All writing starts somewhere, and since I have already talked about Before the Beginning, that must jump us into the beginning, but I think there is a step before that yet. The development of the idea, forming and shaping. Where you make a sketch of what it looks like right now, giving you a place to see how to create the next levels. You cannot jump into the beginning if you don’t know where the middle and end will go. That is not to say that wont change over the course of writing it, but it will give an idea of where to start and where to go.
Remember that none of this is carved in stone; it is just a guide to get you moving in a direction, any direction that will eventually find you past the end. Yes there is something even after the end.
Find your way of creating your own outline. For some that may be detailed step by step through the story, for others that might just be notes jotted down about ideas for the story as it grows. We all have methods that work best, for me, I do a rough outline that changes with the story as it grows and tells me about it.
Take this time to get to know your characters as individuals. Before you ever start the story, ask the character about them self. Sure they will grow as the story goes on, but they are already a person in your mind, expand upon that and know who they are so they are real enough for your readers to meet.
Give yourself a plot to work with. That doesn’t mean you have to keep it, this is just where your idea is based, and think of it as a flowing moving thing that changes as new words appear before you. As you chip away at that stone to share its shape with us, so too will the outline and base you create change. Knowing some of the big things you want in the story will help guide you and keep you from getting stuck in the mud along the way.
By finding little tools that work for you, and not against you, and always remembering that you can change things up, you will find your writing experience to be a much smoother ride, and maybe, just maybe others will love the journey as much as you!
Join me next time to dive In the Beginning! See what it contains, and how we can move from an idea and development into an actual start on a journey!