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A lot of people want to write a book or maybe even a short story, but they don't know where to start. These are a few tips to help you get on the right track to writing successfully.
To begin writing, you first need to brainstorm ideas. What will your story be about? What genre category will your story fall in? These are the kinds of questions you should be asking yourself before you start writing. Before you can begin to write, you must first lay a foundation. Will this be a fictional story, or will it be non-fiction? What type of readers do you want to reach out to with this story? Do you want your story to have a moral or a lesson to it, or do you want it to just be all for fun? Do you want to touch people with your story, or do you want to blow them away with crazy plot twists and mysteries? Do you want it to be both? Ask yourself these questions and write down your ideas in a journal. Brainstorming is a key part of writing because much like building a house, your story needs to have a firm foundation to build upon.
Once you've answered the previous questions, it's time to jot down some details. Who will your main character be? Will you have multiple main characters? Who will all the rest of your characters be? What are their back stories? Even if you never tell your readers that your main character's favorite color is purple, it's still important to add as much detail to your character as possible. This will make them seem more real to you and to the readers as well. What do you want the plot of the story to be? What is your ultimate goal with this story? Let's say you're writing a story about a young boy named Jack meeting a young girl named Olivia. Your story is about them meeting each other and their journey to becoming best friends with each other despite their vast differences. Now stop. What question should you be asking yourself right now? The question you should be asking is, what are their differences? How are Jack and Olivia different? These are the kinds of details you need to be writing down in your thought journal. You should also be writing down details of their journey to becoming best friends. What does it take for them to get from point A (meeting each other), to point B (becoming best friends)? How do they deal with their differences? What do they do to overcome their differences? You should also be asking yourself, where do you want the story to go from there? Do you want to end it with them being best friends, or do you want to make the leap from being friends to being in love? Details here are very important. Write down all your ideas and all the different ways the story could play out. Other details you should be noting are scenery, timeline, setting, and additional characters.
3. Let the story write itself.
I have a theory. My theory is that no one ever writes a story. I think stories are floating around in space and when they find someone worthy enough of putting that story into writing, they plant themselves in that person's mind and quietly whisper ideas into that person's head. It's important to note that you are not the one writing the story. The story is writing itself through you. So what does that mean? It means that if suddenly your story takes an unexpected turn, like Olivia dying, you need to accept it and go with the flow. Don't restrict yourself to the ideas you have written down. Your thought journal is not a contract. Even if you had never planned on Olivia dying, if it just sort of happened one day while you were writing, you need to go with it. The story knows what it wants and it knows what's best for the characters. The story always has a plan and that plan is the best plan. Do not fight the story. Let it write itself. If you do this, you will have amazing results.
4. Live your story.
This story is not just a tale. It is your life. You must live and breathe this story. This story must be a part of you. You have to pour your heart into this story. Someone once said that writing is like putting a piece of you out for everyone to see. Writing is a very vulnerable profession. You have to put your soul into what you write. You have to be willing to accept harsh criticism, but if you have done your best, don't worry about the negative comments. If you wrote your heart out, that's all that matters. You need to always be able to connect to your characters even if it's in a small way, because in a way, these characters are you. They are a reflection of the type of person you are. So even if you and your character only have one thing in common, you still need to be able to relate to them. Writing should be personal. You write what you know. This doesn't mean that you can't write about things you don't know anything about. For example, if you were to write a story about robots, but you didn't know anything about robots, that doesn't matter. Google knows the answer to everything. Do a little research. What I mean when I say "you write what you know" is that generally people write what's in their hearts. They write about something that means something to them. They write about what they're passionate about. So live and breathe your story. Obsess over it. Let it become a part of you. Only then will you be able to write successfully.