4 Tips on How To Begin a Novel

You’ve got an idea for a novel, I know you do. Maybe you talk about it all the time, maybe you just silently obsess over it, afraid to spoil the beautiful notion by writing it down. I understand—I’ve done the same thing myself.

(Diana Abu-Jaber: On Unearthing Family History)

Maybe some ideas are just too pretty to be written. But in a world filled with gatekeepers and critics, I humbly suggest we try not to stand in our own way. Here are some pointers to help you move from dreaming to writing.

1. Mise En Place

Cooks know there’s something called a mise en place: You read the recipe, if there is one, and assemble your tools and ingredients. It’s another way of saying that the cooking begins before you begin cooking.

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