Hmm... do you have any ideas yet for a novel? If you want really deep advice for direct questions, I can PM you so we can have a lengthier conversation without spamming up the thread. But since others can find this useful: My process is typically this.Skyswallow wrote:I'm planning to do it this year - for the first proper time! Although I'm still not sure what to write... For some reason I don't know how to make a storyline with OC's and everything (I blame too much fanfic writing...)! Do you have any advice on how to start? I tried to do it last year, but didn't realise how much I had to research. Result: failed NaNoWriMo, and a notebook with a just-started story waiting on my bedroom floor
Come up with a basic idea, find a song that inspires a basic idea, etc.
Expand that idea into a wider plot, and put filler names for my characters. (For example... if I had written LOTR, I would have come up with "Hobbit MC has to destroy ring in the mountain it was forged. Evil guy wants the ring." That would have expanded into "Frodo" and "Sauron", which would have continued on. Usually when I have a few basic plot points (2 or 4) that are clear, I start making my characters.
Usually characters are the easiest part for me, because I'll already have visions once the plot gets going. But if I have some trouble, or need some filler characters, I'll Google baby names (if I need a specific gender I'll include that), and usually when I stumble across a name it'll give me a vague, vague idea for a character personality, which I'll then begin to work on.
After I have my characters, I make a Google doc spreadsheet where I make an entire plot outline--I'm a planner, not a pantser.
These are some websites I've found very useful, as well. You can use an entire style that someone else came up with or take bits and pieces that work for you (that's what I do). These gave me some great ideas for how to plan my novels to find the method that worked best for me, and I learned a bunch of new things about characters or the roles they should play in novels that I didn't think of before. Hope you pick up something helpful
The "Snowflake" Method
6 Writing Outline Templates and 3 Reasons to Use Them
10 Tips for a Terrific Antagonist