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Starting Out

Updated: Nov 17, 2020

I want to write, but where do I begin?

All writers have to start somewhere (duh, Aaron, we get that). Where you begin your writer's journey is entirely up to you. I started with my current novel, "A Whisper of Wind", but does that mean everyone should start by cranking out a novel? Absolutely NOT! Start by asking yourself this: What interests me? You may find that short stories sound like an excellent place to hone your craft, maybe a novella, or if you're like me, a full-blown novel.

My point is, everyone starts somewhere different, and it all comes down to personal preference. Are there pros and cons to starting at different points? Absolutely, but I'll let you discover them on your own. It's part of the process.

I've chosen a start point, and I'm ready to write!

Woah! Pump the brakes, Tiger. I'm about to contradict myself. That's great that you found where you want to start, but I want you to really take this statement to heart: you can always change your mind. If you start a project and realize that it's going nowhere quickly, that's okay. Sometimes your concept doesn't pan out! It's part of the process. Do what you can to finish the project, but don't force yourself to the point where you want to bash your head into the desk. It's good to challenge yourself, but bad to overexert yourself on a story that just isn't working.

Now can I write?

You can do whatever your heart desires, don't let me tell you what to do! I'm just here with a few pieces of advice, some that I wish someone told me when I was starting out. In the end, I can sit up here and preach from my soapbox about things that work for me, but you will find what works for you, and that's most important. If you take away one thing from this blog, I hope it's this: It's your story, so tell it.

Exercise for the Dreamer.

Here's a little exercise I want you to try out, even if you think you know where you want to start.

Grab the following items and place them somewhere you can write!

  • Pen or pencil

  • Paper

  • Stopwatch

  • (optional) Something to play music on.

Set the timer for five minutes and throw on your favorite tunes if you want. Take a couple breaths and relax; this is going to be fun (I hope).

Start your timer and write down every idea (Theme, character, plotline, genre, etc.) that you can think of. This is a brain dump. Write literally everything that pops up in your mind.

Have you done it? If not, do so now!

Now take a look at your list. Does anything jump off the page at you? If any items do, circle them and save them for later. As for the rest of them, here's what I want you to do: write a short story or two based on these ideas (shoot for 500-1000 words). You can use one idea or combine ideas to create something new. The world is your oyster.

What's the point of this? It helps the creative juices start flowing and will help you get an idea of what you may need to work on or what area in writing takes you longer. Is it dialogue? Details? Filler words? That's for you to find out!

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