We assume that most of you reading this site are interested in creative writing, whether it’s just reading books and wanting to understand more about how an author may work, or wanting to become the author that people are trying to understand. This article is here mostly to help aspiring authors to get started, as we are guessing that, that is our current audience, but if you’re an established author, congratulations, and thanks for coming by. But anyways, it’s time to go on with the article.
The very first thing you need is a desire to write, even if it is just to test out if you’re interested. Someone who doesn’t want to write, but writes anyway, is either a student working on an in class paper, or someone who’s in it for the money. And if you’re in it for the money, well honey, you’ve got another thing coming, as readers are often able to discern if you actually wanted to write something (and also, art is a really hard industry to make money in). But, anyways, desire. Yes that’s what we were talking about. Some people get this misconception that you need a story that’s been growing up along with you so that you can become a writer, some people think you need an idea. And if you do want to write a book you do have to have some semblance of an idea, but we’re going to assume again that your a little while off of actually writing and publishing a book. “But what do I do, if I have the desire to write, but nothing to write?” is something a small brain would ask, and the answer is obviously go through and write every single one of our Weekly Writing Prompts (duh). But in all seriousness, there are certainly tons of outlets that are there to help you practice your writing skills, like writing prompts, it doesn’t have to be us because there are tons of prompts online. Or you can take an already existing story line and modify it yourself, in a sort of fan-fic like style.
Getting an Idea
The next step after having a desire to write, and then writing something even if you don’t have an idea, is to write with your own idea. You may still have no idea what to write, and that’s fine, there’s one really useful way of finding ideas. This ‘way’ operates under the name of brainstorming, where your just throwing out garbage idea, after garbage idea. But eventually you’ll find one that is more that garbage, but only by a little bit. This can also work with bringing in more people to help spitball ideas, bring in your family, bring in your friend, bring in the Air Force, and we lost where we were going with that, and so the point is bring in other people to help.
Inspiration, elusive, yet gold when found, and diamond when refined (usually). Sometimes brainstorming isn’t enough, and you have nothing that seems to pop with what you want to do, but you also have no idea what to do, so what you need to do is seek inspiration. And inspiration can strike anywhere, your just looking at a tree, when suddenly, BOOM! inspiration (and it wasn’t even that cool of a tree). Randomly doodling on a piece of paper to create a cute character could be a basis for a story, one of our very own did something like this. Listening to music and imagining an epic fight scene along to the beats, or maybe some somber and heartfelt moment, depending on the music of course, could be great for finding bits and pieces of the kind of story you want to tell. And the biggest piece is most likely stories from before us, finding cool stories from ancient times, or finding cool stories from our time, and then adding your spin onto it. Transcending fan-fic and creating your own story inspired by someone else, rather than based on someone else’s work. Which isn’t inherently a bad thing, it’s just that for the purpose of writing and publishing, fan-fic usually can’t be put out on bookstore shelves because of copyright and stuff, but if you don’t want to be published and rather just have writing as a hobby then go ahead and write fan-fic. But the main point of this paragraph is to just to tell you that inspiration can be found everywhere, and you should try and find it.
However an idea can only get you so far, what you really need to start doing is developing a plot. The main points of a story that help to build characters, world, and awesomeness points (fine, so we made up awesomeness points, what are you going to do about it). We don’t want to go to in depth with plotting as it can get really complicated, and this is really just a beginners guide, but to summarize. Plotting is creating a starting moment (A), and somehow making your way to an ending moment (B). and in between there your adding stuff that makes the plot more interesting than a straight line between points A and B. You need to add some smaller things going on in between, create an A1 to B1, and A2 to B2, and so on and so forth. Plotting is really just creating a story out of an idea or concept. You can say I want to write about dinosaurs, and that’s a concept, but as soon as you say that Carflaz, the great T-rex must win back his kingdom from Flippy the Triceratops, then you’ve got yourself the start of a plot.
It’s Going to Suck
One thing to prepare for, is the fact that everything you write is going to be trash at first. We’ve heard zero authors say that their first draft was absolute gold, and if you have heard someone say that, they’re obviously lying. So prepare for that hard work you put into your brainstorm sessions, and those beautiful moments of inspiration, to feel absolutely useless as you fall down a long pit, of ‘what have I created!’ But that is of course why we have editing,
and second drafts, wait make that three drafts, no 5 five drafts, ok fine maybe 7, whatever, write as many drafts as you want, as long as you eventually release it. Nothing’s ever going to be completely perfect, so make sure you know when you’ve given it your all, and your proud of what you’ve accomplished.
As with most things the phrase ‘practice makes perfect’ applies to writing. As the more you write, the more likely it is that your going to find what you want to write. Because in the beginning your just kind of unsure of what you want to write, do you want to write an action thriller, maybe some super hero story, perhaps a horror, the possibilities are almost endless. And you should dip your toes into as many as you think could interest you, try out a more comedic style, try something darker, the main goal is to find your voice. And just in case your unaware of what voice is, we’ll tell you, voice is the unique style in which an author writes, almost like a trademark of theirs, where if a reader were asked to identify an author based only off of what they wrote, they could probably get pretty close. And voice is important as it’s what allows you to stand out in a field where almost every idea has been used before, but none of them have been used by you, yet. So just write stories that branch off of what your used to, and try to find your own unique way of writing. You could do this with our very own, Weekly Writing Prompts, woah! (but also with any other kind of prompts, but that doesn’t really matter right now).
Finding a Community
In the beginning it can be very useful to have a group of like minded individuals who also want to write. As you can vent about #relatable issues, like OMG, YASSS!…. Sorry about that, the hashtag really got to us, fwooh. Anyways, you need people who you can bounce ideas off of and to help you get a different point of view on your writing, as sometimes you can view something one way, and someone else another way. If you’re still in school you can try and find your local creative writing club, maybe see if you have a creative writing class, and if you find there is no club, create one, we’re sure there is at least 2 other people in your school who are interested in writing. And if you’re not in school, there are tons of online communities you can talk to, try and create your own club at home, like a reverse reading club. There are also tons of people creating content specifically made to help you grow as a writer, and those channels count as being part of a community, at least to us it does. And also being part of a community is fun, it’s a really good time to just hang out and socialize with people interested in what your interested in. So go find something you can join, we promise with a 99.99% guarantee that it will help (9 out of 10 dentists agree).
And so to conclude, in writing you start off slow, and start working your way up, trying to discover your creative identity. And once you’ve started to cultivate that identity you can start showing it through your creative works, but not before a grueling process of brainstorming, plotting, drafting, re-drafting, and eventually coming to a place where you want to release it. We hope to see you all succeed in your own way of writing, and wish you a nice time of existence, goodbye.
Written By All The Writing HQ