Your First Novel

Are you in the process of writing your first novel? Share the ups and downs of your narrative journey!

Location: #Fiction
Members: 493
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Discussion Forum

Beta Readers Best Practices?

Started by Candace Robinson Mar 15. 0 Replies

Hi ladies! I'm new to the site and also to writing. I'm finishing up my debut novel and will be recruiting beta readers soon. Does anyone have advice on finding beta readers for YA fiction and/or…Continue

Tags: editing, novel, debut, readers, beta


Started by Karoline Barrett. Last reply by Karoline Barrett Sep 29, 2015. 11 Replies

If anyone is interested in blogging about women's fiction, my first novel, The Art Of Being Rebekkah is going on tour in December! Woo hoo!!! For more information, please click here. Thanks!!!…Continue

Tags: novel, fiction, women's, Blogging


Started by Bronnie Marcus. Last reply by Felicia Dillon Apr 11, 2015. 1 Reply

I am in no hurry to write or finish my book as I am doing it out of passion but I find that I write about everything else, blog and get distracted, I have a basic plot and have only managed the first…Continue

Tags: procrastination

Building my characters

Started by Vibha Fenil Shah Feb 26, 2015. 0 Replies

My novel is about a school so has lots of characters. I have oullined the story and have a general flow. I have been told to expand my characters. All my characters sound same. Can anyone give me…Continue

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Comment by MaryLynn Bast on November 13, 2011 at 9:32am
My first story, "Dream Walker" has been posted to Here is the link:

Please visit the site and take a look. I welcome your comments and reviews.
Comment by Janet Beasley on November 4, 2011 at 12:27pm
Hello everyone! So glad to be here. My first epic fantasy novel is "Maycly" - Volume 1 in my 6 novel series I've titled HIDDEN EARTH. "Maycly" is currently out on submission for consideration of traditional publishing. To discover more of my creativity, and take a peek at some videos regarding "Maycly" please visit JLB Creatives.  Don't be shy, surf around through the different pages on my site, plus I'd like to personally invite you to become a follower while you're there to keep up with my novel progression and creativity. Here's wishing you a most wonderful weekend! ~Janet~
Comment by Karen Banes on October 25, 2011 at 2:06pm
Hi Everyone - I'm planning on posting some interviews with NaNoWriMo writers (throughout the month of November) over at my blog. If you're participating please consider answering a few questions and promoting your writing (and future novel!) Details here:
Comment by Michelle Gwynn Jones on October 22, 2011 at 4:26pm


Had a little problem opening up your site - using explorer - I tried three times and each time I had to shrink it to 50% to get the whole page.  It is proberly a simple setting issue (which could just be mine)

Comment by Karen A. Wyle on October 15, 2011 at 10:53am

Well, I made it!  I wanted my first novel, Twin-Bred, to be up by October 15th, my older daughter's birthday, for two reasons:

--Her participation in NaNoWriMo 2009 inspired me to try writing a novel, after a multi-year detour away from my ambition to be an author;

--She's my cover artist! (She's an art student at the Savannah College of Art and Design.)

The paperback is now on CreateSpace (though the site will be down for maintenance from 12-6 p.m. PST today, 10-15-11), and should be on Amazon any day, and the ebook is at these sites:

Amazon (Kindle):

Nook Store:


The tag line: Can interspecies diplomacy begin in the womb?  After seventy years on Tofarn, the human colonists and the native Tofa still know very little about each other.  Misunderstanding breed conflict, and the conflicts are escalating.  Scientist Mara Cadell’s radical proposal: that host mothers of either species carry fraternal twins, human and Tofa, in the hope that the bond between twins can bridge the gap between species.  Mara lost her own twin, Levi, in utero, but she has secretly kept him alive in her mind as companion and collaborator.

Mara succeeds in obtaining governmental backing for her project -- but both the human and Tofa establishments have their own agendas.  Mara must shepherd the Twin-Bred through dangers she anticipated and others that even the canny Levi could not foresee.  Will the Twin-Bred bring peace, war, or something else entirely?

Comment by Laura McHugh on October 12, 2011 at 1:03pm
Good luck, Celestine! My best advice is to write every day, don't be afraid to write a crummy first draft (you can revise it), and join a writing group to learn from each other and get feedback.
Comment by Mary on October 12, 2011 at 12:51pm

A final thought...When I started my novel I determined who the characters would be, determined their jobs (which in my novel was important) and how they were going to relate to each other.

The outcome and the theme of the book was somewhat what I had planned but it just evloved. Joseph Bates' book, The Nighttime Novelest states that once you get writing, to just let the characters and the plot take on its own life (Bates, 1972). This is really a good book and can help guide you in your path to "who" is telling your story, "why" they are telling the story etc.

The ISBN is 978-1-58297-846-8
Comment by Mary on October 12, 2011 at 12:38pm

The best advice that I can offer as a new and unpublished author myself is to write:

1) what you know

2) what you are interested in

3) what you have enjoyed reading from established authors

Are you planning a fiction or non-fiction book? What interests you about the genre you have chosen? What is your expertise in the area you have chosen? What can you offer the reader that other authors have not? How can you satisfy yourself in developing a story that you will be proud of?

These are all questions I asked myself before I began to write my novel - which by the way - I just finished
today. Amen.

You said you did research but didn't elaborate on what type of research. If your book is going to be historical then make sure you cite, cite, and cite again. Have your facts in place. If you're going for fiction then I suggest you just have fun with the process. Nothing can possibly go wrong with putting your desires and hopes and dreams on paper.

Regards and Best Wishes on your adventure in writing.

Comment by Celestine McMullen Allen on October 12, 2011 at 8:51am
Thanks for the insight, Mary.  Another issue that I am dealing with is which type of book that I want to write.  I have several ideas, and need to understand what readers want.
Comment by Mary on October 12, 2011 at 4:40am

I have been using "The Nightime Novelist" by Joseph Bates to help with the dynamics of writing my first novel. It's been a great help.


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