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Help/Advice > When to begin writing?

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message 1: by Dylan (new)

Dylan (dna89) | 3 comments I am about to start my fourth novel, but it's my first time taking a crack at one since high school.

In the past, I have always just started writing with a vague idea of where the plot was headed - and I think that's because my past novels were so character driven. Now I have a much more elaborate idea in my head (no longer the high school girl-meets-girl type of book), but I don't know where to start.

Or should I say, when to start.

Writers: do you start with a vague idea and run with it? Or do you plan everything out? I need help.


message 2: by Leo (new)

Leo (owlseeyoulater) | 12 comments Don't know why no one's replied yet, but I'll give it a shot.

I can't speak for everyone but for me it kind of happens organically at first. I'll sometimes get a scene, character, plot idea or piece of dialog that pops into my head and ill jot it down. (I'm sure I'm not unique in this). Sometimes nothing comes of it and other times it begins to ballon out, with more snippets of story coming to me randomly as I try to quickly jot down what pops into my head.

I guess to answer your question I start with a vague idea and it begins to feed all of the details after that. When I have a more fleshed out characters/scenes that's when I begin to piece the story together.

I will then arrange a timeline and place scenes/dialog/plot points on that timeline in the order I think they belong and then write notes about settings, mood, characters, plot.

Interspersed between all of this I do begin to write out the chapters, making corrections and changing things on every pass to conform with notes or changes in the timeline I've made, etc.

Essentially I start with a vague idea and then I being to plan things out when the wellspring of inspiration taps out to help me piece the story together.

Hope this helps a bit.


message 3: by Dylan (new)

Dylan (dna89) | 3 comments Thanks Leo!!


message 4: by bookish_girl (new)

bookish_girl | 1 comments My first novel started strictly as an idea and just something to do for fun. I had always wanted to be an author but had never seriously considered it until I realized what I was writing was actually rather good. After I realized this, I sat down and fleshed out characters, created maps, and gave more detailed names and descriptions to things I had previously mentioned which helped move the story forward a lot.

I do know some authors sit down and figure it all out first and then begin their writing process and I have used this method before as well. It just sort of depends on your writing style and how your create juices flow best.
For example, mine flow best when I write by hand rather than through a keyboard. So, i have oodles and oodles of filled notebooks that I then transfer through my editing process to my computer. It really just depends.

Just remember, there is no right or wrong way to write.

Happy writing!


message 5: by Dylan (new)

Dylan (dna89) | 3 comments M. wrote: "My first novel started strictly as an idea and just something to do for fun. I had always wanted to be an author but had never seriously considered it until I realized what I was writing was actual..."
Thank you!! :)


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