Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Career > Work

Plans for Writing a Novel: Tips on Getting Started

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at West Chester chapter.

If you’re like me you have always dreamed of being a New York Times best-selling author. The only problem is you have never written a novel, and don’t really have the time to start. That stops now. I have now made it my goal to become a published author. They say to chase your dreams, and quite frankly we only have one life, so why not do exactly what we want to. All within reason, do not go commit arson, even if it’s your dream. Disclaimer: I am not promoting illegal or unethical behavior. 

I have decided to come up with a loose plan on how to make this happen. For those of you with similar goals, you might want to keep reading. 

To start, I am going to need to set a time frame. If I do not set a time frame for my first draft, I will keep on having this goal and no progress. I will take about the next three months to work on my first draft. Pick a time frame that works for you, and hold yourself accountable. 

Then we need to outline. Just like any kind of writing you need a plan, so make an outline. Remember you might change your mind later, but having an outline is the perfect way to get your ideas flowing and organized. Do not forget to ask yourself: How do I want my book to end? A strong outline contains a beginning and an end. 

Although that does not mean you have to write your novel starting and the beginning, and going in order. It might be helpful to write what you are most passionate about, most sure of, or connected to first, then fill in the pieces of your outline later on. 

In order to keep going. We need to keep in mind the following. What is going to make the readers want to pick up this book? Why are you writing it? Write it down somewhere and look at it every time you work on your draft. It is important to remember the point of all this. 

I know my first draft will not be perfect. No writing is ever perfect, but we now have a starting point. I wish everyone luck in their writing endeavors. Let’s become published authors, let’s write novels, and let’s follow our dreams. Please remember me if you do become a New York Times Best Seller because I can promise I will always remember and cherish writing articles here for HerCampus too.

Julia Harpel

West Chester '23

Julia Harpel is a senior editor and student at West Chester University. She is working towards her BSED English Writings Track with a Creative Writing Minor. She hopes to one day earn a Master's Degree. Julia is a mental health advocate, environmentalist, and feminist. When she is not at school, at work, writing, or reading, she loves to spend time with friends, go on adventures such as kayaking, and listen to country music.