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How to begin writing a book or a story – Part 2

In my previous blog post I gave you 4 steps you can try when beginning to write your book or story. This post will be a continuation with new steps to follow.

Writing should be a joyous and fun experience. If you’re dipping your hands in creative writing just for the money, then this may not be the right path for you. When writing a book or a story it can take a long time of editing and revising before it’s perfect for publishing, but taking these steps first can help to at least build a strong foundation for your future masterpiece.

STEP 5: Knowing the Ending

I consider myself a planster. A writer who likes to outline and plan her story ideas before and during the writing process. However, you do not have to be a planster or a panster who does not plan, to know the ending of your story. Sometimes when knowing how your story will end (whether you use it or not) can guide you as you write. It allows you to figure out what your characters need to go through in order to reach the resolution or the end. While writing my debut new adult fantasy book, The Fairest, I could imagine how it would end. No spoilers here, but if you join Mageia’s journey in book one of the series, you will need the much needed break for what’s to come. And yes, knowing the ending for your entire book series is a plus. I shall grin ear to ear every day as the Fairest Fam move closer towards the last book.

STEP 6: Create an Outline

Creating an outline helps a lot! Remember, your ending and your outline does not have to be perfect. Sometimes jotting down the most important plot points of your story can be your map to reaching certain goals. Maybe you want a certain character who you force everyone to love, to die. An outline would help you visually put the sequences of events together so that when this occurs your readers would be shocked. Outlines help you see a quick summary of each chapter. From the events or scenes, the minor and major conflicts, to even the dialogue you can give yourself a wide range view of everything so you can touch and relate to your audiences emotionally. Remember, if the scene doesn’t resonate with you, then it won’t with the reader too.

STEP 7: Worry About Editing Later

YES! I SAID IT! Worry about this part of the writing process once you’ve finished that first draft. The first draft has its name for a reason. Get that idea and your outline down into words and see where it takes you. Leave the grammar and spelling mistakes later to fix. I learned this towards the middle of my writing experience. Because I am a perfectionist, I could never help myself but to reread and edit every chapter in the rough draft process. This actually slowed down in writing the story to its completion. But over time, after hearing it from many other amazing authors, I’ve done this technique for most of my latest writings. Right now, in my WIP which is Book 3 to The Fairest Series, I am using this technique and I must say. It removes a good load of stress off my imaginative mind.

STEP 8: Research! Research! Research!

Now this part is extremely important. This goes for any genre you enjoy to explore. Not only should you research character traits for your characters, but also the setting you will use. Research your character’s occupation (whether it is real or fantasized). Learn and explore new cultures and journey back in time with history. For my first published book, a short story collection titled Stuck, I did a lot of research on various mental health issues and disorders. I made sure to know enough information just in case a reader sought questions about them. I enjoyed doing this research and decided I wanted to share it with my readers. So at the end of this book, I provided resources and information about every mental issue and disorder I used. Researching for your book can also help in character development. If a character is confident in what he/she is talking about then it makes them credible and readers will subconsciously trust and love them. Also, be aware that you do not have to give away all the information you’ve learned in your books. Only just enough to make everything feel as real as possible.

My overall message for you today if I’ve encouraged and helped you enough to make that first step to bringing your idea to life is this:

Once you begin that story idea, do not give up on it unless your heart isn’t in it any longer.

Write because it brings you joy and happiness. Sometimes great ideas can lose its thrill which is totally fine. But do not give up on writing entirely. Either take a break from that piece of work or try a new idea. Whichever you do, I hope it brings you peace.

How do you begin writing a new book? What challenges have you faced while writing? Please share your thoughts in the comment.

Written by LeQuita C. Harrison

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