Write the story that inspires you
The only reason to sit down and write a story is because you want to. Your motivation to write a novel should come from deep within yourself and be the driving force behind your work.Writer by MarcParty
Choose your characters first – Not the story
Don’t try to fit your characters into a story plot that you invent. Character always comes first in writing a novel because the story itself will spring from their actions. There is a lot of fluff and squabble about plot and “what plot is”, the truth is that plot can’t exist without characters of some kind. After writing a draft of your story you will see it and understand that your plot and ideas about structuring a plot could only possible come after you know what your characters are doing. It is the characters’ actions that create plot ideas.
Create problems for your characters and see how they begin to connect each of the character to each other.
In order to get your characters doing something they must have some sort of goal or objective. It can be a vague idea at first or better still something solid. When a character wants something they desire, they immediately have a problem too. This is good, life without its problems would be odious and tedious to live, a book without character problems – and lots of them – would be a boring book. You will discover that creating problems for your characters can be fun and creative. The writer’s mind works in mysterious ways so it is always with surprise when we discover that character problems often connect to each other like a jigsaw puzzle and therefore suggest a storyline or chapter.
Problems and characters suggest action. This is where you will discover the story-line which will develop as you begin to write
Your first draft should be attacked with all of your might and enthusiasm. Don’t hold back or try and be controlling of your creativity. Your mind should run wild with ideas and you should write them all down as your draft develops. The best creativity thrives in madness, or near madness. So, allow your thoughts to wander into the realms of absurdity. It’s later, when you start a second draft that you will see that those wild ideas are in fact workable and can be used to effect in the story.
Characters need to have problems to thrive and tell their story. Every character has a life, but writer’s are only interested in writing about the zany, crazy and terribly problematic parts of those lives. That’s entertaining for the reader and more fun for the writer. Nobody will read a book about a man who has a great life and doesn’t have to fight for things to be happy. Write about a rich woman who makes a terrible business decision and loses everything in a day, and then how she fights to recover her fortune. But then think about a twist to make the tale unique in some way. Maybe losing her fortune turned out to be a lease on a new life for her, or maybe she had secretly hoped to get back to her roots and live a simple life away from the corruption of corporate life. It’s when you write it that the idea of twists come. The problems will always be the same problems that we encounter in our own lives because we are writing about human experience, but the twist only offers itself to the writer who seeks it through the action of writing.
Don’t quit writing but be honest with yourself about what works and what stinks
Before you begin to write your first draft, make a commitment to finish – you will probably have to re-commit yourself several times throughout the process of the book – if you continue through the problem phases and the parts that seem like pure hard work and no fun, you will always re-encounter the joy and reason behind your writing. It will be an enormous strength that appears out of the blue one morning, after several days or weeks of head scratching and hard slog, and it will drive you on again. The wonderful thing is that you will find these moments again and again, and each time you will start again with new ideas about your story and a new motivation that will take you through to the end. A good end.
The phenomenon of creativity is strange and mysterious but I do believe that as we work and grow we understand certain ideas about it. We work with ideas and we want to be unique in our work so we refuse to take and easy route and re-write and re hash an old story. Therefore, we give our brains the task of coming up with unique ideas about our point of view. Sometimes that takes time and it certainly takes work in the form of writing and writing. The best way to test an idea is to write it and see how it sounds as we bounce it off the page in a loud, flat voice. When we wrestle with an idea through work and sleep, our deeper brain is always hard at work on the problem. Give it time and this deeper side of our mind will present us with the best solution to our character problems or storyline problems. To give up before the solution comes would be a shame and as a writer, you would miss an experience that every hard working writer can relate to.
Good luck and please let me know of your thoughts and feelings on writing.