I Never Would Have Thought I’d Be Writing This…

Early on when I started blogging I realized A LOT of bloggers were also aspiring writers. I was always all, ” I’m just a reader…I have no interest in writing a book. Ever.” Don’t get me wrong — I love writing and have always done well writing papers & essays for school and things for my job but creative writing was never anything I had any interest in. EVER.

Until, one random night I was laying in bed, an idea for a story came into my head. It was intense because it was related to something very personal to me and that would be the starting point for my character’s story. It would take one conversation and a dead end that happened for me and would be the “WHAT IF”…..what if this thing that didn’t happen for me happened for my character. It’s hard to explain but I see it and feel it so clearly. I never understood what authors meant when they said a story or a character just came to them — but I get it now. I do.

I tried to ignore it but the story was just there. In my head. AndΒ  I wouldn’t leave. It just seemed to get stronger & stronger. So I told somebody. That somebody loved the idea and then told me days later they were still thinking about it and I needed to write it. I told someone else and they said it gave them chills. That was pretty much all the confirmation I needed so then I wrote a sentence in my notebook.

And then I cried. For about 30 minutes.

And now here I am months later….only a sentence on a page. A lot of it is because I’m scared to write this book. It’s going to be emotional and messy. But mostly, I just don’t know where to start. I have no idea how to write when it comes to something like this. All these questions start flooding into my brain and paralyze me so I’m unable to start this story. I don’t know the technical aspects of writing a fictional story.Β  I don’t know where to start with just a very bare bones idea. Do I outline? Do I just write? I could go on. I have a million questions.

So I know there are some of you writers out there! How do I even begin? What are some helpful writing resources you’ve found? HALP! Any sort of tips would be AMAZING.

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 30 year old married lady who is in denial that she's actually that old. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, listening to music with oversized headphones and having adventures with her husband and dog.

Comments

  1. I think that your method is your method. It’s different for everyone, it just takes time to figure that process out. Try outlining. Try just writing. Try starting small with a short story. Just do whatever feels right, and trust your gut!

  2. I wish I could give you advice but I think writing is a very personal thing. The best thing to do is experiment. Find out what works best for you. Some people like to plot out every aspect of their novel beforehand, while others like to write about what comes to them at the moment. I find some combination of the two works best for me. Personally, I don’t think I’m in the position to be giving anyone advice. My one work-in-progress contemporary novel has been stalled at around 65,000-70,000 words for the last few months and my other work-in-progress historical fiction novel is at only 30,000 words. I’m experiencing a tremendous amount of writer’s block at the moment.

    *Hugs* I wish you all the luck in the world! If you ever need anyone to chat to, please feel free to send me an email or a tweet. We aspiring authors have to stick together! πŸ˜‰

  3. You and I are very similar in a LOT of ways. I have been told for years (by my own family) that I really needed to write a book. About 4 months ago I started working on it. The topic of the book is something that I’ve always been interested in. The first thing I would do is do a kind of outline. Plan out the story from beginning to end.Just the big parts. The little details and subplots can be figured out later.

  4. First, this is so extremely exciting! I’m so excited for you to get this idea and this story out. They do tend to beg to be told and it’s such a fun experience! You’re going to love it and it sounds like you already have some idea about were your story is going, so that’s wonderful!

    I’m working on my first novel right now. I’m actually on my third draft. I try to outline, but so far it just hasn’t worked for me. I mean I’ve plotted the big things that happen as I write, that will come in the future, but I just kinda go for it. I’ve tried about 100 different things, but that’s what works for me. I think it’s all about what you prefer, which doesn’t really help a ton, but it’s true. Figure out where you think the scene that you’ve thought up needs to go and then just start free writing up to that spot. See what happens and if that doesn’t feel natural, try something else!

    I know that wasn’t a ton of help, but as you experiment it’ll happen for you!

  5. I just did a creative writing class last semester and one of the best things I was able to take away from it was to keep a journal. Not your typical journal rather a brainstorming journal and try to write write write as much as possible in it. Write whatever! Write names you like or intend to use, write conversations you hear to get a feel for dialogue, ideas, characteristics, etc!

    Revision is very important as well. Write something, put it away for a few days and go back to it with brand new eyes and an open mind. Sharing your work (although very scary and nerve racking, I know) leads to some good revision as well. You always get good feedback from people, especially when they are direct and honest about your work.

