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I'm new to writing. I just wanted to know if anyone had advice as to how someone should start a piece because I have a bunch of ideas however I am unable to put them to paper. I am always stopping because I am uncertain if I should continue even though I do not have any writing background. Should I look at writing books or do research so my stories have more detail? Again I'm new so please any advice would be helpful. smile
stormseer
I'm new to writing. I just wanted to know if anyone had advice as to how someone should start a piece because I have a bunch of ideas however I am unable to put them to paper. I am always stopping because I am uncertain if I should continue even though I do not have any writing background. Should I look at writing books or do research so my stories have more detail? Again I'm new so please any advice would be helpful. smile


You start with an idea and then you develop it. Then you just write.

Don't worry about how the first draft turns out. One of the hardest things for beginners, at least from what I've seen, is getting over the fact that rough drafts always, ALWAYS suck. But that's OKAY! Rough drafts aren't meant to be shared and are meant for you to just get the words down. The editing process is what's suppose to make the story good. But you should really only try editing your work AFTER the story is down. Otherwise you could get stuck.

Umm, I'm trying to be very general with my advice here cause everyone has their own writing process. For example, some people use outlines and plan everything out before writing. Others just start with a general idea or just completely wing it.

Try getting a book or two on writing novels or go search up some author blogs if you want to get a better idea of what to expect. I have a couple books, and they helped me a lot.

You also can post another thread about this in the main writer's forum for some advice. (if you look at the very top of the page, you'll see Gaia Forums >> Artists Corner >> Writers >> Writing Arena Discussion. Click on Writers to go to the main forum.) Actually, there may be a thread or two about this already in there so look around first before posting anything. There are some great advice stickies in there too you may want to check out, too.

If starting is giving you trouble, Write or Die may help get you started. It's an online app that is meant to help writers write words down without worrying about editing. You put in the time, and the amount of words you want as the goal, and what difficulty you want it on. When it starts, you just keep writing until time stops to see if you can reach your goal. If you stop writing, the app will do things to encourage you to keep writing. What it does depends on what you choose. For ex, gentle just pops up a reminder while kamikaze makes your work unwrite itself. Make sure to save all your work on their in a doc before moving off the page, though. It doesn't save anything for you. Chances are you'll get a bunch of crap writing, but at least you'll have something to work with then. I've been using it to when I get stuck on the story and it's been great.
Thanks. I'll try that.
Hi Stormseer!

It's great that you want to get your ideas from that large universe in your head down on paper or on to the screen. What you do with them afterwards is your own choice. it could be private, works in progress, some stories/poems with some promise (in your estimation) or pieces of work ideal and even written for specific writing competitions...or even for publishing (see the Writers & Artists Handbook for that last option!)

We think organically, that is, in meandering ways; one thing has many outlets or further ideas. If you get stuck, here's a way through. Write down in the middle of a piece of paper one idea; it may be a character, a situation, a word or a small phrase. Then, create an evolving 'spider chart' with words and ideas which connect with that central idea. You don't have to rush this, but when you have enough, you can start off with the story or poem using all or some of these words and phrases you have created.

Next, talking with other writing people, say, in a writers' workshop, can be creative and stimulating. There might be one local to you.

Reading is a great source of feeding your mind with the style and range of ideas which interest you. Slavishly copying the style of, say, Dickens or Wordsworth will not get you any real credits. You don't necessarily have to follow the same tastes in reading as your friends. Listen out to the views of others, on radio, on TV, reading groups in libraries and elsewhere. Read something you wouldn't normally read, get out of your comfort zone occasionally and read a new type of writing. Have a sift round some charity shops for a book choice - after all, if you like it, it won't have cost you much; if not, you can donate it back!

There are many books you can get through Amazon, eBay and all the other suppliers, which are entitled something like 'how to write' and you can spend a fortune of stuff which will never guarantee you write well, or anything about which you will be really happy, so save your money and buy or borrow one or two - AND GET ON WITH WRITING! One book (of many I've read in the past!) which I found very encouraging was Julia Cameron's 'THE RIGHT TO WRITE'. It shows how writing doesn't have to be a chore, dull or boring, it can become just part of your everyday life, a real part of you. She shows how being observant, in many ways, gives you the ability to write better.

