Writing a Book… Where to Start??
I am going to have a significant amount of free time in the coming months (I am taking a semester off from school, WOOHOO!). One of my goals is to write a book… the thing is I have NO idea where to start! My main concern is that I will not be able to think of enough things to write a full book. Of course, I haven’t started yet so I could find this to be the least of my worries as soon as I begin. I want to know how to incorporate a moral, how many conflict there should be, how to relate to people, etc. etc. I would very much like to write a fictional novel about the adventures of my dog and I. Thanks for any and all advice!
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@hannah121190, Everyone likes to write differently. Some people prefer to plan out every last detail, some like to come up with rough guides so they know what is going to happen in each chapter, and others just like to write and see where it takes them.
Just depends what works for you really…
@hannah121190, Know more about your characters than you are ever going to use in the story, makes them more believable. As for conflict, that is totally up to you, my suggestion would be to be careful you don’t try and make it too exciting, too much excitement actually will make your story less exciting, if that makes sense. I would suggest that you don’t fully plan out your story but maybe let it take its own course as you write it, but it is different for everybody. Let people read it when you think it’s ready, people who will be honest, and take their criticism on board.
The most important thing, and the only writing advice I’ve ever had that actually helped is, read read read, write write write, edit edit edit. By this I mean read everything, every book you see, films and plays (read them don’t watch them), old newspapers on the ground, tattoos on peoples arms, EVERYTHING.
Write every day, even if it is nonsense, you can work with a page of nonsense, can’t work with nothing.
Editing, leave it til you have finished writing, you cannot edit enough, it is probably the most important part. I read a great quote once; “there is no great writing only great editing”. You could edit every day for a year and then when your book came to publication there would still be more editing to be done.
Any way these are just the things that worked for me, you’ll find your own way once you start. Don’t be discouraged if you find it hard, because it is. And don’t beat yourself up about the quality of your work, you’ll meet very few writers that actually like what they write without criticism. In fact if you think your work is brilliant, you’re probably doing something wrong.
Good Luck, you’ll need lots of it before you’re done.
@hannah121190, Kidd is exactly right.
Nothing to it but to do it. The hardest part is getting past the first 50 pages. (At least, I’ve always felt that way.) Once you get past the early pages you might find the rest of them coming much quicker.
But yeah, if its a first draft you should just have fun with it. Don’t worry about typos or inconsistencies with your story.
And what Kidd said about dedicating an hour a day is probably the most important part of not just starting a story but finishing it. Every good writer I know has a routine they stick to. If you keep to your routine you’ll eventually get to a point where its like second nature. (Mine is a couple hours before work, with a big pot of coffee and too many cigarettes.)
But good luck!
I think you can’t really force writing or worry about it, just let it flow! It’s been said that the best writing is something you have experienced or are passionate about in your life. Or you could write about more abstract scenarios as allegories for those experiences, the possibilities are endless.
Editing is also a pretty important part of the writing process for me though I don’t do it as often as I should. Usually I’ll have to strip away paragraphs cause I tend to ramble until I have only maybe a couple sentences of real meaning, if your writing is composed of only those best quality examples of writing, then it will be brilliant!
So I would just advise to balance out the organic and refining phases of writing but that’s just me.
guide to writing:
write a word
write a sentence about that word
write a paragraph about that sentence
expand that paragraph into many paragraphs
the many paragraphs become chapter synopses
and there you have a story structure to follow