    And other than that just keep writing! Keep up with it and try to do it daily to keep the creativity flowing! At least that’s all the stuff I took away from the course and hopefully it helps you out in one way or another.

    Best of luck to you, Jamie! πŸ˜€

  6. I’m a reader and maybe I’m not allowed to make advices, but WRITE! Just write everything related to this story, that comes to mind. You’ll figure, how to put this all together. I believe in you and will read your work as soon as I’ll be able:) Good Luck!!! (And may the odds be ever in your favor:))

  7. I let Nanowrimo take me under its wing and I worked from there. The most important thing is getting it all out on paper. Editing can be saved for a later date. Of course, Nano (National November Writer’s Month) isn’t for everyone, but let me recommend Camp Nanowrimo. It starts July 1st this year. You can pick your own word count goal and just, write! If you are interested I’d suggest a word count goal of 30 000. It’s easy to have a goal of 1000 words a day. Just get your story on paper. Trust me, once you start writing it’ll all come to you! And if you join Camp Nanowrimo, message me and I’ll help you at as much as I can! My username is JessDay!

  8. I wish I could pretend to be a writing guru, but alas I am not. *sulks*

    I am the earlier you, with no interest in publishing a book, despite being able to pull off a decent sentence or two for school. The only creative writing I’ve done in recent memory is my English/Apocalyptic Fiction final, which I honestly turned in without proofreading because I was terrified on what ended up on that paper.

    But here I am spamming your blog to give you my support! *waves rainbow poms poms*

    And if writing is anything like any other self-initiated creative pursuit, (I am an art major, so maybe I am qualified to put my two cents in) the most important thing is not to let yourself procrastinate, or shirk away from the challenge. Make deadlines/schedule or set a goal, and stick to it.

    There are many books/blogs on writing. And podcasts (even though I have no publishing aspirations, I listen to WritingExcuses.)

  9. Sometimes the story needs to percolate in your head for awhile before it can come out on paper. I had the breakthrough idea for LEVEL 2 in June and didn’t start writing until November. I spent those months brainstorming and asking questions and more questions until I knew the world well enough to get started.

    I don’t think you necessarily need to outline, but it helps to have a vision of where you want your story and character arc to end up.

    You already have the great advantage that you’ve read a lot of novels (great preparation for writing one), but a couple of books on craft could also be super helpful. I really like SAVE THE CAT for plotting. I also recently read WRITING IRRESISTIBLE KIDLIT by Mary Cole and I thought it covered all the craft issues of writing YA well (if that’s the genre you’re writing).

    Feel free to e-mail me too πŸ™‚

  10. Jamie, you scared the living snot out of me with that title! I thought you were going to say you quit blogging! You can’t scare me like that…I’m too emotional, hahaha.

    ANYWAY.

    I don’t know diddly about writing, so I’m not going to sit here and give you flimsy advice. What I will say, though, is that you should just go for it. I know it’s probably scare to take that plunge, but if the story means that much to you, then that fear will be worth it!

  11. Jamie, I have never related to you more than after reading this. I’m 17, and I’ve had an idea in my head for about two years but I’m just too scared to even start writing it because it means a lot to me and I don’t want to ruin it. The one advice I’ve always gotten is: “give yourself permission to write crap”. But I just can’t. I’m too much of a perfectionist, yet I know I won’t write anything remotely good because I’m young and inexperienced. HOWEVER, anyone that reads your blogs can tell you have a knack for writing, so GO FOR IT. One of my favorite quotes by Sylvia Plath is : “the worst enemy to creativity is self doubt”. Good luck, and please keep updated on your progress (if you want to, it’s up to you, but I would love to read about your writing process πŸ˜€ )

  12. I think writing is different for each person, but I know of an indie author who wrote a lot of blog posts about writing and publishing, so maybe it can be of help: http://www.susankayequinn.com/p/for-writers.html
    I love to write, but never actually wrote a whole book, so I can’t really give any tips concerning that. Maybe you should just write and think about all the difficult questions later after you finished your first draft?

  13. You should do camp NaNoWriMo to get you started. Otherwise, I know diddly about writing!

  14. Like previous commentators have said, writing is very personal and the method varies by person. If I was you, I would probably just write first. Don’t worry at all if it’s structured well or make sense, just get all your emotions and feelings on the page. And then if and when you get stuck at some point, you might want to seek out some advice about writing (I haven’t read it yet, but Bird by Bird by Anne Lamont is supposed to be amazing) and story structure (a book that helped me with this is Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell). Fear is the #1 thing that holds people back from writing, so just write like no one will ever see it and ignore all the voices in your head that will try to hold you back. Easier said than done, I know. πŸ™‚ Good luck!

