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Writing novels can be daunting, especially the your first novel. A few quick things to remember can help to keep you on track to creating a great book. First, choose your genre based on the one you love to read. Second, create a crisis for your story that your main character must solve. Third, tell the story to the reader in an exciting way.
Some new writers tend to make the mistake of choosing a specific genre because it appears easier. You should avoid this, since a romance novel isn't necessarily easier to craft than a mystery and a novel for a teen isn't necessarily easier to write than one for adults. When writing novels, the author should have a real passion for the subject and genre. Mediocre writers seldom make it in today's highly competitive publishing world.
The genre that is right for you is the one you have a genuine passion for and the one you love to read. You should be reading many authors in your chosen genre to help you find your own voice. Ask your self what your favorite authors express in their novels and then figure out what it is you want to express when writing novels. What secret worlds fascinate you and what do you want to say about those worlds to your readers?
Once you find your genre for novel writing, then you can have a theme for each book. For example, a writer of Westerns may have loneliness as a theme for a novel about a cowboy who was an orphan as a young child. No matter what your theme is, you always need a story that revolves around a crisis your main character must overcome. In the western example, the crisis could be that the cowboy discovers that his biological father isn't who he thought he was, but instead is the greedy rancher he was preparing to battle in court.
Study how your favorite authors get you involved in the story right from the beginning. When you're writing novels, always take care to grab the reader's attention with the first line. Build-ups about the character's backgrounds are seldom interesting unless you employ the classic advice to "show rather than tell." In other words, if you're writing a romance and the heroine of your story is afraid to open her heart again, don't say it, but rather show it by describing her reaction to being asked out by an interesting man at the beginning of the novel. You could have your character work through her feelings by comparing them to the man in her past.
Add excitement to the story to keep the pages turning for your reader. Consider adding one or two plot twists when writing novels to keep the events from being too predictable. Some great novelists totally change the track of the story or add a new revelation just before the middle and/or just before the end of the novel.