Writing a novel is never an easy task. But if you think you can do it, then try. You must. You owe it to yourself!

Steady progress

A short novel contains about 80,000 words. So if you write 1000 words a day (a perfectly feasible ambition), you could finish a short novel in less than three months. Some have been written in a matter of weeks.

But you have to set yourself a plan and stick to it. Keep on churning out the pages. Every day.

Eventually you will reach the end. There is your first novel. You can do it!


You are going to have to edit and redraft your novel several times. Many writers see this as the most fruitful and enjoyable part of the task. Like a sculptor who has roughed out the overall shape, now you are chiselling in the fine detail. New resonances will appear. The shape will start to resolve itself. The narrative arc will become clearer, more streamline.

Target audience

How do you write your novel? Is it written as a first-person narrative ("I" as the narrator); or are you the omniscient narrator who supposedly sees all the action objectively? Do you have chapters; do the chapters have titles? Do you have flashbacks, or is your story told chronologically? How many main characters? You can be blinded by the choices.

Sit back and think of your target reader. Who do you most want to read your book? What kind of text would they like to read – would hold their interest?

Take some risks

Allow yourself to be original. Take some risks with your vocabulary, the characterisation, the narrative. It's your world that you are creating, and you can do what you like with it. You can always row back from the extremes if they don't work.

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