Posts Tagged ‘ story ’

Finding Your Story

   I have found the adage “You gotta know when to hold, know when to fold” very appropriate during my latest writing adventures. I’m busy writing, or rather, was busy writing, a new YA novel. I was in the flow, finding my story, really making great progress – in my opinion – when *sound of brakes squealing* everything came to a halt. It wasn’t that I didn’t like my story anymore. It wasn’t that I didn’t connect with my characters anymore. It wasn’t even that I didn’t know where I wanted the story to go or what I wanted to happen. What stopped me, quite abruptly, was that I realized that a lot of my action and, if I’m going to be honest, a lot of the really interesting storylines was happened in the past. I found myself trying to explain something that had occurred prior to the what I was writing about now. It gave me a headache quite frankly.

I like writing with a general plot in mind and who the characters are, but tend to hash out all the details as I go along. In this way I keep surprising myself and appreciating my story as it unfolds and then correct any inconsistencies when I go back and work on my subsequent drafts. But this time, I got 12,000 words into my story before realizing I had started my story in the wrong place! How aggravating! Not only would I have rework my storyline, but I’d basically have to scrap all that work and time (although I do like to lie to myself and say I’ll still be able to use some of it…ha!).

While this temporary deviation made me lose both work and momentum, I believe that rethinking my story will only make the final product that much better. 🙂

How to Start Your Story

  Last week at work a woman began talking to me about a book she wants to write, but wasn’t sure how to start. My brother has told me about an idea he has for a novel, but there always seem to be something blocking his path. In talking with other writers I hear of people who have great writing aspirations, but never quite move forward with their goals.

One of the problems that many of these writers seem to face is actually sitting down and starting to write. Between life’s obligations and forming the words, it can be a daunting task! Before I wrote my first novel, I had a hard time moving past the first paragraph.

Here are a few tips that helped me move past my road blocks and hopefully will help you with yours too!

1. Make the time – get up before work/kids/daily obligations or stay up later or make every Saturday morning your writing time then make it a habit!

2. Prioritize – How important is writing your novel? If you want to write it, turn off Being Human and write instead.

3. Figure out who your audience is and what makes your story important to tell

4. Outline your main ideas, then write to fill in the blanks. Don’t worry about having all the answers before you start writing, you’re bound to change some things during your rewrites anyway. 🙂

5. And most importantly – just write!!! If there’s one piece of advice that I’ve read over and over and one that I try to adhere to above all it’s write. The more you write, the better you will get and the more it will become a habit and allow you to reach your goals.

Happy writing! 🙂