This question might annoy some people-- But how should I start my novel? How do I know what to write about? I started a novel a while back and got into 40K words--and that's with numerous cuts and revisions...but then I stopped b/c I realized I wasn't devoted to the world it was in (paranormal vampire/werewolf). (I think next time I'll focus less on revisions and more on finishing the story first.) I had chosen the story loosely--I decided to write a paranormal romance b/c I had just finished a few books by Kelly Armstrong that I liked. Then I randomly chose some theme by what was in the news that morning. I did this b/c I just wanted the experience of writing. It ended up becoming about Mexican immigration and abuse/rape. But now I want to start again on something I can be more invested in and I don't know if I should choose a genre. I like to read all kinds of stories and Historical Fiction is probably the genre I've most enjoyed. I am settling on a story I had dreamed about, but it looks like the story will be sci-fi and about a dystopia. The problem I have with this is that I don't really read much sci-fi at all. I get put off by a lot of attention to geography or mechanics of spaceships--I like stories that are very human and am not turned on by strange creatures or inventions. I used to LOVE X-men as a kid and i find myself drawn to the heroic stuff w/ special powers etc. But I don't really see how I am qualified to write sci-fi since it's not usually my genre of choice. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to start? Or what guidelines to create about this novel? How do you decide on what idea to go with or what type of fiction to write? How do you start? I like writing--especially editing and revision and I have one character that keeps popping up every time I try to write anything. Thanks.