I want to be a writer.
Yep, there, I said it. I want to write a great story and to become famous and make a lot of money. These are my crazy goals.
But to go from an unknown amateur writer with just a good idea to a fully fledged multi millionaire writer I still have some way to go, so to do that I have to work quite a bit. To make it work I must have some methods to write and this is what I wanted to talk about with you here, I wanted to tell you about my methods of writing, how I find inspiration and what are my goals with these stories. This will be a multi-part post, preferably divided in categories and linked together, in which I will try to explain how I work and to give you some advice as to what to do to write a story.
This time, I will begin by talking about the three things I believe you absolutely must do before you even try to write the first chapter of your story. They are important in my opinion, and they might help you build your story more easily, but feel free to disagree with me, it is my method after all…
Drop that pen and sit down lad!
No, you should NOT start writing your book right away. Indeed, if you do, you may make the gravest mistake of your life and lead to the long and painful destruction of the universe. Before you even think about starting to write your story there are a few things you have to make sure of.
1 – Think about it
Yup, just think. And also, ask yourself this : is my story really good enough? Does it deserve to write it down?
Think about that, really hard. Think about the plot you have in mind, think about how it will play out and how you want it to end. Try to imagine yourself as a reader and to see if you would like to read your own story.
Whenever I have and idea, i know I wish it would just write itself down on paper to be done with it and be able to read it without having to go through all the trouble of writing it. But here is the problem : this doesn’t happen. And if it did happen, I can’t tell you the number of crappy ideas that go through my head during the day that I find awesome at first but end up becoming terrible. So yeah, take a minute, step back and look at the whole picture. Do you like what you imagine, is it an idea that really motivates you to work on?
It is? Awesome! Then you can go on to step two!
2 – Make sure you like to write / Make sure you write well
Yes, it seems like a stupid to do but I assure you, it’s very important.
If you don’t like to write, then it will most definitely not be a fun ride, so you have to make sure you will like doing that until you’ve finished your story if you ever plan to go that far. Sometimes it happens, I find myself not liking to write things for a moment, going from a few hours to a few days, I’m not unable to write but in these moments I just don’t want to do it, I don’t like it anymore.
It’s really frustrating because when it comes back you feel like a complete idiot for even thinking that you didn’t like writing anymore and it seems such a strange idea that you almost can’t believe yourself, but I assure you, it happens to me from time to time. So that’s why you have to make sure you’ll enjoy doing it from start to finish.
If you do awesome. Now, try writing something down or look at projects you have already started working on and read them. Study how you write, try to spot the mistakes and what you don’t like. All this, all the errors and things that irk you as a reader, you have to be conscious to not do them as a writer. You have to write well, it’s very important. Now, I don’t mean that you have to know how to write like a great writer from the start, no, that comes with experience and trials and errors.
No, what I mean is that you have to at least be able to make as little vocabulary and grammatical mistakes as possible, and to make your sentences as clear and coherent as possible. They don’t have to be complicated or a high level of english, you can write very well and very simply, but you do have to write with a minimum quality if you want people to read you. Unfortunately, living in France, means that I am aware of the Skyblog community, a blog creation website by the french radio Skyrock. This, if you ever have some time to go take a look around, is mainly populated by teenagers and is a very clear example of bad writing, especially in amateur fan fiction writing.
As proof here is a quote from an interview about Skyblogs : “My eyes! They’re burning!” – French reader who made the mistake of going to take a look at some of the fan fiction skyblogs.
So, yeah, write well, even if it’s not advanced vocabulary you can still make an effort. I don’t pretend to have a strong level in english vocabulary but I do try to make my stories as easily readable and as agreeable to read as possible.
3 – Write the main ideas of your story (but also the little details) down on paper (or on a .word document, as you prefer)
Just as the title says. Write. It. Down. But not in its complete form yet. Write all your ideas, all the little details, every scene that you can picture in your head, try to put it in words, even if it’s not exactly what you think or it’s not well written, put it in words. Also, try to write a detailed summary of the plot of your story with the storyline in order, it helps a lot. Write descriptions of your characters, of the places, of the events that have happened, are happening or will happen.
Writing down your ideas is very important to ensure that you won’t forget them, but it also helps precise them and to make the order of important events in your story more clear. It also give you a reference of what you want to achieve and what you have already achieved. Plus, when you come back to it after some time you can see how far you have advanced, how much progress you’ve made.
Making notes is something I often neglect to do, I try to do it more nowadays but I still find myself not doing it, though I should because it helps putting some order into my mass of scrambled thoughts and ideas. It is really helpful, I swear. It also helps putting a timeline on the story, and that’s important in my opinion. You have to know how things are going to play out before getting into the details. Now, these details are very important too, it is these details that often give a real life-like feeling and depth to the story, so if you have any good idea that seems not really important at the time or that concerns something that appears insignificant, don’t think and write it down, it will be useful later, one way or another.
Another advantage of writing down the ideas is that it makes you practice your writing and it helps you see how you want to write your story in a more detailed way.
Okay, I think that this is all I have to offer for now. If you can manage to do that before even starting to write the first chapters of your story than it is awesome, it will help you make it more clear and greatly facilitate the moment you really get into writing. I know because it helped me when I tried doing that.
Now, this is, of course, not all I have to tell you people, I have some other advice I want to give you, but for now I’ll stop here because it’s getting late, my fingers hurt and I’m getting hungry. I’ll come back later for the second part of my tips and tricks to writing. Next time : what to do to start writing a story?
I hope it helped you and that you enjoyed reading this ’till the end (if you did I assume you at least found it interesting if not enjoyable) and I thank you for doing so. If you have anything to add or to comment, don’t hesitate!
I’ll see you later, dear reader!