Writing anything is always difficult, but without proper planning its almost impossible. Planning is essential to any author new or old, it is what makes a good story a great story. That small bit of planning can and more than likely will make your book the best book around!
Firstly, I want to say now that i am not a professional writer, and have not had a book published though it currently sits in an editorial desk awaiting verdict, but like i said i am not the professional and all advice is given as a guide to what helped me and may indeed be wrong for you, but read on and see if you pick up any tips.
Each article in this section, I shall show you, in detail, a new part of writing a novel.
Now lets get started:
Now before we start delving into murky world of writing i want to discredit some myths.
Firstly i want to say that many people i asked for this article said that to start a story or poem you need a title first!
Not true. I prefer not to have a title first, and to properly plan you cant really have a title till the story or poem is in full stride. A title means you have set a guideline to your plot, before you even know what is going to happen, because your book now has to fit with the title. So if you take anything from this it is not to start with a title.
Instead start at the beginning. I know it sounds corny but it is the only place to start.
First port of call should be GENRE.
Romance, science fiction, action, suspense, thriller, erotica (if that’s your thing), fiction, non fiction, poetry and many more but once you have chosen this you can start to get the story together.
For the sake of this article i will say Romance and fiction. I am comfortable with this kind of work as shown in the ‘ Am i feeling lucky ‘ series. (Apologies for the shameless plug there). Now i have a genre but no story yet and that is good. Now of course at this time even though it is early in the process, you may have ideas for events within the book. Now here you must take caution, and not be drawn into it too soon. Do not be tempted to just write them down into a chapter or long paragraph. However you should jot the ideas down, but only that, the idea is all you need at the moment. Indeed if you hate writing a dictator machine would work just as well.
Next we must get the Topic. ( and not thechocolate bar.)
Topic is sometimes confused with plot, please be aware of this and register them as two very different things.
Yes you have the genre and many people say that that is the topic, however i feel this is not so. Allow me to explain.
You see a genre such as science fiction can not be a topic, for you cant write about science fiction. You must write about a topic relating to science fiction. Aliens, chemical weapons, super powers etc. Science fiction is the genre, and aliens would be the topic.
The topic is essentially what the story deals with inside its genre, it will decide your whole story so think wisely.
Now back to my example. Lets pick teen romance!
So a recap.
Genre: Romance, Fiction.
Topic: Teen love
So we have the first two components, and they are set to be the building blocks of the book, yours of course would be different.
Next comes the main character.
Now here is where you poets will have to find another article is will post especially for you, for from this point onward i find rather unhelpful if you only want to do poetry. Please however read on and see if it inspires you to write a book.
The main character: this should be someone who can lead your story from beginning to end (unless they are going to die, then it is till their end). You need to describe your character, draw them if you can.
You need to know their hair color their eyes, mouth, face, teeth, stature, build, height and of course skinny or chubby. Of course you must decide whether it is male or female this character. You can have both if you are that way inclined of course!
Now after look comes…. yes you guessed it personality.
Happy, sad, funny, loving, caring, dark, mysterious, good, evil etc etc etc.
How your main character looks is important and will relate to the whole story, and will change itscourse to fit with the character playing the lead role. You have to make the audience feel what you feel about this character. If you are trying to make the character lovable then don’t put him or her in a hooded top and make them brash and bold. Now i know i was stating the obvious but it needs to be said.
So back to my example again. Lets make the character: 6 Feet tall with slightly blond hair, male, blue eyes, and smart dressed in suit. Personality: Lovable and charming, with a mysterious but not dangerous side.
So the story so far.
You should have a genre, a topic, and a main character.
MY example comprises of:
Genre: romance, fiction.
Topic: Teen love.
Main character: Stuart who is 6 Feet tall with slightly blond hair, male, blue eyes, and smart dressed in suit. Personality: Lovable and charming, with a mysterious but not dangerous side.
Now i will leave it there for now and rejoin next time. When I will tell you all the next step!
Create a character for a genre and a topic and tell us it in the comments!
For all poetry writers keep looking for your very own step by step plan coming soon!