  15. All professional writers will tell you that the writing process is different for everyone. Their common advice though is to write everyday. I say do what feels natural to you. You can always revise and cut later. Good luck!

  16. This is a completely useless comment because I have never tried to write a book and really don’t have any tips, but I just wanted to quickly say how much I love that you are. From what you have said, your idea sounds SO GOOD and the emotion you have toward the topic will make it even better. I think you learn a lot about writing from reading, so the only suggestion I’d have would be to think about what you like and see what you can work into your own story, but especially since it is so personal, be sure to channel in yourself and what you want to say.

    Good luck and I cannot wait to read it when you’re a published author! πŸ™‚

  17. Here’s my best tip: Don’t let β€œBut first, I need to learn *how* to write…” be another excuse *not* to write. Deep breath, let go of the fear, and just write. Namaste.

  18. Ginger @ GReads! says:

    Writing tips work differently for different people. I know some who plot & outline & then go back & full in the holes. I can’t do that. I just write as I go. It’s amazing to see where a character or storyline will take you… they really do have a mind of their own πŸ˜‰

    I was given some good advice from an author friend: just get the story down. Don’t worry about all the mechanical errors & if this makes sense or not. Just get the story written. Then you can go back & fix all those things.

    Yay writing! I support this & I support YOU!

  19. Persephone says:

    Hi, I love your blog.

    Please do not be disheartened by only writing one sentence. You can do it. For some of us it takes time. I’m a writer and I find the best thing is to find other writers to talk to about these things. You’d be surprised how similar we all are. One piece of advice I will give you is your first draft can be absolute crap. Don’t be afraid because that is what editing is about. A book I recommend you is, “The 90-day Novel” by Alan Watt, it really helps you to sort out the plot, structure, narrative, audience and then uses the three act graph to show you how to structure the story. It’s great for writing a first draft and you can take more than 90 days to write, we all write at different paces. It also depends on your story. For example, my current story is a very controversial issue (hence why my agent loves it) and it really takes a lot of my energy because its a tough subject.

    All I can say is keep at it and remember write for yourself first, you won’t enjoy it otherwise. Writing is meant to be fun.

  20. I’m just as new to writing as you are, and I’m currently writing my first book, but let me tell you something, the most important advice you’ll ever get is to sit down and write! Write, write, write some more. This is your first draft, you’ll rewrite and correct it many,many times. Don’t be afraid of writing something wrong, because this is, again, your first draft. It is meant to be messy. It’s for you, not for the reader. Dedicate a couple of hours in your day for writing, and when you don’t feel like going into your story (which will happen a lot, but doesn’t mean you’re not passionate about this!) write something else. Write a background story for one of the characters, ask yourself a hundred thousand “what ifs” and take the different outcomes and write them. Write a chapter through someone’s point of view. Or write something completely unrelated to the story. As long as you’re writing, as long as you’re keeping your writing machine oiled, that’s all that matters! And trust me, by writing those miscellaneous things to your story, you end up with one hell of a rich book!

    And most importantly, HAVE FUN! πŸ˜‰

  21. It’s already been said, but I’m going to say it again: join camp nano! The biggest hurdle to writing is just writing. And the first draft will never be perfect–that’s why you have editing and editors. There’s no right or wrong way to write–as long as you actually WRITE.

  22. I think the figuring out your own way of doing things is definitely important. But ath being said a lot of authors’ and agents’ websites have great tips on writing. Some of my faves are Susan Dennard’s “For Writers” section of her website http://susandennard.com/links/for-writers/ (but yeah, I’ve found checking out the website of almost any writer you like there will usually be some sort of advice under FAQs or what have you and after a while and some trial and error you start to pick out the advice that is most relevant to you) and Nathan Bransford’s Website http://blog.nathanbransford.com/ and Pubcrawl has some good stuff too http://www.publishingcrawl.com/for-writers/

    Good luck!

  23. I totally get this. I’ve always wanted to write a book (I’ve written poetry & short stories), which is why I majored in creative writing. But I never get past the beginning of the story. I get lots of ideas, write a couple of sentences or paragraphs, and then stop. It’s usually my own inner critic that causes me to freeze up and never finish.

