How to Keep Going...
So, it may seem odd that I am writing on how to keep writing your novel before how to start your novel. But I have found that its harder to keep going than it is to get started. It's the part that involves rewriting, writer's block, and most of all, grit. So here are some ways I learned how to keep going.
First of all, remember that you are just the author. While your characters may be fictional, and you have this amazing plan for the book in your head, you will find that if you "follow your character" a stronger story will arise. You have to believe that your character is a real person, living and breathing, to create a story and have the endurance to finish your story. You should want to write the story of your character, not just want to write a story.
Incorporate pieces of yourself in multiple characters, and create new personalities for each character. If you see yourself in the characters - not all of yourself - you will be more invested. But don't create characters that are copies of you or people you know. You will find yourself bored with writing about yourself. But if you allow small pieces of yourself to make their way into your characters, you will be more invested, and your readers will be too! You may also find that writing your novel will become a good emotional outlet :)
Write every day. It's so easy to write the first few pages or even the first 10,000 words. But to keep going gets hard. Life gets in the way of your novel. If you want it to get done, you have to make it a priority. Write a page a day. Even if you're distracted or have writer's block. Don't make excuses to not write. It's not easy. Just yesterday I only got two pages done of my draft of Book 2. I was distracted and wasn't in the mood. But you write anyways.
Finally, it's got to be your dream. Similar to Disney's Ratatouille, I believe that anyone can write. And everyone should write, at some level, in my opinion. But if you don't love it, and you don't want it, and you don't dream of it, it probably won't get done. I don't say that to be a Debbie Downer. But when people ask me how I kept going, that's the truth. Since I was in 2nd grade, all I wanted was to see my book on a shelf. The Ocean's Daughter was not my first story idea. I have three binders full of starts. It wasn't the first story I finished. I finished short and long works prior to The Ocean's Daughter, but The Ocean's Daughter truly embodied my dream. It's the one I wanted to show the world. I fell in love with every single character in the novel and I could see their lives play out right in front of my eyes.
I hope that this blog helped you, in some small way, learn how to keep going after you start your novel. If your question was not answered fully, please let me know in the comments! Or, if you have other questions about the writing or publishing process, leave a comment below. I would be so happy to write about that too! Come back next week for more about my life as a young author, answering questions about novel writing!