Let’s Celebrate World Book Day March 3rd and celebrate your idea for a book!
Okay so you have an idea for a story and you’re not sure whether it’s any good.
Ask yourself: if I enjoy writing does that question really matter? I suggest you write it anyway. Writing, as I’ve said numerous times is free therapy/cathartic. You can screw it up and chuck it in the bin, keep it for posterity, use it later in another piece, or for some, write the whole thing with the ultimate goal: To have it published.
Or maybe you have the idea and feel excited by it and need extra support to see reactions? I suggest you join a face-to-face writer’s group. They are worth their weight in gold.
WRITING THE DARN THING
Ask yourself these questions:
What makes you want to write this story?
What is my idea?
What is it about the idea that excites me?
If you’re not excited, then why would anyone else be?
So, does it? Excite you? Does it get the juices flowing just thinking about it? Does it cause a little head rush?
If you think there’s some merit to your idea, but you’re not entirely sure, begin by using bullet points and start adding flesh to the bones when you can. You will begin to see the bigger picture emerge. Then maybe you’ll think, yup, this is the one I need to write. This is the one I want to invest time in, and YES I am excited by it.
Now I would like to warn you that we all write at different speeds.
Some people dash off stories in a couple of weeks, some months, and if you’re like me…. Years. I can’t stop editing. That’s an issue I need to get over. Every time I read a chapter then think and overthink! ‘Oh, that word shouldn’t be there, or that sentences doesn’t work quite right, or even the plot line changes.’ This generally happens when my little friends are shouting in my head, i.e. the characters who have told me what to write, start telling me another bit of their story! Go figure!
Is it fact or fiction?
Is it character or plot led? If your story is character driven, do you like your characters? What are they personality traits? (I’ve done a crib/prompt sheet on one of my posts that might help with that.)
Just some of these things might be worth thinking about. I usually have characters, plot and ending before I start. Writing is a moveable feast, its flexible, fiction means you can do anything, and the plot can move with it. Remember if you are writing fiction, you can kill them off and resurrect them if you find it doesn’t work. Yes, you are a superhero. You can re-write history!
A maxim often quoted: ‘write what you know.’ That’s an interesting theory because if I were to write fantasy or science fiction for example, surely anything goes?
Oh, hang on a minute I guess somewhere there is something here that I know, like a laser filled with Zartonite that refuels the world, sorts the environmental issues, ends world conflict, and feeds everyone and we’re all happy for a change. END OF STORY. YAY!
Be warned you do need quality, credibility, and depth, especially if you want to please yourself and as important your wished-for readers.
If you are writing non-fiction then of course maybe your task is way, way harder. Because you need to be accurate and do even more research.
I LOVE research. Maybe I should start thinking about writing something factual? NAH!
NOW HERE IS SOMETHING RADICAL:
Don’t think at all and START WRITING and see where it takes you.
We can write about anything now. Nothing is taboo. But I would suggest you think about your market and whether it will be received well if you want to sell.
This all might sound a little negative, but I want to be honest. Writing is not for the feint hearted. Its hard work. And partial poorly quoted quote ‘one word at a time, its that easy, and that darned hard.’ Is true.
Am I prepared to keep working on it and doing those dreadful edits?
Quite often there’s so much flying around in my head I know I have to write. Even if it never comes to anything. Though I know exactly the moment I put the first draft of ideas on paper (actual paper – flip chart size) so that I can see the timeline, the story has to be written. The thrill of the idea feels like I’m going to burst a blood vessel.
It doesn’t matter if I take weeks, months, or years to write. Secrets, that eventually became Secrets, Shame, and a Shoebox felt like it took forever. The ideas kept coming and growing and that blessed timeline kept growing with it. That also meant tons of research because I wanted accuracy – as much as was possible. But I knew the moment Secrets was conceived I needed to get it out there. Though its only thanks to my long-suffering friends and husband I did. Get it out there. The Twenty-One-Year Contract is its follow up.
Thanks for reading, thanks for sharing and thank you for buying!