A structured kind of practise of writing, either writing for GCSE's or even a uni course is good for providing tasks, or assignments to deadlines. In that way, you hone your skill.

After years of scribbling prose and poetry, I decided to do four open University courses to get to know the nuts 'n' bolts of writing; great experience! I actually learnt to be more patient with my output, to redraft lots, sometimes up to 9 times, until I was happy with the result. I passed all four and have become a lot happier with the things I write ...and enter for competitions and publication.

I hope these ideas help. Keep on keepin' on!!!!

J
E U B Moons's avatar

Conservative Dabbler

stormseer
I'm new to writing. I just wanted to know if anyone had advice as to how someone should start a piece because I have a bunch of ideas however I am unable to put them to paper. I am always stopping because I am uncertain if I should continue even though I do not have any writing background. Should I look at writing books or do research so my stories have more detail? Again I'm new so please any advice would be helpful. smile

I know you really already got some advice, but I just couldn't resist putting in my two cents.
The fact of the matter is, you can't just ask someone how to write. Everybody has a different writing style and trying to copy someone else's may end badly. Some people plan their writing more than others, and some people need it more than others. I tend to make a very detailed plan of what I want, start writing, and end up with pretty much the complete opposite of what I had in my head.
Getting back on topic: You have an idea in your head. Just grab pencil and paper (or your computer if it has a word processor) and start your story. It's really easy. Write until your hand starts cramping. Then, if you want, you can look back over and revise or edit, or you can continue writing. Not every start actually goes somewhere, and you're probably going to waste a lot of paper, but in the end you will find something that works as long as you don't quit. THIS PART IS REALLY IMPORTANT. If you doubt yourself, look at what you have so far, fix it to your heart's content, and then present it to someone with good literary judgement -that is, an adult, preferably your language arts teacher. If your story is geared toward teenagers, you can show some teenagers your work, but adults (or anyone who's mature and/or has writing experience) will have more experience with this sort of thing and they'll be more likely to focus on the actual writing, plot, and characters, instead of "OMG this character is so sexy you should put me in your story so I can have his babies," which is the gist of what one of my classmates told me upon reading one of my short stories.
Okay, where was I? Um... well, just showing it to your language arts teacher will probably teach you a lot about development, writing style, conventions, details, etc., but a really good personal resource that I find surprisingly non-boring is Springhole.net - dip into the well of creativity! Click on "Writing and Worldbuilding" up at the top and you can read some helpful articles (though I have to say this now- I don't think there's anything to actually help you start putting down your thoughts on paper. For that, sadly, you're on your own).
So there you go! Jeez, that was really long... Once you get started, if you'd like any constructive criticism from a complete stranger, PM me! biggrin
Yeah, I have the same problem when it comes to writing, as I have several ideas (probably thousands) stacked in the recesses of my mind like some giant, unorganized filing cabinet. I came up with a simple process that helped me to get my ideas on paper, and, hopefully, it will help you, too.

1.) Have an idea. It can be a theme, a character, a setting, etc., so long as you have the definite idea from which you'll start working.

2.) Take that idea, and establish other details around it. This will depend on the initial idea, so what you do in this step will vary, but remember to keep it relatable to whatever it is that you're writing.

3.) Establish a plot. Now that you have the details settled from the previous step, this should be easy, making sure that it fits whatever you're trying to achieve with the story. Make sure to follow the usual guidelines of plot.

4.) Start writing. Even if it's a rough draft, something is better than nothing when you want to build off of what you have. Read over what you write, and if you feel as though you could make something sound better, or that you didn't add enough detail in some places, then do as much as you see fit.

5.) After completing all you're finer editing, the piece is yours to distribute as you wish.

I hope this helps you, as it has helped me several times in the past. cat_smile

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