So, you have a wonderful idea for a best seller and you are excited to get started.
I have found over the years it is best to take the time to think about all your ideas for the book and write them down before you start writing. I get my best ideas while walking in the countryside or gardening as your mind can wander. You need to have a firm grasp on the plot and the main characters before you start.
I like to write a character file for each of the main characters so that it remains consistent for the whole novel or series. If you don’t do this you may find on re-reading your work that character A has brown eyes at the beginning and blue eyes at the end! I also think if you take time on this your characters will be more believable and real. If they are real to you, they will be real to your readers. Give them a back story; how did they get to where the story starts? Who are their parents and siblings? Are they single or married? You get the picture.
You will have your favourites but often if you ask your readers who theirs are, it will be different to yours. But this is great feedback if you can find out why they like a particular character or why the not like one too.
All this is time well spent as the more comfortable you are with your characters the better they will come alive. I’ve found that when this happens, they begin to talk more naturally and convincing dialogue is often the hardest part of the novel to get right especially for a new writer. You may find that once the story gets going it will naturally change as your characters begin to dictate how it will turn out. I have had characters I’ve labelled as the villains turn into the hero’s; crazy but true. So, take the time to get to know them and they will help you write their story.