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Advice for writing a story

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message 1: by Hasham (new)

Hasham Rasool I am currently writing a story. I would like to have pieces of advices. What pieces of advices will you give me for writing a story?


message 2: by Don (new)

Don H.M (theayatollahofrock) | 5 comments I can give you advice but my approach to writing is extremely difficult because it requires me finishing the entire thing in my head before I even write a single word. My writing style is inspired Michael Moorcock. But that will leave you worse off.

So instead I think the best person to give you advice is Brandon Sanderson himself. He gives a series of hour long lectures on and goes into every little detail on how to write a good story. It's a university class he teaches and I am almost certain you can find notes/transxripts of his lectures. I wish I had seen them when I started out because I had to figure out how to do it on my own and came up with slight variations on what Sanderson discusses.

I may not look at Sanderson's work with same Awe as you do, but but he is the most remarkable creative writing teacher I have ever seen. He teaches how to write rather than what, and I was so grateful I even almost stopped holding the grudge for Wheel of Time.....almost.


message 3: by Chris (new)

Chris Johnson (chris-johnson) | 15 comments I like to plot the book out. Starting with a one-to-three sentence synopsis, I divide it into four parts which I flesh out more in an outline. Somewhere in all that, I create/develop a character outline for myself.

Then I write.

Most of my writing lives in my head while outlining before it emerges on the paper/computer screen.


message 4: by Paul (new)

Paul West (paulwwest) | 49 comments Have you considered joining a writer's critique group. If you get into a good one, they can help with the plotting as well as the writing itself.


message 5: by Hasham (new)

Hasham Rasool Thank you Paul, I will join writing critique group.


message 6: by Paul (new)

Paul West (paulwwest) | 49 comments Great, and good luck to you and your writing.


message 7: by Elsa (new)

Elsa (elsajoseph) | 1 comments Hasham wrote: "I am currently writing a story. I would like to have pieces of advices. What pieces of advices will you give me for writing a story?"

This may sound cliche but my advice is write what you know. Keep a note book and pen with you at all times because you never know when inspiration will strike. The rest will flow.


message 8: by Chris (new)

Chris Johnson (chris-johnson) | 15 comments Elsa wrote: "Hasham wrote: "I am currently writing a story. I would like to have pieces of advices. What pieces of advices will you give me for writing a story?"

This may sound cliche but my advice is write wh..."


But don't be afraid to step out from what you know either. Don't let it stop you writing about life on another planet. :)


message 9: by Hasham (new)

Hasham Rasool Thank you Elsa and Chris


message 10: by Paul (new)

Paul West (paulwwest) | 49 comments If you want to check out my blog site, I often offer writing tips that I've learned over the years. Check out: www.paulwwest.com.


message 11: by Hasham (new)

Hasham Rasool Thanks Paul


message 12: by Hasham (new)

Hasham Rasool Thanks Don


message 13: by Chris (new)

Chris Johnson (chris-johnson) | 15 comments I wish you the best, Hasham.


message 14: by Paul (new)

Paul West (paulwwest) | 49 comments Good luck, Hasham.


message 15: by Hasham (new)

Hasham Rasool My story will be about 10 kingdoms, 2 kings of whole kingdoms split 5 kingdoms each. and their families.


message 16: by Chris (new)

Chris Johnson (chris-johnson) | 15 comments Fantasy?


message 17: by Hasham (new)

Hasham Rasool Yes, it is a fantasy story


message 18: by Temple (new)

Temple Williams (temple_wms) | 5 comments Ultimately, you must find your way, although I appreciate Don’s advice, regardingBrandon Sanderson. There are many “courses” available online, of course. James Patterson’s Master Class is interesting, but it dismisses Indie writers as far as publishing your story is concerned.

Following the advice of another also contains some danger. You might get sidetracked by someone else’s technique(s). The best advice, of course, is to read the great books in your genre, not as a reader, but as a student of how the book has been built.

Before I start writing, I do a lot of research and build a fairly complex spreadsheet that has “chapter-by-chapter” characters, scenes, timelines ... all the nitty-gritty stuff a writer can stumble over.

At the top of the spreadsheet, I have two questions, which must be answered in 15 words or less. The questions? Why are you writing this book? How do you describe the book? When I answer those questions, and 60-70% of the spreadsheet is completed, I usually start writing. The characters and scenes take over. The book breathes.

Good luck with your writing.


message 19: by Hasham (new)

Hasham Rasool Thank you for tips Temple


message 20: by Chris (new)

Chris Johnson (chris-johnson) | 15 comments Great technique, Temple.

