Wanting to start writing? Here's 5 top tips to get you going!
Being creative comes in all shapes and forms. For me, to plug into source and get in touch with the great divine (whatever that may be) comes in the guise of writing.
I find writing extremely cathartic - most of my work never sees the light of day, but it really makes you feel better just to get it down on paper or on your hardrive.
So, I bit of background on my writing journey... I started writing back in 2012, but it wasn't until 2019 that I actually published my first novel on Amazon.
Why such the gap I hear you cry?
Well... to be honest, I didn't know where to start! And staring at a blank piece of paper was a well-trodden path for me...
Regardless if you're planning on writing an 100,000 page epic fantasy novel or just want to write a short story about your family, these are some great hints and tips to get you started!
1) Write it down – For all those who claim to have a great book idea, stop procrastinating and just start writing, ideas, conversations, characters just write them down, doesn't even have to make sense.
In a notepad on your PC or on your Mobile, just get it down, the structure will follow, trust me...
Ernest Hemmingway once said that the first draft of anything is shit. And he’s right! my first drafts were cringe worthy and i'm sure that my editor would agree! Just get it out of your head and onto the page, you can work out the structure the rest out at a later date.
2) Chapter flow – So you've emptied out your head onto the page and now you're not quite sure when to begin a chapter?
Here’s a great tip - write down five to ten bullet points of what you want to happen or to be said in that chapter. Then start to flesh it out and connect the dots. It will help with flow and join the story together.
This really helps give each chapter structure and you can begin to work out what goes where... you'll soon find that you may want to expand a bullet point and turn that into a chapter, this technique really helps.
3) Writing Milestones – “I don’t have time to sit and write!” or the “The kids have super glued the dog to the rug again… Or” Your mother is coming over again tonight…sigh” ok, quick maths lesson:
Writing 200 words a day = 6,000 words a month
Writing 500 words a day = 15,000 a month
Writing 1,000 word a day = 30,000 a month
A typical novel is approximately 50,000 words, so potentially you could finish your first draft in six weeks. Still haven’t got the time? Well, have a look how much time you spend watching Netflix or on your phone. There is time right there!
4) Pour Grammar, Can't Spell or stumped witch words to write? – See what I did there ; )
Same here, join the club… I have great ideas, amazing characters, plots, and a world to build. But sometimes putting it into something that is suitable for general consumption… leaves a lot to be desired.
But don’t let that be a stumbling block though… There are a number of tools and services that can even be downloaded onto your browser to help ease the grammatical pain of the English language. Or, if you can afford it, hire yourself an editor.
But the best tip to spot grammatical faux pas is the 24 hour rule. Leave something for at least 24 hours, then pick it up with 'fresh eyes' and the errors will just leap out of the page.
5) Getting it out there – So you’ve finished your precious manuscript. Checked the grammar and structure but what now? put it in a draw... leave it to gather dust? bore the family and recite it when they come round for Sunday roast?
Well, the days of having to get a publishing deal with Penguin or Random House are long gone if you want to get your work out there, it's remarkably easy and doesn't break the bank!
There are a number of Self-publishing platforms that offer an easy and inclusive service. My chosen platform is Amazon KDP, or Kindle Direct Publishing. Mainly because it’s easy to use and they have a print on demand facility, meaning that they can produce your book without holding any stock. You can also use their software to create book covers, it will even check for spelling errors so it’s literally a one stop shop to help you get your book published.
So there you have it, if you have a story that you want to start then I hope these tips will push any budding writer into actually doing it and getting their story heard!
I hope these tips have helped you get your story started, it all begins with you and dedicating any time that you have.