Writing Your First Novel: How to Fix an (Accidentally) Autobiographical Novel

Some of you may be participating in our 100 Day Book program, writing your first novel on your own, or kicking around the idea of starting that manuscript.

Writing Your First Novel

Writing your first tale is hard. It’s a struggle. It’s a learning process.

And it’s often autobiographical, even though they are you don’t signify it to be. And that’s okay.

However, as you write your first fiction, it would be worth stepping back and considering how much you need your book to replicate your life.

Great writing comes from great ordeals, of course! But, does your first journal need to be your life?

Can you start writing something inspired by your life, yet not the same, instead?

Wait, My Main Character Is Me!

Every character is a piece of the author. I necessitate, how do you “write what you know” if you can’t expend who you are familiar with?

The thing with writing your first notebook is that the prime reputation will most likely be based on yourself. Heavily based on yourself.

What I necessitate by this is that their point of view likely comes from your point of view in real world. When it’s your first time writing, it’s not uncommon that your main character shares your perspective.

My first finished tale was a dramatized form of my life at the time. I didn’t recognise it when I was writing, but my prime courage was me.

Her sister was my sister. Her husband was my husband. I believe I made up one character( an elderly neighbor woman ), but other than that I mostly time reformed the names.

Even if you find your first draft to be “too you, ” don’t panic. It’s not a waste of time, and you can still save it from accumulating dust for eternity.

Writing your first story is hard work, and learning how to write a POV or POVs that are inspired by you without being exactly you is a learning process.

And part of the artistic process, extremely!

“Your first tale is more likely to be heavily based on your own life–and that’s okay! Keep writing.Tweet this 5 Reasons to Roll With It

You might be saying, “I didn’t mean for this to be autobiographical. Now I have to start over.”

No, you don’t.

Here are just a handful of reasons to go with the flow and retain writing your first romance 😛 TAGEND 1. You’re getting into a writing habit.

Writing necessitates devotion, age control, and a ton of patience. Just like anything else important, you have to prioritize your writing meter and positioned points and deadlines for yourself or you’ll never finish.

With your first tale, you’re practicing your writing habit by learn what time of day you write best, learning how many words you can reasonably produce in each conference, and developing your “process.”

Writing hearings should be dedicated to learning your vogue of myth writing or nonfiction writing.

Don’t obsess over whether or not your writing is as good as a published author’s. Instead, write your first fiction with a goal of developing good writing habits.

This is what will push you through writing lows like writer’s block, perfectionism, or imposter syndrome.

And all of these habits is supportive you time and again as you placed more messages down on reoccurring space pages.

Some strategies to nurture healthful writing attires include:

Set a daily text tally( or protect a number duration of the working day for writing ).

You might even are happy to make a” Word Count Jar” or “Word Count Bank” and included or remove fund from the container each day you do or don’t meet your text weigh objective. Treat yourself to something you’ve special like a yummy dinner or special knack when you’ve added a certain amount.

Find a writing blog( like this one !) or listen to a writing podcast that schools you something about writing without glooming progress made on your first work.

Different scribes have a different writing process, and others have same ones, more. Whether or not you experience writing tips that come with the territory or a step-by-step process on how to write your first notebook, turning to aspiring scribes turned published generators is a good way to develop health writing habits that will lead to your finished book.

Read! Don’t stop speak!

Never stop reading, even as you write. Numerous scribes’ gambles fib minds come from reading wide and deep. Your writing process will only benefit from a bookshelf that its full of bestsellers, short tales, classics, introductions, contemporary narrations, and a variety of genres.

Do you want to become a great writer with luminous tale themes? Then you need to read. You need to learn from the best.

2. You’re practice your technique and procure yourself.

Writing is a lot of work.

Structure, attribute arc and growth, B patches, feeling, mode, etc. are all things you need to keep track of when writing a novel.

Because your life is so familiar, consuming it as cloth induces it easier to focus on the finer phases and makes you develop your writing style without having to concentrate as much on characters or original storyline.

When you move on to the next work, or even the second draft, you’ll be much more confident in your writing.

But for now, lean on the reason you decided to write your first story in the first place. Use that to finish your book.

Don’t be too hard on yourself if your first person narrative feels a little too close to home.

3. You’re learning to differentiate personas.

A common trouble with new columnists( and let’s face it, some seasoned ones) is all their personas are the same. They talk the same, act the same, sometimes even appear the same.

Drawing from beings in real life can help with this.

You know how your sister would act, what her speech patterns are, that exasperating little half smiling she gets when she’s right and knows it. No one else is like her. Writing “her” into your notebook will help you develop richer references in later stories.

However, while your people has been possible to same identities to parties in their own lives, that doesn’t mean they have to share identical backstories.

