Always wanted to write but never got around to doing it?
You have killer thoughts in your head but you just can’t seem to get it out. We’re changing that today. Don’t worry the simplest things are usually the hardest to map out. Follow these steps and in no time you’ll transfer every golden thought to paper.
1 WRITING MATERIAL
“Pencil. Paper. Forget the world.”
― Shaun Hick
Going back to the good old crayon and paper. Well, not necessarily crayon but definitely paper. You already have the ideas in your head. And to take some of the pressure off as a first-time writer, your head isn’t the place to map out your ideas. You need to see them. Simply, because you’ll overthink, confuse yourself, doubt will manifest and the words will never make it out of your head onto the paper! (Deep breaths) SO, paper and pen/pencil will do. Forget your laptop. I recommend this because writing by hand has a more natural feel to it and a computer before you is a major portal of distractions.
2 NO FEAR NO DOUBT
This is a personal mantra of mine. I hope it treats you the same way it has been treating me. It simply means there is nothing to fear or doubt. Which is right! The is nothing to fear. You’re not disarming a bomb. You are only putting your words on a paper.
Now that you have your trusty materials, WRITE. Write a name. Write a sentence (or choppy parables if you’re anything like me). Do not overthink it. Even if it’s “Sandra likes Carl. Carl dies “
It’s a start and that’s all you need. I often write like this to get a feel of the course I want my story to take. Whether you have a novel in mind, short story or poem. They all have a starting line and that starting line is a single word.
3 ADD FAT TO BONE
Think of your one word or one sentence as a skeleton. Don’t leave it all naked like that, put a little flesh on it, put some clothes on it. Yes, respect your skeleton. Let’s work with:
“Sandra likes Carl. Carl dies. Then Sandra finds his killer”
Describe just how Sandra liked Carl and why. Maybe she liked him because he had blue hair and maybe she showed this by stealing his mail every morning. See where I’m going? It’s your skeleton, fatten it in any way you’d like to. Watch your characters build, watch your plot grow.
4 NO PRESSURE
You are under arrest for writing senseless garbage!
Said no one ever.
You are not expected to become GRR Martin in one shot, so don’t put that kind of pressure on yourself. Have fun. Enjoy the way you play on words. Enjoy your skills. Erase, rewrite, and erase it again. Or, if you’re like me and you hoard concepts and every single piece of writing (crazy I know) just get new paper.
3 CRITIQUES ARE YOUR FRIEND
So you’ve mustered up the courage to reveal your writing to a friend. It left them very confused and now you have a wake to attend because it bored them to death.
This is not a sign to give up on writing. I repeat this is not a sign to give up on your writing! Do not throw your work in the bin. Writers have thick skins, or at least try to. But that’s not all, we have made a friend in constructive criticism. Look at it this way, how will you know which part of your holey roof needs fixing if it doesn’t leak?
I remember giving a classmate of mine one of my stories to read. And you know what she said to me? “How do you want to become a writer and you can’t even spell whisper?” or maybe it was “whistle”. Obviously, spelling wasn’t my strong suit. The point is your writings aren’t supposed to be polished from the get go. You aren’t supposed to have 11 Rules of Grammar ready-made in your head. Let them point out your faux pas, you can even do it yourself. And get back to the drawing board. In our case, the notebook.
There, it’s all done. You’ve taken the time to bring your thoughts to the page and it looks great. At this point, you can bring it to your computer to further polish or build on. Type, erase, retype and erase it again.