As a new writer, you’re probably asking yourself, “How do I get started?”
The answer is simple, but complex. First of all…Continue writing. The worst thing that we can do as a writer is to stop writing. It is important to find time throughout the week to brush up on your skills.
Second, create an outline of your book. Jot down suggested titles, character names, and major events. As time goes on, don’t be afraid to eliminate things that don’t work out. Start structuring your plot and the key elements that make up the story. Flush out your beginning, middle, and end and make sure that it is fluid and that the events of the story drive your plot. You also want to start looking at separating your story into chapters. Don’t tell the whole story in one setting. Weave in and out characters, make sure there is a cliff hanger at the end of chapters, and try to embed conflict within each character. Whether it’s man vs. man or man vs. others, there needs to be a level of conflict within the story or people won’t read it.
Third, determine how you want to publish you story. Self-publishing or traditional publishing? Ebook vs. paperback? These decisions make a big difference in price, quality, and whether or not your book can be carried in bookstores. If you decide to self-publish, you want to figure out which company is right for you – CreateSpace, Lulu, IngramSpark, etc. If you prefer traditional publishing, then you would need an agent. Most publishers won’t work with you unless you have an agent, unless they are an independent publisher like Building Voices.
This is only three of the many decisions you must make as a writer. Start here and learn as you go. But remember, never stop writing! Stay tuned for “How do I get started? part 2″
Tip 1 of 6 Tips for Aspiring Writers
When you first begin writing, don’t pay attention to formatting and structure, just focus on getting out all of your thoughts and ideas. Make sure that you set the scene, give all of your characters names and start putting together the conflict and action within the story. As you focus on setting, ask yourself where do you want the story to take place? Is it based in the 1950’s and 1960’s or is it based in today’s society? Now start to think about geographic location. Is it based in California or some made up city? If you decide to write a fiction piece, then you have endless opportunities. You also want to consider whether the story takes place in the day or night and does the whole story take place during a specific season, during an intense weekend, on a deserted island or at a drama infused wedding?
Next, as you name your characters, make sure that you describe their physical appearance, emotions, actions as well as their personality. Character development is extremely important. We want to know and feel who your characters are. Are they tall or short? Are they quiet or feisty? What culture are they from? How old are they? Remember to show and not tell! Let me give you an example.
Tell: Tom is ten years old today.
Show: Tom blew out all ten candles from his birthday cake.
Tell: Robert wears glasses.
Show: Robert jumped down from the tree; luckily his glasses didn’t fall off.
Finally, make sure that you have a plot. Your plot is basically the events that make up your story. What is your plan, your storyline and what do you want your characters to accomplish? Now throw in some conflict and rivalry and now you have a story.
Have fun writing!
Aspiring Writers Tip 2
Aspiring Writers Tip 3
Aspiring Writers Tip 4
Aspiring Writers Tip 5
Aspiring Writers Tip 6
Welcome! I’m Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva, author of the award-winning Broccoli Chronicles. This is where you find writing and educational tools to help kickstart your writing career.
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