An important thing that you will need to be aware of at the beginning is that your novel will require a voice, tone and a mood. The voice will be unique to you, and will relate to the language that you use, the vocabulary you deploy, the way you construct your sentences and the overall effect of your writing. Each writer has a voice, and more than anything else it’s what makes a novel unique. The best advice on finding your writing voice is to write as you, rather than trying to copy any other writer. But it’s trial and error, and sometimes a writer will only find their true voice when they discover the story or subject that really inspires them to write. Tone and mood are easier to pin down: tone will relate to the way you tell your story like is it suppose to be dry, funny, lyrical, poetic, chatty, journalistic, allusive. It will be related to genre, so decide what the overall effect of this book will be – if it’s a thriller you’re more likely to use a reportage style of writing than if it’s a romcom, where the tone will be lighter and the language fizzier. Think about mood, too – not just the overall atmosphere of the book, but for various scenes and narrative shifts – and how you are going to achieve this. Might there be certain motifs that appear throughout the book, signalling mood to the reader, ie. gloomy 1980s pop songs that coincidentally turn up on playlists when bad things are about to happen?

A strong voice is one of our essential skills for writers