Writing a book that sells may seem like a daunting task, but there’s plenty of advice to help you out. From researching to writing and editing, there are loads of tips you can effectively use. But the foremost is that your end goal for writing shouldn’t be to make your book a bestselling one. Most great authors don’t think about sales and NYT Bestseller lists while writing. They simply feel a story welling up within themselves that won’t allow them to rest until penned down. Similarly, your writing process should be organic and natural to you. That being said, there are quite a few tips to enhance your writing skills and to ensure that your novel is loved. Today we present you 7 tips for writing bestselling novels.
List of 7 Tips For Writing Bestselling Novels | Writing A Book That Sells:
Develop your own unique voice and writing style
You might have observed that all writers have their own unique voice and way of writing. For example, Gabriel Garcia Marquez writes long sentences with a lot of clauses that are very sensory and larger-than-life in their appeal. Similarly, Haruki Murakami writes in a very fluid, dreamlike manner. Over time, readers come to identify these writers by their writing styles. Similarly, as a writer, you must develop a writing style that is unique to you. It must not be an imitation of anyone else’s writing style. This only comes with practice and introspection. Writing lots and lots of stories, poems, essays and drafts will enable you to analyze your writing and figure out your strengths and distinctions that set you apart.
Identify your creative process
All writers have their own, distinct creative processes. Stephen King writes for four hours a day. Ernest Hemmingway and Graham Greene write no more than 500 words a day, while Michael Crichton writes 10000 words a day. Some authors edit their books vigorously, others barely make changes to the first draft. You need to identify what works for you. No one else’s writing process will work for you, hence you need to know yourself very well. Usually, this comes organically as you write. But you also need to be observant and alert while the process occurs in order to understand it. The most important thing is, you must not try to replicate great writers or get influenced by them.
Be sure about what your novel boils down to
Every book has an essence, which the story enwraps. You should know exactly what your novel is about. And this doesn’t mean your story, or plot, or your characters’ actions. Your story is about a single idea or theme, hopefully one that is close to your heart. For example, Harry Potter is about friendship, family and possibility. ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’ is about enduring love. Similarly, you need to know exactly what your book boils down to, what its core message is, so that it can shine through every scene. This will amplify the impact of your novel.
Write realistic dialogue
Dialogue, especially for YA and fantasy and thrillers should be colloquial. It should not seem too heavy or overbearing, unless that is the mood or tone of your book. Unless you are writing a very serious and philosophical novel, it’s best to keep long passages of verbose dialogue and jargon out. This will halt the pace of the reader and make him/her disinterested. One excellent example of this is John Green. He writes wonderfully witty and intelligent dialogue, but it never gets boring. This is because his dialogue focuses on ideas and not long, big words.
Use flashbacks sparsely and carefully
Flashbacks can go awfully wrong if they are not done properly. This is because a flashback breaks the flow of a novel. It takes the reader out of the experience and plunges him into another experience distant in time and space. Hence, if you don’t deal with flashbacks masterfully and craftily, there is a high chance that it will reduce the overall effect of the point you’re driving home. Flashbacks should be used only when absolute necessity, as when you want to reveal something important about the past or foreshadow something. They should not be used just to fill pages and add content.
Don’t shy away from cutting and rewriting
Chances are that the original plan you had when you started writing your novel will go through numerous changes. As your story builds up and as you start understanding your characters and their lives and motives better, things may change. You should be prepared for this. As a writer, you will instinctively know if something doesn’t feel right or if it doesn’t fit in with the ideal. In such a case, you must be prepared to abandon your original idea and embrace a new one. Thus, you shouldn’t be excessively attached to your original ideas and shouldn’t clutch on to them if they don’t seem to be working.
Write about what you want to read
If you feel bored writing something, it is quite possible that your reader will feel bored reading it. You must be your own and primary reader, ferreting out parts that are boring or verbose or just plain bad. If you write about topics that are juts ‘trendy’ or ‘sensational’ in order to gain sales, your book probably wont sell. You must feel genuinely passionate about what you write, and should be interested in reading other books of the same kind.