Let’s say you have an idea for a novel or want to try writing a book, what’s the next step? Like I wrote in my last post on “Story Ideas” a lot of these ideas don’t make it past the first stage and I find it’s mostly due to someone not knowing what to do next.
I Wrote Down My Idea for a Story, Now What?
There are many different ways you can get started and it all depends on your writing style. You can:
- Write the story from beginning to end.
- Write the ending first (or the middle).
- Write chapters out of order.
- Do your word building, character sketches, etc. first before writing the actual story.
I’m only listing four ways for now because for me the fewer the better (I don’t like to make things too complicated). Try these four ways first and if they don’t work for you then try something else. I do have guidelines for each of my four suggestions:
1. Start to Finish
To write from beginning to end you must know or have an idea of how you want your story to begin and end. The middle part will always be a bit fuzzy and those details will sort themselves out as you write.
2. The End
If you want your ending to be “they all lived happily ever” (or not) then you need to figure out how that will happen. If you know your ending the middle part should be easier since all you have to do is think “Z happens because a, b, and c happened.”
3. B, A, D, C instead of A, B, C, D…
It’s okay not to know all the details for your beginning or end, but knowing the details for different parts of your story. Be cautious when writing chapters out of order because you’ll have to figure out how they all connect together. It’s like putting together a puzzle. Make lots of notes if you try this method though especially when you only want certain characters to know certain things at different points in the story.
This step requires you to learn or become familiar with a lot of backstory and most of the information you write down won’t end up in the story itself. It’s helpful in that your world and its characters will come second nature to you while writing and you won’t have to info dump on the reader every time a new character or major plot point comes up in your story.
I’m going to direct you to EA Deverell again because her website is awesome and mostly everything on there is free to use. She’s also on Pinterest under the name Lady Writer | Writing, Literature & Language. My Writing Board on Pinterest is full of her worksheets that have helped me generate ideas for my story and I’ll be using them over and over again for future stories. One good thing about Pinterest is that if you click on an image you like it will give you more images of similar things or things you might be interested in below the original image.
Everyone is different, so try different things before settling on a writing style you like. Keep in mind that one method can work for one story but might not work on another.
Know any other ways to start a story? Write them in the comment section below. I would love to hear how you start a story.
Until next time.