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: 482
Latest Activity: Mar 2

Discussion Forum

Building my characters

Started by Vibha Fenil Shah Feb 26. 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


Started by Bronnie Marcus Feb 18. 0 Replies

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


Started by Karoline Barrett. Last reply by Karoline Barrett Apr 2, 2014. 14 Replies

Excited to announce that the cover for my first novel, THE ART OF BEING REBEKKAH is now ready! It will be out in the Fall! Published by E-Lit Books.…Continue


Started by Karoline Barrett. Last reply by Karoline Barrett Mar 20, 2014. 9 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

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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.

Comment by Celestine McMullen Allen on October 11, 2011 at 10:09pm
Hi.....I joined this group because I am on a write my first novel.  I have concepts, I have done research, and now ready to take the steps necessary to make the first of my novel ideas a reality.  Look forward to hearing words of wisdom from this group.
Comment by MaryLynn Bast on October 10, 2011 at 7:17pm

I am shopping to get my first novel published and have updated my webpage with the first chapter of No Remorse to review for free.  Please take a look and let me know what you think.



Comment by Tracey Hill-Bensalem on October 10, 2011 at 7:11pm

Jeffrey Eugenides, Nicole Krauss & Jhumpa Lahiri discussed what they feel to be the definition of "a writer's writer" at the recent New Yorker Festival. You can watch it (for a price) here. Well worth it!

I wrote a bit on it on my blog today, "Sifting the Grain."


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'Heaven's Return' by Rhabi Rites (@playwright42) ~ cover art and design

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