Saturday, April 16, 2011

N is for Newbie.......

I am a newbie when it comes to writing. I have done some writing for myself but nothing for others to read. However, my desire for that has changed. I would love to write something that people would actually enjoy reading. I dream of being published.  I have a lot of questions.  Here are just a few:

1. How do you start with a story?
2. Do you create characters then write a story?
3. Do you do an outline of what you want?
4. Where do you get your ideas?
5. How do you decide what genre to write?


I have no idea where to begin. The only thing that has come to my mind is a title.  I would appreciate any suggestions or ideas.

16 comments:

Claire Goverts said...

Writing is wonderful, good luck getting started. There is tons of advice out there, but when it comes to getting a story written and revised whatever works for you is the "right" way (and even that might vary from story to story). So my answers to your questions are what I've done so far, if they help you great :)

1 - For me it's the initial idea. It can be character driven (char wants something) or more world/situation based (how about a romantic story from a man's point of view). I tend to think a lot and ponder over random things. That usually generates plenty of little "nuggets" of ideas which can be then worked out more.

2 - I probably over think the character creation process. I've tried the lists of character attributes before and while some writers swear by them I find them constraining. I start with a general character idea and think about what that person would do in various situations. That then helps figure out more about them. I also think about their family, their friends, and what culture they come from.

3 - This is one of those depends on the story things. I've done some novels by the seat of my pants while others I've had more of an outline. I don't get to detailed with my outline, it mentions the main things that happen and anything important I want to keep track of. Other then that I still add in other stuff as I write that hadn't been on the outline originally.

4 - Sometimes from my pondering, sometimes playing "what if" while people watching, sometimes from TV. Educational-ish shows are great for ideas, like watching discovery channel, or science, or history. Actually the "what if" is fun with history to. It can be fun to mine for ideas by thinking about what the outcome might be if a historical event had happened differently.

5 - Not being published yet I can write whatever genre I want. It's nice to try out various genre and see what fits. I've got two mainstream novels, one fantasy, one science fiction, and a children's picture book written (well first drafts - I need to work on revision). I'd recommend trying out various genre and see which ones you like.

Keena said...

Thx for the advice.

Vanessa said...

I start with an idea and flesh it out in my head. During that time, the characters start to present themselves. Then I write down notes about things that I want to happen in the story at some point. Next I write an outline and then I write.
Just write.
Don't worry at first about spelling or grammar, just get the story down.
Don't worry about genre at first. Just get your story down on paper.

Penned Pebbles said...

I don't know that I can give you advice other than write about things that you're really passionate about. Be yourself. Have a voice that's uniquely you, and just enjoy writing and learning about the art of writing. And, thank you for visiting my blog! :-)

Tonja said...

I agree with Penned Pebbles. It helps to write a little every day until you are more comfortable. The ideas will come to you the more you write. (Did you change your background? It is really cute, but the light gray font is hard to read.)

Keena said...

Thanks guys. I have always wanted to write but I am kind of intimidated.

Susan Kane said...

I start with a story line, and then main characters. I do a 'character study' for each of the characters as they present themselves. This keeps my characters consistent, and can actually be used in the story. Then I labor over the opening chapter. This is the hardest part, ever, since it establishes the whole book. As I write, the characters lead the story, and that first chapter is re-worked many times.
Happy writing.

Eric said...

See, for me Titles are the hardest part. I'm what's known in writing circles as a pantster. In other words, I write by the seat of my pants. I just sit down and start writing something, and slowly it evolves into a story with characters. It does mean more editing later during the revision stage, but it's worked for me so far. Whatever you do, don't give up. There are tons of awesome writers out here who will help you if you need it, so don't be afraid to ask.

Spenc said...

I've never written for publication, so I can't really give you advice. I do think it has to mean something to you beyond just writing either characters or a subject that are close to you. You have to put yourself in it otherwise it comes across as forced. That's my experience from reading not from the writing perspective.

Langley said...

I come at it from a lot of different angles. Sometimes it starts with a story idea, sometimes with a character and sometimes I free write until I hit on something. Just write. Something good will happen!

I’m A-Z Blogging on Langley Writes about Writing and Langley’s Rich and Random Life

cassiemannes said...

I like to do flash cards for characters and a post it note outlines for stories that I can hang up and look at so I know where I need something or where something's missing and they can be moved around!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

The best advice I can give you is to just start writing. Have notebooks handy all the time, so you can jot down ideas when they pop up. Reading books in the genre want to write in is very important too.

~Rasz~ said...

All these posts have excellent ideas. I have the same questions as you Keena and I am so glad you asked! What great ideas for starting from your readers.

Langley said...

PS - I just followed you. Nice to meet another Charlestonian!

Dawn M. Hamsher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dawn M. Hamsher said...

I agree with Penned Pebbles. Write about what you are passionate about. I am passionate about God, acting, and about children adventure/fantasy books. So, I write Christian devotions, skits, and my book is an adventure/fantasy with lots of suspense and action (but it is also based on Biblical truths).

I read as much as I can online about writing. I picked up books on writing. I also started my blog so I could practice my writing.

Good luck, Keena. I'm here if you want to bounce ideas off me.