24 September 2011


Getting started 
Do you have story ideas spinning around in your head but don’t put pen to paper to write them down? You’re not alone. I, for one, spent years doing just that. So, why not start today.

Is one of the reasons you didn’t pick up your pen because you thought your story idea wouldn’t be big enough for a short story or a book? Then you would be wrong because you only need a mere spark of an idea to set you on the road, and once there, you will be amazed at what you will achieve. Whether the initial idea is about a character, a setting, or an incident, any one of these is enough for you to begin.

The first draft
Now that you are on your way, don’t stop until you have finished your first draft. Try to resist the urge to edit as you go along because it will break your momentum. You will have all the time in the world to edit once you have that first draft finished.

We all tackle our writing differently 
As individuals, we tackle our writing process differently. For example, one writer I know produces his first draft in next to no time. It irks me, actually, because I take forever. But that’s me, I guess. I don’t edit along the way, but I do a lot of procrastinating. And that is my point. It really doesn’t matter how anyone else does it. What matters is what you do.

Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) 
Along the way you will experience doubt. It’s inevitable, especially in a solitary occupation such as writing. There’s no one looking over your shoulder telling you what you are doing right or wrong. You will ask yourself whether your story is compelling. Will anyone want to read past the first page? Am I wasting my time? I believe that no matter how many books you eventually write, you will find yourself asking the same questions with each one. Determination is the operative word here. Don’t waver, just keep going and believe in yourself.

Your first draft is complete.  Now what
I think having your first draft completed is a most exhilarating experience. You now have a story from beginning, through the middle, to the end. This doesn’t mean that you won’t make changes in your subsequent drafts, but you now have a story to work on. Make it the best that it can be. And don’t rush the process.