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Any tips for a novel noob like me?


New Member
Jan 12, 2019

I’m new to this forum. I’ve written some fantasy and sci fi flash fiction. But it never felt like a real story. I’m currently planning a superhero science fiction novel. Yeah. Not a movie. A novel! But besides the problem with the origin story (because Marvel and DC used everything already), I’ll have problems with to show the powers or showing that’s sci fi. I mean, some people count that genre more as a fantasy sub-genre. So, any tips for a noob like me?


P.S.: Yeah. The nickname’s really a mix between “ink” and “tinseltown”


Well-Known Member
Sep 15, 2007
UK, Yorkshire
Hey, inkseltown, welcome to Chrons.

For a first novel, as general advice, treat the first draft as telling yourself the story. Don't try and make it perfect (obviously if you're writing really well, that's great, but the odds are you're going to be redrafting quite a lot).

On a similar note: constructive criticism is your best friend, so don't be disheartened if beta-readers have numerous suggestions/raise issues with your writing. After all, it's far better to have things that may need changing pointed out at the redrafting stage and not in reviews.


We're in the pipe, five by five.
Jun 7, 2015
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Write as much as you can whenever you can, writing is all about practice as much as anything.

Get good feedback (the members here who give critiques are invaluable and have improved mine, and I'm sure many others who participate on this forum a lot.)

If you want to read a similar, really well written Superhero esque story Google Worm.

A book I love and recommend because it helped with my writing and creative output is Jeff Vandermeer: Wonderbook.

Welcome to the Forums



Well-Known Member
Jan 14, 2017
Staffordshire, UK
I bet Marvel and DC haven't done everything already. If you can find something different within the superhero genre, you could be on to a winner!

The Big Peat

Darth Buddha
Apr 9, 2016
My advice would be to go ahead and write it until you hit problems and then look for advice about those specific problems. There's so much writing advice out there that trying to make sense of it to begin with would be really difficult.

As for showing the powers and that it's sci-fi -

Writing the special effects so that they're as cool as in the movies can be hard, but plenty of people have given it a shot. Maybe read some other superhero books out there, see how they do it - or look at how fantasy books handle really impressive and showy magic. One thing that I think might be worth trying to do is concentrate on the emotions of the people watching the superpowers. When we see it in the cinema, we're going "Wow!". One of the easiest ways of giving the same impression is having someone watching it going "Wow!"

As for showing its Sci-Fi rather than Fantasy, that comes down to the exposition. And generally, the best place for exposition is after something cool has happened and the reader is going "What was that?". If you place the exposition first, you might lose them.


Well-Known Member
Jul 1, 2018
My advice, for what it's worth: The first draft just needs to have a start, an end and some semblance of a story in between. It's the finteuning in later drafts that really brings the quality up.
Put some thought into characters and their motivations. Readers connect with characters when there is a desire or need that causes them to act the way they do, as opposed to plot convenience. Essentially, your characters need to make decisions that make sense, even if only to themselves.

Steve Harrison

Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2014
Sydney, Australia
It is difficult to give advice or even an opinion, because writing a novel is a unique undertaking and you would be hard pressed to find two writers who approached writing one the same way.

Something I do now is ask myself if my story actually is a novel. Do I have a beginning, an end and enough major incidents/scenes to act as stepping stones between them? Is there enough material to sustain a story of 80,000+ words? Are the characters compelling? Are the situations interesting? Am I excited by the work and eager to start?

However, I didn't do any of that with my first novel. I just had an interesting concept and a beginning (but no characters) and winged the whole thing. It turned out pretty well and was published, so, based on my own first experience, ignorance is bliss!


Dec 10, 2012
x² + y² = r²:when x~∞
There are a large number of super hero related novels in amazons portfolio.
I'd suggest looking at those and reading some of them.
There are a large number that look cheesy and many that seem quite serious so you will have to wade through it; however you should get some idea as to what you can add that is new or different.