    What everyone’s been saying about writing being personal? So very true. You really need to think about who you are and what your habits are in other parts of your life. Are you really organized and like to plan ahead? Then an outline might work for you. If you’re the kind of person that likes to jump into something without a plan, then just start writing.

    Camp Nanowrimo and/or Nanowrimo itself are great ideas. They work really well for a lot of writers (my brother’s successfully reached the 50000 word goal two years in a row- so jealous).

    Just remember that it’s ok to be scared, but not to let it hang you up (like me). So take a deep breath, and have fun with it. That’s probably the best advice I can give you- have fun writing. I can’t wait to hear more about your ideas and progress. Good luck! πŸ™‚

  24. Here are some things that might help:

    http://amandaonwriting.tumblr.com/

    http://writeworld.tumblr.com/

    http://bethrevis.tumblr.com/post/44514293051/sometimes-i-dont-feel-good-i-feel-stupid-or

    Just write. Write what you think,feel, etc. Go with it. Think about it later. (Easier said than done I know).

    Best of luck Jamie! πŸ™‚

  25. I highly recommend Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. Changed my writing life. πŸ™‚ Good luck!

  26. 1) I’m SO excited for you.

    2) I just have to write, even if the writing sounds stupid or ugly or uncomfortable, because sometimes it leads to something good. I write based on scenes rather than characters, so if I have inspiration for a scene, I just write the part I want to write and stop when I’m tired of it. Other times, I have to force myself to do something.

    3) If you do Camp Nanowrimo, let me know because I will so be your cabin-buddy. πŸ˜‰

  27. I, too, am a reader – with writing aspirations – and a half done novel, thanks to NaNoWriMo. The best advice I got from my NaNoWriMo experience is to shut off the inner editor and just GO FOR IT!

    I used Scrivener software – that way you can write each section in a separate block and slide them around like a puzzle later. Everyone is different – a plotter or a ‘pantser’ (going by the seat of your pants) – and you may find that you are a combination of the two. Many writers will also tell you that the characters start to take over – and let them. See where they want to take the story!

    But, as many have already mentioned, just get the story or the parts OUT- don’t edit yet. Just do it! Write your crying eyes out and then come back to it when you are ready!

    Hope it helps! <3

  28. I begin where I begin. Which might not sound helpful, but it’s the truth: There is no place in a story that is marked THE BEGINNING, and you dust it off and uncover it and hold it out for all to see. The beginning is wherever YOU say. You are the one in control. You are the dictator of the world. This is the only place in your life where you get to do whatever you want and no one–NO ONE–can tell you to do it differently. And I think sometimes we have such a hard time with writing because we’re not used to that. Our lives are structured by rules from the time we’re born, and we want there to be rules to follow that will make it all clear, because we’re used to it. In writing, there are no rules. Not now, not at this point. Just write, write exactly what you wish, and don’t worry about any of it. Eventually, you’ll get used to the freeing gesture of flinging words onto paper, however you want them to be, and every single one of them being RIGHT, because you are the one who gets to make that decision.

    Happy writing!

  29. I can so relate to this post..I have this idea for a book as well..and I really want to write it but I am totally scared to commit to it because though I think it’s great what if it doesn’t work on paper..I would be interested to hear what people say!

  30. I feel like I COULD write a book, but at the same time I just don’t have any real concrete story ideas or characters in my mind. I have a lot of fragmented plot lines and possible scenarios, but ultimately it’s nothing I could really start. I also feel like that I would put so much of myself into a story and my own personal experiences that I wouldn’t want others to read it that actually knew me. It would just be too personal you know? I’m a bit neurotic about my writing and keeping it personal. πŸ˜›

  31. The best thing you can do is JUST WRITE. Get down on paper what’s banging around in your head – don’t worry about it coming out in order, or being a complete book, or even sounding like proper English. Just write. It may come out as bits of outline, or dialogue, or a scene or two. But the important thing is not to worry about it sounding perfect the first time – just get down what there is to get down. I’m sure many a published author has told you it took many, many, MANY rounds of edits before their editor declared it done, so don’t expect perfection the first time from yourself – expect a beautiful mess. Writing is all about learning by doing – you can take all the classes and read all the books in the world, but only the act of doing it will truly teach you how to write – and teach you how YOU write, because everyone’s method is different. You find your method by trying what you think would work best for you, and then if it doesn’t you try something else until you find what does.

