How to Start a New Novel in 22 Easy Steps

1. Open a new Word document.

2. Save it as tentative book title.

3. Wonder if any other books have this title

4. Check Twitter.

5. Google tentative book title.

6. Feel relieved that you’re somewhat original…

(Can writers query multiple agents at the same agency?)


donna-gambale-kuzma-writer-authorGuest column by Donna Gambale, Philadelphia-based YA writer and
co-founder of the First Novels Club website. She is the author of
MAGNETIC KAMA SUTRA (2009, Running Press). Find her on Twitter.



7. Type the title and “Chapter One” in Word document.

8. Check e-mail.

9. Check Facebook.

10. Stare at blinking cursor in Word document.

11. Check latest favorite blogs & tumblrs.

12. Type first sentence.

13. Click “save.”

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14. Feel accomplished.

15. Feel thirsty.

(How many blog page views are enough to impress an agent?)

16. Refill water glass.

17. Check Twitter.

18. Click on five different-yet-equally-inane HuffPo links.

19. Stare at blinking cursor after first sentence.

20. Realize that, though this is the third novel you’ve written, you’ve completely forgotten the principles on how to successfully start a novel.

21. Write blog post about it.

22. Type second sentence?


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