. You're cleaning the story out of garbage.

So, don't feel guilty cutting wrong terms and expressions. It's an important lesson to keep writing novels.

# Editing Is Frustrating

Not only when it comes to writing novels, but also articles.

When I'm editing, I feel like I'm at a war with myself. Believe it or not, I cry sometimes, I hit my skull badly to get the wanted idea.

I struggle to look for the right expressions and the right words to use.

when I edit the story, I deal with words as something divine, and worthy of the big respect. They're like something that needs to be given great care and treated with ease and fluency.

However, I learned that being so hard on myself won't get me anywhere. If the expression doesn't work and you can't find the right words to use, then it's okay. Let the paragraph be as it is as long as the meaning is clear and subtle.

Sometimes, you don't need to create something extraordinary out of a paragraph so people would like it. Keeping simple is the secret.

# Procrastination Is A Dear Friend

Procrastination is a dear friend when it comes to writing novels

Okay, I know you're wondering whether I'm crazy or out of my mind flattering procrastination.

I'm not flattering it nor I'm priding it, all I'm saying is that you have to accept it sometimes.

Writing for the first time isn't an easy stuff. I won't stop saying that is like climbing a mountain or maybe a long-running distance. Procrastination is a normal sensation when you're writing your first novel.

If we ask Fiodor Dostoïevski, Stephen King, or even Agatha christie, they would say that they didn't finish all those great books in one night.

There were days when writing is easy and fingers seems to translate thoughts into words in a very fluent way.

Other days, writing became a hell of unorganized ideas. Every sentence looks clumsy. You could spend hours working on the same idea. Therefore, procrastination is an important step in such a case, so leave those words and go do other stuff. Otherwise, writing became like a career or a job that you have to finish before a deadline to avoid the indignation of the boss.

I'm sure you won't enjoy writing if it became another version of your tiresome job.

Embrace procrastination when you need it. However, don't let it take control of you.

You have to use it only when you need it.

# Refuge To Real Life

This is a great trick that I use. Whenever I feel stuck with my novel, I try to inspire by some experiences in my life. Borrow some experiences from your life.

It can be anything. Even a scrimmage with one of your siblings could be counted.

For example, you have endured a hard period in your past. Surely, you have earned some lessons and some wisdom that may interest your readers.


# Books To Help You Writing

Books are a great lesson to help you write your first novel

I never believed in that kind of book.

I would say why would words teach me how to write. Writing is something that we learn by ourselves.

You know what, I was stupid.


I can't tell you how much I regret not reading this kind of book at an earlier time.

My main problem with writing was how to link events and characters smartly. Not to mention that I had a big issue with describing places and people.

Magically, these books improved my writing skills and they made me more confident about my writing skills.

Let's discover what kind of books could help you become a better writer.

Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content

If you have a website, you are a publisher. If you are on social media, you are in marketing. And that means that we are all relying on our words to carry our marketing messages. We are all writers...read more

For more information about the book, you can see the whole description in Amazon.

You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One)

In You Are a Writer, Jeff Goins shares his own story of self-doubt and what it took for him to become a professional writer. If you're really serious about writing, you wouldn't see buying these books as a loss of money if you know how much they're valuable...read more

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (Reissue)

Immensely helpful and illuminating to any aspiring writer, this special edition of Stephen King’s critically lauded, million-copy bestseller shares the experiences, habits, and convictions that have shaped him and his work ...read more

“It always seems impossible
until it’s done.”

If you're really serious about writing, you wouldn't see buying these books as a loss of money.

I can't describe how much they helped me to get over blockage points and writer's blocks while I was writing my first novel.

These were some simple lessons that I've earned while writing my first novel. I can't deny that writing a novel for the first time was challenging. But the more I write, the more I know the secrets of good literature.

The more you write, the more you became good at it.

There is no magical spell.


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