The Hardest Place to Find in Fiction: Where to Begin
Some writers begin when they are young and are just starting to form new thoughts and ideas. Some writers begin writing much later in life during high school or even college. Many writers build on their writing skills for years while they learn to create words and thoughts and stories that flow together. The most important aspect about writing is the level of creativity and ability to put the creative down on paper, or, in most cases, into a computer.
Before writing, there are steps to get the creative into a structure to write from. I am currently working on a five-novel, sci-fi series that has constant intertwining pieces of elemental properties, time travel, dream travel, storms, bombs, explosions and the ever exciting deaths of main and important characters; all of which keeps the blood and emotions on the edge of each page, which really is the way to a good book, or at least, that’s the plan.
There are always questions that need to be answered before writing can begin while other questions can be put on hold until that scene or chapter is next in line to be written.
But where to start? Now, THAT may be one of the hardest questions to answer.
Everyone needs a muse, motivation or just an idea. I started my five-novel journey with the spark of an idea while watching a show on the Discovery channel. Giant Black Holes. And so the spark ignited and flew through my synapses and that imaginary light bulb went on. Now, a little planet named Eon has 10 years to save their world before they are destroyed by a meteor the size of their natural satellite (I would say moon, but only Earth has a moon).
Is it always that easy to come up with an idea? No. Not at all. So what else can you do to find something to write about?
Start with what you love. A topic that moves you, thrills you and interests you. If you like traveling, think about a story that can bring your characters to different places across their own planet or another. If you love cars, write about the flying car from space that are really aliens, or maybe even the fastest car in the world breaks another record.
Whatever your topic is decide on it and make the choice to live and breathe it as you continue your writing.
Now that you have decided on what you want to write about, it’s time to get all the information you need to fill in the answers to the questions. And how do you do that?
There are multiple ways to brainstorm, and it’s up to the writer to decide on which method is the best one.
Free write—let your mind go free and put anything and everything down on paper.
Bubble chart—connect one idea to another as you build the story from nothing to something.
List—create a list of places, characters, names, actions, problems, emotions. Anything that will build a foundation for you to start with.
Talk it out—find a family member, a friend, anyone that you enjoy talking to and start talking. For me, this one is the best option. I can have one sentence about one character when I start and have a whole plot come out of my mouth by the time I stop talking. Never underestimate the power of ‘out loud’.
Some people have specific routines when it comes to writing. Oftentimes, if they don’t have the right environment or the right set up or even the right clothes on, it will throw off their writing groove. Example, my father is part of the “writers begin when they are young” group. He can write about anything, create different worlds, make you laugh with sarcasm, flip between styles, anything. But, if there is one thing off in his environment, he can’t write one word. He needs quiet. He can’t have people having a conversation, the television playing or construction going on; music is okay, but that’s it.
On the other hand, nothing fazes me. I could be at work and writing. I could have a phone call come in, I answer, and then go back to writing. I could be text messaging in between sentences, oddly enough that happened last night, and then I can continue once the phone is down. Nothing stops my concentration.
So, what does this mean? It means, find the best way for YOU to write. Whether it’s with special pjs on, your preferred drink nearby or your favorite movie playing in a loop in the background, however you need to be or where you to need to be to write, do that. Get in your groove and get those fingers moving.
There can be times where your brain is on hold. Not a block, per say, but just stagnating without moving forward. A few tips to get those gears rolling:
- Get up and take a walk.
- Eat or drink some water.
- Go do something else and come back after a while.
- Read over your notes or outline.
- Find a book and read a couple of chapters.
You can also do anything else that is creative like painting, drawing or otherwise, and your creative juices will get moving.
The secret to starting is to just do it. But remember, what you love is what you love. Write for yourself. Take your passions and create a story. Whatever you want. Just have fun and enjoy every second of it. Writing is not easy, writing is not fast. But writing can be satisfying and creatively fulfilling.
Enjoy and Reed.