It's similar to mine, except I use a notepad page for each chapter I plot. That gives me room to rework later, before I write. Sometimes, I start at 60-70% plot, but usually I write only after 100% plotting (with questions answered).


message 21: by Chris (new)

Chris Johnson (chris-johnson) | 15 comments Hasham, I look forward to seeing your fantasy novel come to life.


message 22: by Hasham (new)

Hasham Rasool :-)


message 23: by Temple (new)

Temple Williams (temple_wms) | 5 comments Chris wrote: "Great technique, Temple.

It's similar to mine, except I use a notepad page for each chapter I plot. That gives me room to rework later, before I write. Sometimes, I start at 60-70% plot, but usual..."


Great way to do it. I know that most writers like to know the ending of their book before they hit the keypad, but I do not. I never know what my characters do until they spring to life. It works for me, but not for many others.

The latest thriller I wrote, Poison Heartbeats, had no ending when I started, and none when I was 85% finished with the first draft. And then, wham, it came together.

Awesome Indies gave the book its "approval" last week and one of the blurbs I use from its nice review says: “The ending of the book is fantastic and drums up the action leading to a thrilling climax.”

But I swear I did not "see" the ending until I was almost done with the first draft. All my books follow a similar pattern. In many ways, I learn more from the characters than I do from myself, although I "know" every one of the characters from real life (the names are changed to protect the guilty).

We all have our own techniques. That's the point. And, once you learn the "rules" of good writing (research, grammar, formatting, design, structure, pace, character-building, etc.), then there ARE no rules. Just write, write, and write again. And, of course, read.

We all have our own literary fingerprints.


message 24: by Grady (new)

Grady Brown | 4 comments Allow me to share some of my wisdom in terms of writing stories. If you are working on multiple stories that you have to finish in a timely fashion, dedicate a certain number of pages on each project each day. If you do that, then you will be able to finish those multiple projects in a timely fashion so that you can move on to other projects. Right now, I am working on two important stories at the same time and I am dedicating one or two pages on each project each day. At that rate, I hope to finish them both by the end of the year (That is if I don’t get writer’s block). I hope this helps those of you who aspire to be writers yourselves and wish me luck. Grady P. Brown


message 25: by Hasham (new)

Hasham Rasool Thanks Grady. Good luck.


message 26: by Monica (new)

Monica Wilcox (monicawilcox) | 5 comments My advice is to start with what you know and then allow it to expand into something more. For example, pick someone you know to create a character. Draw out some of their traits and quirks until they become a dominate part of the character. Start with a location you know well then add some details and odd bits that make it more than it might appear to a visitor. I can tell you what it's like to walk the streets of Savannah but I can't tell you about the alleys or the secret passageways.


message 27: by Hasham (new)

Hasham Rasool Thank you Monica


message 28: by Monica (new)

Monica Wilcox (monicawilcox) | 5 comments You're welcome. Have fun with the first draft. Let it flow and don't worry about anything. Once you've got that done then you can see
what you need to revise and improve. Writing a book is like building a house; it's a process of layers. :)


message 29: by Avery (new)

Avery Michaels I always *think* I know how a story will end but since I tend to let my characters drive, I really have no idea until I get there.

I keep notes as well. Also, I go back and read what I wrote the previous day before I pick back up writing again as to help the story flow. It makes less work for my editor later. :)

Best of luck!


message 30: by Hasham (new)

Hasham Rasool Thank you Avery


message 31: by Paul (new)

Paul West (paulwwest) | 49 comments Avery, your method is almost exactly how I write. When I gook a creative writing course in college, the final grade was the only grade we got. The professor wrote two unrelated sentences on the chalk board and told us we needed to write a 500 word short story with the first sentence first, and the second sentence last that connected these sentences. I, and I think 2 others, were the only "A"s in the class of about 30 students. I've used that method ever since. It may not work for others but it works for me.


message 32: by Abram AB (new)

Abram AB You are writing a fantasy novel..Ok. I don't know what to advice but.... okay..okay.
I would recommend you to start from creating the world. Then create the characters (main characters)..You can create the side ones and minor ones while you go through the story. Just get your keyboard and just type what ever comes to your mind( only for the first draft). Don't just stop when you finished the story. Go through it again and again. When you finish all those ...start the story again by refurnishing the world and characters.


I don't know if it's gonna work....but that's how I am writing the book I am writing now. ( but it's not fantasy)


message 33: by Hasham (new)

Hasham Rasool Thank you Abram


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