    I definitely agree that Nanowrimo is worth a try – I wrote for years before it, but my Nanowrimo years really taught me a lot about writing by the simple act of doing. If you try and it doesn’t feel like the right fit though, don’t be afraid to give up (on Nanowrimo, not your book!) – it’s not for everyone, but I believe it is at least worth trying.

    I’ve been writing for over a decade and have led a writing group for years – if you’d like to ask me specific questions or need encouragement (especially encouragement – it’s my specialty! ;), I’m here to help if you’d like it! πŸ™‚ Feel free to tweet me and I can DM you my email addy. I’m @skyelyte.

    So just write, and don’t give up! Good luck!

  32. I’m sorry, I wouldn’t have any advice for you because I’ve never tried to write a book but I just wanted to leave a comment to cheer you on!

  33. When I first saw your post title I was like, “No! Do not delete your blog!!” So glad it was about something else!

    I don’t know of a lot of writing resources but I am in the same boat that you are — writing wasn’t my thing for a long time but lately I have been working on some projects and falling in love with it. If you ever want to be email buddies that read each others’ pieces and give feedback let me know! I have been looking for someone to look over my stuff with an unbiased eye and would love to do the same for you. Good luck with your story!

  34. Write in a way that feels natural to the story. And accept that your first draft will be complete crap, and your second draft will probably be crap as well. Outline if you want, or not. A great tool for staying organized and compiling your notes/research/character sketches/chapters is Scrivener.

  35. Just write! Every day. Even if it’s just a sentence or a few words.

    It’ll be tough. It’ll be intense. But you can do it! You have TONS of supporters. πŸ™‚

  36. I wrote about a million first chapters (all of different stories, I might add) before I ever actually finished something, and at that point I’d known for years that I wanted to be a writer. Getting started is tricky, especially if you don’t know if you want to plan it first or just go with it. My tips would be:

    1 – DO IT. You have all of my encouragement, and I’m sure everyone else’s too (seriously, who would discourage anyone from writing?)

    2 – Write for yourself. Don’t wonder if it’s any good (impossible, I know, everyone wonders this, but try not to). Tell yourself that nobody else ever has to read it, if that helps you. It helps me to know that if I decide something I’ve written is awful, it’s on my laptop and I can make sure nobody else ever sees it.

    3 – Put aside some time to write. If you find yourself getting distracted when you’re trying to do it, try a programme like writeordie.com I first used it for creative writing assignments and now I do most of my writing on there because it helps me to stay focused. Or you could try something more community based, such as NaNoWriMo.

    4 – I didn’t mean to rattle on for quite so long so I’ll end with this – you probably know a lot more of the rules for writing a story than you realise, because you read a lot. There are no writers who weren’t readers first (and continue to be them). You’ll have picked up so much while reading that you didn’t even notice and it’ll come through in your writing instinctively.

    So, to sum up, go for it! And good luck.

  37. I haven’t read anyone else’s responses yet, so sorry if I’m repeating what’s already been said, but I’d say just write. Self-doubt can CRIPPLE you. You can think of a hundred million excuses and they’re just that – excuses. Everyone’s process is different – some outline, some don’t, but honestly I say just write. Write initially for you – as if no one else will ever read it, because it feels like less pressure. Don’t edit as you go, just get the words on the page. I don’t know what the story is about, but I know you’ve been through a lot, and, like you, I know the pain of losing a parent, and I’d just like to say that writing is the most therapeutic thing EVER. My dad died of cancer when I was young, and my first book was about a young man who got cancer…it was like ripping my heart open and bleeding onto the pages, and it hurt like hell, and I cried like a baby, but it felt so good afterward. My third book was about a girl who had lost her mother, and I wrote it shortly after my Grama died, and it was the same thing – heart and soul, bleeding all over the pages, but it felt like closure in a way. (Plus it’s cheaper than therapy lol) So whatever your story is about, and however you choose to do it, just DO IT. Have faith in yourself and don’t get discouraged (easier said than done, I know) and don’t let anything or anyONE (including yourself) stop you. Oh, and utilize the writing community. They’re a huge asset (I’m always around and happy to help if you want to ask questions). I actually just wrote a blog post about the importance of making connections when you’re a writer or aspiring writer. I don’t know what I’d do without the friends I’ve made online, and I’ve made most of them through book blogging, so you should have a good head start! πŸ˜‰

