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message 1: by Staci (new)

Staci | 48 comments So, For awhile now I've been trying to write. I keep a journal for everyday life, but i can't seem to start a story. I have a million ideas but when I try to write I cant get them out. I don't understand how to make an outline, and I can't even figure out how to start writing, even the first sentence. It's quite frustrating. If anyone has experience writing and has some advice that would be greatly appreciated. :)

message 2: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Angell (heidiangell) | 129 comments Hi Staci! That must be so very frustrating!
Creating a story outline can be as complicated or as simple as you want. When you say you have a story idea, do you have a beginning, middle, and end? Well, now you have an outline!

do you know several scenes for your story, but aren't sure how to weave them together? Orson Scott Card started the whole Ender series with one completely disconnected story about "Battle School" that he wrote as a short and was published in a sci-fi magazine. That story went on to evolve into Ender's Game.

Some authors like using tools like Scrivener, so that they can write these scenes and then move them about as they see fit to create the stories they want to tell.

I personally prefer to have a pretty decent outline and then weave the story together with verse knowing "I need to get from point A to point B, then B to C and so on and so forth."

There are some great writing forums here on GoodReads (I really enjoy the tips from SIA Support Indie Authors.) or you can head to twitter and use hashtags to find relevant advice. Here is a great list of different hashtags for writers.

Best of luck with your writing ventures!

message 3: by Maria (new)

Maria | 3 comments Well, I can understand how frustrating that can be. We have all been there. My first thought is to find some books that inspire you. DO NOT COPY THEM IN ANYWAY, but perhaps consider the over all mood they evoke and try to imagine a story with deep emotions well expressed. Or listen to quiet music, watch the news. Look at some paintings. See if that doesn't jump start it. But most of all as Ernest Hemingway used to say. The most important thing about writing is to write. Write even if it is terrible and keep writing. Soon or later you will write something better, maybe even brilliant.

message 4: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Angell (heidiangell) | 129 comments Maria,

It does seem like all the best writers have some variation of that idea, right? Stephen King says the best cure for writers block is to put your butt in the chair and write!

I remember in my creative writing classes we used to do daily writing prompt. Some were practicing different styles of writing, some were copying a style, some were letting other art forms inspire us.

Very useful.

message 5: by Staci (new)

Staci | 48 comments WOW! Thank you all so much :) I have a lot more confidence that I can write now.

message 6: by Inda (new)

Inda (indaherwood) When I get an idea for a story, it usually comes in the form of a single scene or line of dialogue, and my first instinct is to go to my laptop and start writing. But, after many failed half novellas of doing this, I realized the best and most successful thing to do was simply wait and let the idea take hold. I think about a story for weeks, sometimes even months before I begin writing, deciding where I want the story to go, how I want the characters to act, backstory, the works. Over that time I write those ideas down in a notebooks so that when I finally do have the overall story in my mind, it's all right there for me to take from. I hope this helps you! Remember, there is no failing in writing. If you have the urge to create a story, then do it. It must mean a lot to you if you want to share it with others.

message 7: by Claudia (new)

Claudia Hi! I realize that I might be late to the party. Sorry.
I love writing stories. Sometimes I just have a scene, or the thoughts of a character, or a character description. In those cases I just write what I have in my mind, either if it's 100 words long or 1000. I just write it down on a journal or on Google docs. Then I think if I can develop a story from there. The outline can take a lot of time, and sometimes other pieces of the story come to me and I write them, thinking that I can fit them in the story later. Sometimes it happens that these pieces have to be left out because they no longer fit (kill your darlings and all that) but they helped me back then.
When I start a story from scratch I usually find a theme. For example "does the end justify the means?", "what makes a hero?", or "what is the price of loyalty?". The theme can be a single word (family, traditions, death...). Then I think of the situations in which those themes can be highlighted, the stories that happen in those situations, the characters I need, which pov is more interesting, and what is going to happen in the story (what conclusion do I want to reach). Then it's time to have fun figuring out who those characters are and what stand they take in the whole thing.
Anyway, this is my process. It works for me but it may not work for everyone. The main point is that you have fun writing and don't stress over not having a story yet. Just let it grow in your mind and when it's ready to come out (it can take a lot of time) it will and it will be awesome.
I hope I helped :)

message 8: by Staci (new)

Staci | 48 comments Thank you! Good piece of advice :)

message 9: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Sanderson | 2 comments Nanowrimo! I found it great encouragement to just start getting words down. It's a great community, lots of support and advice available. And so much fun in a slightly terrifying way!!

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