If you are worrying that your characters are etched copies of one another, and that riles you, perhaps consider how you can make their backstories different.

Take a writing shatter daylight and dedicate it to getting to know your attributes a bit better by writing out these backstories in a synopsis of their life. If it helps, try obtain a photo online that best fits this character–but is not that sister who provoked them.

Are you starting to see them somewhat in a different light now? Is that difference clearing it easier or harder to write them?

If easier, bravo, and keep going!

If more difficult, scrap this persona date as one for rehearsal, and give yourself a break for stimulating the characters so alike others in your real life. It’s your first volume. You’re learning!

4. You’re study to use real world.

I just said you shouldn’t use real life, right? Not exactly.

You will always use real world as a basis for your storeys, but lifetime should be a trigger for insight instead of mimicked verbatim.

As you’re writing your first fiction, you’re learning to take notes, to watch people’s quirks, to recall weird exchanges you had three years ago. You’re learning to pay attention.( And hopefully you’re learning to always carry something to write with .)

P.S. If you haven’t tried writing( and taken due note) with Scrivener yet, I highly recommend it.

Carrying a writer’s journal in your back pocket is still in good wont. Using Scrivener to take notes and area and write your book is too. You can speak more about our book Scrivener Superpowers in this post.

5. You’re going to finish a novel!

Remember how you wanted to write a novel, which is why you started the process to begin with? You’re still doing that!

Even if it never witnesses the light of day, you will have written your first story. It will exist.

And when you move on to the next theme, you’ll be old hat at this whole novelist thing.

However, if you get hung up on your legend needing to be perfect, on it needing to be as good as what your future books will consequently be, you’ll never finish this one.

Finishing is the most important step you can accomplish this time round! You’ll learn so much about tale structure, your writing process, and other writing criticals by accomplishing what you set out to do in the beginning of your writing challenge.

You can’t edit anything that isn’t written.

In the same brightnes, you’ll never learn as much about writing a first volume as you do from actually finishing your first novel.

Whether or not you’re writing a 50,000 statement MG book or a 100,000 text fantasize tale, finish your floor. Share it with others. And prepare for the second draft.

Up the Stakes

I know it seems like I’m saying writing your first story is just a practice run, but that’s not necessarily the event. Besides the above reasons to stick with it, I have another secret 😛 TAGEND

You can still save this book.

So your main character is you at the core. She’s doing what you do daily. She’s taking her puppy for a path, going to the grocery store, fighting with her spouse. She’s forever “ve got something”, so you feel like there’s one tonne of action.

But where’s the conflict?

A list of action is not a story. There must be conflict. Your private living probably isn’t very dramatic, and that’s okay. You can still use instances of your life to write your novel.

Just up those stakes.

If your main character goes to the grocery store, what happens? Does she get mugged in the parking lot? Does she run into an old spark? Does she have a mental breakdown after used to identify the storage is out of her favorite toilet tissue?

Something has to rub your main character the wrong way in order for there to be a story. Find the conflict and you’ll have a book, whether your attributes are a little too true to life or not.

“The secret to writing an amazing firstly tale( or any tale, certainly ): Raise the stakes.Tweet this

( A NOTE FOR THOSE MEANING TO WRITE AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY/ MEMOIR: This section applies to you, more. You still need to have conflicts around your fib. The divergence is you need to remember what the conflict was at the time instead of manufacturing it up .)

Keep Moving Forward

Even if upping the ventures doesn’t turn your raw material into glossy golden, it’s okay.

After my first story turned out too true to life, I stagnated a bit. I set it in a drawer somewhere.( I have absolutely no intuition which drawer now, but I’m sure the poor manuscript has a nice layer of dust and some expired vouchers to keep it company .) I wondered if I should try to alter some more and decided it wasn’t worth the effort. The legend time felt doneto me.

Knowing that made me worry I didn’t have any imagination or writing chops. But I picked myself up and wrote a duet bad short-spoken narrations. I started three other novels that didn’t get off the ground.

I impeded writing .

It didn’t take long for me to get out of my slump. A little while later, I was basically exploding with ideas to write about. I’d instructed my intelligence to write and opened the floodgates of insight in the process. The next romance was a dark fantasy, with references that had identities all their own and a world that was drastically different from my neighbourhood grocery store.

That work turned into Surviving Death, and was published this month.

Now I have so many intuitions, it’s hard to keep up.

Keep writing . Keep practicing. The residue will fall in line.

Is your volume a little too autobiographical? What are you going to do to up the stakes? Let me know in specific comments!


Today I miss you to take fifteen minutes to write about something you was your day. A gossip, a browse jaunt, cleansing your room, anything. Keep it as true to life as possible except for one thing: conflict. Up the stakes.

When you’re done, share your writing in specific comments. Don’t forget to comment on your colleague writers’ work!

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