    ~Marie @ Ramblings of a Daydreamer

  38. YAY! This is SO exciting. Avid readers are the only people who should be writers. I have, like, way too many thoughts/resources/squealings of delight to clog up your comments with! E-mail me, though! Seriously! I have been in way too many writing workshops, programs, groups etc… to be concise, and I can send you a list of my favorite links/articles/craft books and such. πŸ™‚

  39. Wow. This is tons exciting! Writing is a very personal outlet, especially when your characters are somewhat based on your own experiences. Some people outline. Some people just sit and write whatever comes to their head. Sone people have dreams or epiphanies. It matters on the individual. I have absolutely no writing advice to give, but I wish you the best in this endeavor! I’d be scared!

  40. There are infinite ways to write a novel, and they are infinitely different from writing a screenplay, but I have to say I learned more about telling a compelling story by studying screenwriting structure than I ever did from traditional writing/lit classes. I never read a book about it, but the Internet is littered with screenwriting advice (much of it useful and much of it not). Terry Rossio’s WordPlayer site (http://www.wordplayer.com/columns/welcome.html) is an oldie-but-goodie. And Dan Harmon’s story circle is Aspergery awesome (http://channel101.wikia.com/wiki/Story_Structure_101:_Super_Basic_Shit).

    My advice for writing a book would be:

    1) Learn the rules of story structure.
    2) Throw those rules out the window when it serves your book.
    3) Write, write, write. Then write some more.
    4) Embrace the suck of your first draft.
    5) Do not, under any circumstances, be tempted to write a screenplay instead of a book. You have been warned.

  41. Jamie, first of all, even having an idea is great! GO YOU. If your first sentence, made you cry, that’s a good sign, because if YOU as the writer get emotionally invested in your story as you are writing it, then the same thing will happen for the readers.

    Writing is a terrifying thing. I started my WIP in December, and planned to finish it in March. Did this happen? Heck no. I wrote two chapters and I was SCARED TO DEATH of this story because it’s messy and emotional and not neat at all. I finally made myself go back to it about two months ago, re-read what I’d written, edited it, and this month I started writing again and I’m now ready to start Chapter 11.

    Is is the most amazing story ever? Maybe, and maybe not. But it’s the story I NEED to tell, and when you have an idea like that, you go with it. You hold on so tight and you let those characters talk to you. Reading back over my original synopsis the other day, I giggled because the story has changed SO much as the characters have taken on a life of their own. but I think that happens when it’s the RIGHT story, so I hope it continues to happen for you.

    YOU CAN DOOOOO IT JAMIE!

  42. Leta Rebecca says:

    Hey Jamie! When I’m starting a book, I have the same feeling about ideas and not knowing where to start. I deal with it by taking the specific images that are in my mind, and writing them down- not necessarily chronologically, just as they come to me. Once you start, more ideas, images, and characters will probably start coming to you. Write those too! After writing the certain parts that you are sure of in your head, you can arrange what you have chronologically and then begin making lists of the characters and places that you plan for your book. By this time, you’ll most likely be able to begin writing from the beginning and inserting the other parts you’ve written as you go.

    I hope that makes sense, and that it helps- even a little bit! It works for me and it might work for you too.

    I’d love to read a book that you wrote!! Keep it up πŸ™‚

  43. michelle_etc says:

    Yay, Jamie!! So awesome you want to write your story! I have to agree with the other comments: there really is no wrong way to approach this. Whatever works best for you is right. πŸ™‚

    A lot of time I’ll start out by brainstorming, getting all the ideas, characters, scenes, and settings I see for my story out of my mind and onto some kind of page or computer screen. I’m also an outliner, so I like to have at least a vague idea of where the story might be going. Then I just go for it! The beginning of the book is when I have the most fun — it’s all about meeting the characters and getting to know your way around.

    As far as books are concerned, I’d recommend “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott and “Writing the Breakout Novel” by Donald Maas. The latter breaks up the elements of a novel, and that really helped me when I was totally overwhelmed. I’d also recommend Laini Taylor’s blog “Not for Robots.” I connect with her process a whooooole lot.

