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Monday, January 30, 2012

START Your Book the Right Way

Before you even think to write, you have to START. “Well, duh,” you say, huh? Okay, I admit you have a point. You have to start anything to get the ball rolling. But I’m not talking about rushing into your idea all bewildered where half your notes end up in the trash. This tactic is efficient and effective. It applies the simplicity of the acrostic to the complexity of noveling and results in a firm foothold.

Spark the idea. The lucky thing about this step is that it generally happens all on its own. If you force an idea, it will probably lack the originality you so desire. Allow your thoughts to flow freely and they will undoubtedly reward you with a unique concept.
Think it over. Add events, characters and other major pieces that contribute to the beginning of your writing adventure. Don’t over think and start butchering your idea apart. Remain permissive and accept what comes to you.
Apply the details. Incorporate your subplots and minor characters while expanding the idea. Note: Your outline will become cluttered, but that’s not a problem. Plenty of your content will ultimately be cut, so having additional ideas never hurts.  
Research your field. No matter the topic or genre, be sure you have done your research. If you are hurling readers into the future (ie- Sci-Fi) it has to be believable to your otherwise primitive audience. Make sure your facts add up. Moreover, you should read similar stories to improve your understanding and expertise on the subject.
Time to write. Well, nearly. Set a schedule for writing and be sure it’s worked into your routine so your rough draft can actually be completed. This step is where many aspiring writers drop the ball. “It’s hard to find time,” and “I’m busy.” There’s no excuse. Your story won’t write itself. Find time.
That final step is certainly the hardest, but I’ll borrow a quote from my favorite little green man, Yoda. “Do, or do not. There is no try.” Using this template, you can surely START your novel and transform that spark of an idea into to a fully fledged rough draft.
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  1. I love your Yoda quote, Rachel! Some of your advice to fiction writers applies to nonfiction as well, which is more my arena. Especially the advice on scheduling time. I suggest people schedule very specific times for writing: Saturday 9-12 rather than "Saturday morning" which can get away from you.

    1. Yoda is a wise Jedi, ha! I'm glad you feel it applies across that devide, Lisa!

  2. I love all of these ideas. Especially the "Time to Write." Funny, I have more of it now than I ever have, at least in the way of having to work a "real" job to make a living, yet I don't seem to write nearly as much as I should. Bad, Sean! Bad!

    1. Treat writing like a "real" job and you will not only find time, but you'll get it done. That mindset alone is a game changer.