This is the first of an ongoing series of blogs detailing how I go about my writing process. This is here to help those people who are trying to find advice on how to get started themselves or for experienced writers looking for fresh ideas. My process may not work for everyone and I encourage every writer to find the process that works best for them, whatever that may be.
So you want to write a story? Awesome! Welcome to the life of being an aspiring writer. With the flurry of new writers hitting the market and movies based of novels, who wouldn’t want the life of being a successful writer who gets their work turned into a movie (i.e. Hunger Games, Twilight) or a TV series (i.e. Game of Thrones, True Blood). That’s the goal right? Sadly, 95% of us won’t ever reach that dream, but we still can dream and let it propel us forward.
So how do you get started? Where do you begin with the sea of ideas that you have? Like almost any task you wish to achieve in life, you need to set goals and expectations for yourself. If you have never written before, you may want short obtainable goals to start with to ease yourself into being a writer. As you gain experience with writing, continually update your goals until you are a full-fledged writing machine. We will get to that part later. For right now, lets focus on the beginning.
Getting Started: Find your Dream
All good stories have a good beginning. Before you can break out the laptop and starting writing, you need something to write. Good writing is about having passion about what you are writing. Don’t pick something just because the market doesn’t have a lot of writers publishing in it in hopes that it will make it easier to get published. Maybe there is a reason that genre isn’t popular right now. Let your idea pick the genre for you.
What if you don’t know what to write about? Find something, anything that interests you. Something that you find yourself thinking about a lot. Maybe there is a genre of films or shows that are your favorite that you could watch a hundred times and never get tired of. Maybe a series of novels that you could read over and over again. Once you can find something that you truly enjoy, its time to dream up an idea.
Your idea is the premise of your story. What should the story be? Don’t get boggled down by details at this point. Try to boil down your idea to its simplest concept. Don’t worry if this idea matches something out there in the world, many great works carry the same idea as other works, myths, and legends. Doing so can actually help your work as it can add familiarity to your novel at its core, making it easier for the reader to relate. Don’t rush this process as this is your starting point. If you end up not liking your idea, you will probably have to start all over again and no one likes to start over.
Now that you have you awesome idea for a novel (and I don’t recommend Killer Space Bunnies invading Earth), it is time to start thinking of some general details. So think it over, let the idea tumble around in your mind for a bit to ferment and we will go over where to go from here.