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Starting my first story!

You have always loved reading books. Soon the love for reading turned into a love for writing. Now your dream is to become a published author. But to accomplish this dream, you need to write your first book - your debut novel.

When you start writing your book, you realize how different the entire process is from what you thought. The illusions that surround writing are just mere illusions. Writing a book is not as simple as sitting down one day and penning your story.

Writing a book takes blood, sweat and tears. But you can do yourself a favor and read this article; you will get a basic idea of all the points you need to consider as you write your first story.

1. An idea - The most basic thing and the first step in writing your story is the idea that you have. You need an idea that you can expand into a plot. Your idea should be such that you will love it for a year, at least, because that is approximately how long it takes to write your first story. Also, you should believe in your idea. If you have faith in your story, then you are on the right track.

2. Characters - A story is driven by the characters. Name your characters, write down the backstories of both the main and side characters. Your character sketches are going to help you till the very end of your book. Identify any quirks or unique characteristics that each character might have.

3. Plotting and Outlining - This is the part where you outline the basic storyline of your book. At first, it is a rough idea. You should know what happens when, how the progression of the plot will be, what will the climax be like, etc. Then add more details like what happens in each chapter, the cliffhangers, highlighting moments, specific scenes etc.

You don't have to think of every little detail. Some things get added and some things get changed as you write. It's the beauty of writing, seeing how everything fills the gaps on its own. Prepare to be surprised by your own words.

4. Write - This is the hardest as well as the easiest part. When you begin writing, you will understand what I mean. Maintain a writing schedule and follow a disciplined writing routine. Write everyday. No matter how small the word count is, keep writing. Every single word adds up. This will also help in overcoming writer's block, if you ever face it.

5. Overcome self-doubt - As you reach the halfway mark, you might begin to feel overwhelmed. You will probably start to believe that your story is heading no where and that it is a waste of time. It's normal to feel this way. But you have to keep going. It's a phase that you have to overcome. As I said earlier, believe in yourself and in your story.

6. Ending - More often than not, writers get drenched with the thrill and satisfaction of almost reaching the end of the book. Of course, the joy is unexplainable. But haste also sets in. You will want to write as fast as you can and finish the book. This will result in the ending becoming rushed and unsatisfactory. Nothing is more horrible than this.

7. Reflect - Once you are finished with the ending and have written 'The End', it is time to take a step back, let your book rest for a few days or weeks, and reflect on it. You might be surprised to learn of the many changes that you will want to make then. You will get ideas of how to make your book better.

8. Read through - After reflection, read through your book once, from start to finish.

9. Rewrite - Not exactly the entire book. But you might want to rewrite certain scenes and chapters. This is also the time to add and delete conversations, scenes, details etc.

10. Edit - Ruthlessly edit. This is the editing that you will have to do. Professional editing is the second editing. Polish your book as best as you can.

11. Title - Some writers think of a title even before starting the book, others think of it after completing. The choice is yours. Decide the title carefully. This is the most crucial element of your book.

12. Blurb - Short, crisp and to the point. Your blurb is the window to your book. Use an attractive tagline.

There are a million more things that go into writing your first book. These were just a few basic points to get you started. As you write, you will learn and grow. Remember, the best way to improve your writing is to read as many books as you can.

This article is written by Kulsum. Kulsum is the bestselling author of The Bleeding Wounds Series on Amazon Kindle. Her debut novel Love of a Stranger is published globally.

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