Fiction Writing

5 Critical Things You Can Do As A Fiction Writer To Finish Drafting Your Novel

Even if it’s not the Next Great American Novel or an instant New York Times bestseller

Alex Bentley
5 min readAug 5, 2022


Original Photo by Dollar Gill on Unsplash

Writing is hard.

But writing a novel is far more difficult.

I should know. I’m now in the midst of writing my debut novel, She Called Me Night. A New Adult Romance story.

And I’m doing it… for the third time.

You see, my novel has been a work-in-progress (WIP) for the last two years. But it wasn’t until recently that I realized just how much work still needs to be done.

Now, I could sit here and tell you all the things I’ve learned in the last two years about writing a novel. Instead, I’m going to focus on the five most important things I’ve realized from diving back into writing fiction.

Five things I believe will help you get your ideas out of your head and onto the page. Things you can do to finish your novel, once and for all.

1. You need to know your characters inside and out

This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s something I struggled with in my first draft. I knew the basics of my characters — their names, ages, back stories — but I didn’t really know them.

I didn’t know their hopes and dreams. I didn’t know what made them tick. And I couldn’t wrap my head around the little things — the thoughts and mannerisms — that made them feel more human.

That’s why it’s important as a fiction writer to get to know your characters as well as you can. The more intimately you know them, the easier it will be to write them into existence.

2. Your first draft doesn’t have to be perfect

This was a tough one for me to accept.

Because I’m a perfectionist, I want everything I write to be 100% perfect.

Even in school as a young boy, the teacher would call me a “perfectionist” as I collected papers from the other students and neatly filed them away on her desk.



Alex Bentley

I write about crypto, personal finance, business & tech. Also, I publish a bit of humor to make you laugh.