Monday, February 1, 2021

 

Beginning writers often think that a story, essay, etc...are born full blown. Nothing is further from the truth. Stories are born and then grow. Some writer’s study and outline before starting a story, while others simply write. The former are usually the high volume and experienced writers, and they didn’t develop their skills overnight.

Here are some tips about starting to write from a roll up sleeves and write prospective.

Step 1. The Blank Page

Whether it’s a piece of paper or a computer screen when you start out, it’s blank and daunting. Here’s a means to begin:

One. Get comfortable. Turn on some music or TV, anything that relaxes you.

Two. Turn on your computer and get into your word processor, then ignore it.

Three: Sit back and day dream. Let ideas run through your head. Don’t force them. Once the ideas are flowing, write something, anything. The main thing is to get the page dirty with printed words. It’s less scary.

Four: Reaffirm to yourself that no one is going to read it or judge you for it.


Step 2. Draft One

Note: A well-known author said that his first drafts are really terrible and nobody should see them. Reaffirm to yourself that no one is going to read it or judge you for it.

One. Write the blasted story! Get it out of your head. Hang the grammar, hang the spelling, and hang any writing rules you’ve learned. Even if you narrate the whole thing, then do it. The nice thing about computers is that everything is easy to change.

Note: My outlines are usually sketched out here. The idea is on “paper” and then I write. Sometime I just write any scene that appears in my head and later outline. Short stories I often don’t outline.

Two. Once you have a beginning, middle and end, however terrible you might think it is, you’re ready for Draft Two.

Three. Label it as “Draft One” and date it for reference. Give it a temporary title. Save the file to a History folder as “title” plus “Draft One.” Example: The Cat Draft 1.”


Step 3. Draft Two

One. Re-save it in a new file labeled Draft 2.

Two. Read through it and start shaping it. Note where and if you need a chapter break. Add dialogue, a new scene, move stuff around, maybe make an outline, etc...

Note: Still don’t worry about spelling and grammar. Sometimes, when I'm waiting for an idea, I fix that stuff. If I get a word that I just can’t think of how to spell, or don’t have time to worry about it, I just make up some spelling that my spell checker will red line.


Step 4. Draft Three

One. From start to end, keep reading through it, making changes, correcting spelling and grammar until you are ready for help. Then find someone who is sensitive and can help you without you feeling “put down”.

Two. Every time you make a major change to your story, save it as a new draft. You’ll be sorry if you just scrap it for a new idea. You may need to fall back to it or pick up I idea that you abandoned. (A bit of experience here!)

From Here:

Have fun. Writing is like drawing, knitting, sewing, crafts, you name it, the more you do it the better you get.

C.R. Truitt is a Science and Future Fiction writer.  Learn more about him HERE



Search Our Site