by Lauren Knapper, MA in Creative Writing
Writing can be a daunting process. You ask yourself where do I start? What do I want to write?
You have a blank canvas in front of you, waiting to be coloured in your ideas and the written word.
Below, are a few tips to help you pull your ideas together and get writing.
1. Write down your idea, a few sentences or words, and then brainstorm the idea. Flesh out what you want to write. Add words that can expand your idea and take it to another level. Think about themes, setting and place!
2. When writing, especially when writing prose, it’s essential to think about character. Who is your character? It sounds simple but I find writing character profiles for my main character and a few side characters extremely helpful. It can bring the characters to life, you can make them unique and give them each different quirks to make them stand out.
3. Who’s telling your story? Is it your main character? Or is your story being told through the third person? If you’re unsure, it doesn’t hurt to experiment around and see what works best for the story. For my own novel, I have tried both first and third person but found the latter delivered the story better.
4. By now you should have quite a lot of your story planned out and have a rough plan. It’s important to remember you don’t have to stick to this plan too carefully. You’ll find when you’re writing it will spark off other ideas that you might prefer. For this step, it’s time to figure out whether you’re writing prose or poetry? Once thats decided choose whether it’s a short story, a novella or an epic poem, a sonnet, etc.
5. Finally, the most important step: WRITE!
Write and just keep writing. Don’t worry about the quality in your first draft. You can make the edits later. It’s vital to get everything out on the page before you begin editing and fine tuning your work.
I hope you find these steps helpful in the early process of writing.
Lauren Knapper, MA in Creative Writing