    Eeek, this comment was way longer than I planned on it being, but I hope it helps just a little. Good luck to you!! πŸ™‚

  44. You already know what I think the best method for writing is – to JUST DO IT. There’s nothing easy about writing, particularly if you go into it blind from the start. But having the drive of an idea, a character, a plot point – that will keep you going. Your first draft might not turn out the way you want it to, but it will exist and you can improve from there! I believe in you when it comes to being able to write this story πŸ™‚

  45. I, unfortunately, don’t have any advice for you. But I just wanted to say that I know EXACTLY how you feel! About a year ago a great story popped into my head. I, also, never considered creative writing…especially a novel! Okay, so I wrote a page, not a sentence, but still…pretty similar story. And I basically just thought and thought and thought about it FOREVER before I finally decided to do some research for the story. Wrote a bunch of stuff down. Then, I wrote one (very short) chapter. And it’s pretty much just been at a stand-still since then. It’s very hard to actually sit down and write a story. And very intimidating. I don’t know how people do it lol. I hope to accomplish the task at some point, but it’s really really hard! I wish you the best of luck with yours, though. You’ll have to keep us updated on the progress! (and any tips you may have for people like us, if you come up with any)

    P.S. – It’s weird, but sometimes I think we are the same person haha. I read your posts and they are pretty much always exactly me. It’s like you’re speaking out of my head a lot of the time! Just thought I’d point that out — sorry if it makes me sound like a weirdo lol. πŸ™‚

  46. I am in a similar position as you. A story idea came to my head around April this year and it keeps coming back. I want to write it but I never did an intense creative writing class that deals with long writing. My longest writing is a little less then five pages.

    An idea I have for you Jamie that you can try out, if you want too is to write a scene about anything that is apart of your story and keep doing sporadic scenes of your idea. Instead of worry about consistency find many scenes in your story and then begin your story based on the scenes. The beginning is the hardest and it took me two months to find my story beginning.
    I found it past of what happens in the middle. great, i’m babbling, but basically start in the middle (in a variety of places) and then move to the beginning. (If you like my idea and want to do it, I not trying to force you to do anything)

    another your choice idea is to make a character list of all your characters motivations and stuff.

    And maybe join Camp NaNoWriMo tomorrow!

    PS: I love your faces post a few weeks ago; it was very hilarious.

  47. If you’re not already a member I suggest trying to join SheWrites.com. You have to apply and be approved but it’s a great site once you’re in. It’s a community of writers and they are really supportive.

  48. I would recommend finding a writing program that you love. yWriter is great, as is Scrivener. They really help you organize your thoughts.

  49. First off, congratulations. I know the feeling of having an idea and I also know the feeling of getting stuck. I think writing is a very personal thing, therefore no amount of advice will ever be enough to actually do anything. I for example ONLY write when I have an idea. I never force it or try too hard and that’s why I always end up liking everything I write.

    Sometimes I play out entire novels in my head. Like, I write them in my head when I’m walking, riding buses, trying to sleep, etc. I literally “write in my head,” using connectors and descriptions and everything.

    Maybe you could try writing it in parts, like short stories. You don’t have to start from the beginning – maybe you could write out the parts that you want first and later work on putting it all together.

  50. The rules of NaNoWriMo in general– there are no rules!

    Seriously though, so excited for you to start this! Your process depends on you and I think you’ll figure out if you’re a “plotter” or “pantser” as you go. For now, just put words to page every day, no matter the order and no matter the quality! That’s hard enough!

    Then, let it rest for a while before you dive back in to revise. Because that’s when it will REALLY start to shine πŸ™‚

  51. Writing is different for everyone. I am one of those people that write very intensely for a while and then take breaks. Just find what works for you and always write a book that you would read, because while writing a book, you read it 100+ times. Also, face your fears and say that even if you fail, you will learn something new and that is always useful.

  52. Just start writing. There’s no right or wrong way to write a fictional story–not that I’ve heard of. If you want to outline, then outline. Then again, if you don’t know the answers to the questions, my suggestion would be to just write and let each sentence take you where it may. That’s how I started developing one of my most recent book ideas.

    I’d also suggest NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) or Camp NaNoWriMo. Either one will help you get start and maybe even complete your first draft.

  53. You can visit the writing advice section on the websites of your favourite authors. They will give you give great advice and link you to great writing resources. Also, one of my fave quotes from Stephen king is this : ” stopping a piece of work just because it’s hard either emotionally or imaginatively is a bad idea. Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it and sometimes you’re doing good work when it feels like all you’re managing to do is shovel shit from a sitting position.” Good luck Jamie, I know you’re going to write a beautiful book

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