Hi everyone! So, my blog had been up for several months now. I'm sure others out there would like to write a novel. Or you started one, but you aren’t sure how to continue. First, the internet contains loads of contradictory information. Different tips you find may be accurate, false, or help one person but hinder another. You may even find both options are amazing for you. If you find yourself in a delicious dill pickle, pick which option works best for you.
Before I begin, two primary types of writers are plotters and pantsers. Plotters plot everything, or many aspects of their writing, out beforehand, going over the story's key bullet points, theme, and character arcs. A plotter might change their stories when a new idea arises, but before putting pen to paper, or finger to keyboard, they create a detailed path for their story.
Pantsers, as per the name, write by the strap of their pants. While they might have a general idea, the first draft is their outline. Pantsers let the flow of the story be their guide. While they have an initial idea, they get sucked into the writing as their world unfolds.
While the above information is useful, I won’t get into the pros and cons of plotters or pantsers. It’s more how you do your best writing, not if one type is superior to the other. Most writers aren't complete plotters or pantser. Instead, they fall into the middle of a fancy spectrum.
For those struggling with that pesky desire to write swarming your brain, form an idea. A person may have an inkling to write, but don’t know what genre their story is. Some know the genre, but lack a story. You can start there, but before you type away, plan on how you’ll craft your story. Even if you're a pantser, I recommend creating a rough idea of your world, story, plot, characters, and setting.
For the actual pondering of the idea, start with what you know. I don't mean literally, and you'll most likely need to do research depending on the mythos and time period you're going for. If you're a sixty-seven-year-old retiree complaining about the youth all day, you don't need to write that character. (Though this would be a hilarious story, but I digress.) The saying means if you struggle to come up with ideas, pull from your own experiences, experiences of friends and family, or borrow ideas from games you play or used to play. Such as if you're a car sales agent, you don't need to write about selling cars. What about a fantasy sales agent who gets wrapped up in a war? Perhaps both parties value the item he or she is selling, and the kingdom they don’t sell to wants them dead. Or maybe both sides are trying to capture them and force them to produce the item he or she selling.
If you're still stuck on what to do, try jotting down notes, do writing exercises, and jot down what you remember from your dreams. If you keep up with those handy suggestions, I’m sure a great idea will follow!
Once you stumble upon your killer idea, you can start up the rough draft of your story. If you're a plotter, I recommend getting the outline done next. Do the character arcs, climax, resolution, conflict, etc. If you know your novel’s length, try creating a chapter by chapter outline by highlighting the major plot points of each chapter. If you're a pantser, I recommend still jotting down some notes such as plot ideas, themes, characters, and what you think will be essential for you to progress in your story. I recommend keeping a notepad to write down ideas and helpful tidbits that come to mind. And I promise, I too will try to follow that rule.
Now that we have a general idea, it's time to write! Remember, the first draft won’t perfect. Keep on writing until it's finished, then go back and edit. Easier said than done, I know, but trust me, you'll be thankful when you’re finished. For first time or experienced writers, don’t wait for inspiration to strike. Write if you’re in a slum or are suffering the dreaded writer’s block. It may stink at first, but the point of a rough draft is to be rough. Notes and the next several drafts will help spruce up your book into the masterpiece you want it to be.
Anyway, I hope you found those tidbits helpful. See you all in a week with my next post!