If you don’t already know, I love to write and have done since I was a kid and would write silly little stories. I have always been a fan of contemporary writing but as I get older and the more fantasy series and books I read, that is changing.
I always find that writing involves so much planning and preparations that I don’t think some writers are ready for. I certainly wasn’t. I love to plan but I feel like I don’t plan my stories and plots correctly.
There is so much to decide and finalise that it all can become overwhelming and even a little stressful. That is just something we could all do without. So, I have come up with some tips for those who may be in my situation and just don’t know what they’re doing apart from just writing.
DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT A PROFESSIONAL AUTHOR. THESE TIPS ARE MY OWN AND TIPS THAT HELP ME WHEN I WRITE. THEY DON’T WORK FOR EVERYBODY.
TIP 1: INSPRATION
You are going to need some sort of interest, dedication and inspiration to even begin writing a story. The best form of inspiration is reading your favourite books and of your chosen category. Also motivational tips from friends, family or even a writing club.
TIP 2: FINDING THE RIGHT CATEGORY
What is the point in writing a romance if you are totally into fantasy? Find the right type of books that you enjoy reading. This will give you more of an enthusiastic approach to planning and writing. Writing takes dedication and commitment. If you enjoy reading a particular genre, then you will be more focused on your own writing.
TIP 3: BASIS OF THE STORY
Before you begin to write you really need to have some sort of direction to go. You may not need to know the ending or every scene just yet, but you want to have some sort of idea of what you would like to happen.
TIP 4: SETTING OF THE STORY
Where do you want your story to be set? Magical kingdoms, mysterious forests, summer beaches or towns and cities? This is your story and you can decide if it is in space or even in Ireland. I love writing and reading stories set in Ireland because I have an idea of where the events are taking place.
TIP 5: NARRATIVES
Do you want to write in first person or third? How many character perspectives are you going to use?
TIP 6: NUMBER OF IMPORTANT SCENES AND TWISTS
This will not always be your final decision, but it is helpful to know where the big events will happen in your story. This can help create the building atmosphere for your readers. It also maps out how long your story could potentially be.
TIP 7: NUMBER OF CHARCTERS
I really feel this is crucial. Of course you can always change numbers, extract or include other characters, but each character should have some interaction. In world building stories, a larger character count is required, but in contemporaries there doesn’t have to be a large quantity.
TIP 8: CHARACTER NAMES
This is my favourite writing planning step! I love researching names and even creating new ones! All of your characters should really have names and full ones at that. It gives this fictional character a personality and realistic feature.
TIP 9: CHARACTER ROLES
Now you need to figure out each of their roles. This includes minor characters too. Interacting characters allow the story to flow well and gives the reader a broad insight into their thoughts.
TIP 10:PHYSICALLY WRITING OUT PLANS
This is not for everybody. Everything becomes more real, final and decisive when I write out my plans in a notebook or just a blank piece of paper. Some like to use their computers, but I love the sensation of putting pen to paper.
TIP 11: SKETCH/DRAW
This is also not for everybody. Sometimes if I ave trouble visualising an object or even character, I will sketch them or even research them on the internet. I have no artistic abilities but sometimes it works. Just the other day, I sketched terrible house plans just to describe the interior and exterior for a scene.
TIP 12: INDIVIDUAL CHAPTER PLANS
It is good to plan your chapters one at a time. It really narrows down the story and where you want each scene to take place. I separate pages in my notebook for each chapter as to leave space for more ideas if I have any to expand.
TIP 13: REARRANGING SCENES
You can rearrange scenes and chapters however you please once everything flows.
TIP 14: THE ACTUAL WRITING
Now it is time to actually write the story. This is also my favourite part. After so much planning and the desire to write, the writing process becomes that escape from all the other work. This can take up so much time, months or even years. Once you get it all down, forget about editing and just write everything you want to put in there.
TIP 15: EDITING
Rereading and editing is where scenes and snippets get extracted. You may find that a certain scene or character just doesn’t fit the story anymore and just remove them. You can add anything you want. It is not changing your story, it’s enhancing it.
TIP 16: FAMILY AND FRIEND CRITICISM
This is the hardest part of all. My Mam is my biggest critic but I take everything she says in and adjust. Family and friends will be honest and tell you what isn’t working and what is. That doesn’t mean you should listen to everything they tell you. If you really like something specific that they don’t, do not change anything. This is your story!
These are just some of my tips for writing that I hope you find helpful! Let me know some of your writing tips or even writing rituals.
Thanks for reading,
Pierina Reads ❤