Read as much as you can. You’ll learn by assimilation and best of all, without particularly noticing. So devour those pages.
2. PICK A NARRATIVE MODE AND STICK TO IT.
Look, your narrative mode is not the reason why your novel isn’t getting anywhere. Changing it over and over is not the solution. So pick whatever is best for you: third person limited or omniscient? First person? Second? You can even change narrative modes from chapter to chapter, but I’d only advise this if you’re a seasoned pro. Also: don’t abuse it.
3. DEFINE YOUR GOAL.
Nothing is written in stone, but you do need a general outline to figure out how you’ll structure your story. This can change as you go, but having a general, structured idea will do wonders for you.
4. DON’T BLAME THE MUSE.
Once I met a writer in a conference, and she told me, “I’ve been trying to write a story for months, but I can’t find my muse!”
I looked her straight in the eye and said, “Lazy ass.”
Look, if you are not inspired to write a book, write a short story, or create a blog, or flash fiction, anything. Just write, Forrest, write. Experience is the best teacher.
By the way, muses are major assholes. Mine in particular loves getting drunk and flying to Vegas every weekend, and she once slept with my boyfriend, so I can’t rely on her at all.
You suck, Britney! (Yeah, I named her Britney, but only because she hates that name.)
5. LET IT FLOW, LET IT FLOW.
If you read the title above to the tune of Frozen’s “Let it Go”, you’re awesome.
But basically, what ‘let it flow’ means is: write until your fingers bleed and write fast, without second thought. Get that first draft done. Only then will you be ready to start applying rules like ‘show don’t tell’, or ‘hook the reader from page one‘, or ‘no back-story drop’. For now, don’t worry about them.
Cheers and until next time!