Hey guys! As you know I’ve been very busy lately, but I’d still like to have enough posts for you all to enjoy each week. That is why I’m looking for a partner to post once, maybe twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. If you can’t post that often, even a guest post would be great. I just need someone to help me run this site and post about writing. If you are interested, please contact me in the contact form on the Guest Post page. Thanks.
Now that you’ve figured out what genre you want to write and have researched it, it’s time to find your writer’s space. This space can be in any spot that you want. Where do you like to write? The answer will not be the same for everyone.
I, for instance, like to write at desks, preferably in my bedroom. I started at a small, pale, wooden desk meant for a much smaller child. My legs were pressed up against the top, and it sometimes left marks, but it was worth the words pouring out from my fingertips. Later I got what I work at now, a huge L shaped desk made out of dark wood. It has many bookshelves, where I store all of my books on writing, notebooks, and library books I need to return. I also hang posters on it, and store little mementos around me for inspiration. I also have a vanilla air-freshener. Whenever I open it up, the scent of vanilla floods out, and inspires me to write. This scent gets me in a writing mood, since I only use it when I write.
I say all this to give you ideas, none of which you have to use. Maybe you don’t like to write at a desk, but at a coffee shop, or on your bed, or in a tree, or on your living room couch. That is awesome! Do what works best for you.
If you don’t know what works best for you, experiment. Try your couch one day, and your kitchen table the next. You never know what place will inspire creativity, and aid your writing.
And remember, you might need a change of scenery now and again. For instance, I wrote most of my novel at my desk, but finished it on my bed. I desperately needed a change of scenery, and it worked! Soon, while I plot my next novel, I’m going to try writing at my library in the newly remodeled teen section. Who knows, maybe it will be just the thing to get this new novel jump started!
That’s all for today, thanks for reading! Don’t forget to check back Monday for The Path To Publication Step Six: Starting Your First Draft.
On September 19, at 8:51 a.m. I finished the first draft of my Middle Grade contemporary novel. I had worked on that novel for four months. It’s a surreal feeling to finally finish what I had worked on for months. I didn’t know quite how to feel. I know I’ll have a lot of work to do before it’s good enough, and that it’s gonna be hard work, but I can’t wait to jump into the edits. I’ll do that as soon as I finish my current novel. But I finished a novel! I got myself a book on writing as a reward. 😀 Hopefully you all will read it in a few years, but one never knows.
Congratulations! You’ve made it all the way in your journey to outlining! Some of you out there might consider yourselves pantsers, (none outliners), and that’s okay. I suggest that you at least pre-outline before you jump into your story, so you can at least have an idea of where your story is going.
One thing I want you to remember as you outline is that you don’t have to stick to it when you start writing. Maybe you find a more interesting path to take and that is fine. But never, ever throw away your outline, because maybe that shiny path turns out to be a dead-end. If you find a new path, you may want to outline it again.
There’s no real set in stone way to outline. All I’m telling you now is how I outline.
My outline is very simple and straightforward. I just outline scene by scene. My outline goes a little something like this (This isn’t an actual book I’m writing.):
1. Julia walks to the store with her friend Kaitlin. They encounter Jessa, a bully. Jessa gives Kaitlin a black eye because Kaitlin got the lead role instead of herself.
Okay, I admit, a bad example, but you get the point. Your outline can be as detailed or as condensed as you want.
One thing that really helps me when I’m outlining is to estimate how many words each scene will be, so that when I’m done outlining, I can add them all up and have a rough estimate of how long my novel will be.
That’s all for today, thanks for reading, and be sure to check back Wednesday where I’ll be talking about a very important writing goal I just achieved.
Welcome to the introduction to the How to Become a Writer series. This series is going to be for anyone, at any age, who has just decided they want to be a writer. I was there, and I learned a lot on the way to becoming a writer.
First things first, you need to decide what you want to write, not your idea, but your type of writing. When I started, my type of writing was obvious to me. I wanted to write what I liked to read. I really like to read middle grade and young adult fiction, both fantasy and contemporary. Look at what you like to read, and test out different genres and audiences.
You could like one genre, but really be good at writing a totally different genre. That’s okay, but whatever you choose, you really need to read and study whatever category you decide to write in. Ask your librarian for popular books in your category, and research online.
That’s it for this week, sorry it’s so short but this is a really busy week for me, and I thought this subject would be better by itself.
Plot points are something I touched briefly in my last post about pre-writing, but I decided that since it’s very complex that it would be helpful to do a more in-depth look.
Plot points, which are major turning points in your novel, can be very tricky. You want your story to go the way you want it to go, and plot points and where you place them can get in the way, because they have certain times they need to take place. But they are also very helpful in keeping your story on track.
The first plot point, for example, changes your main character’s life. The example of the first plot point I used in my last post was Harry Potter finding out he was a famous wizard in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. That was a big change, wasn’t it? Harry went from living in a cupboard under the stairs of his aunt and uncle’s house and being bullied mercilessly by his cousin, Dudley, to going to a wizard school called Hogwarts. His life would never be the same.
The first plot point can be found around 15% to 25% of the way through your novel. Sometimes earlier, sometimes later, but no earlier than 15%, and no later than 30% of the way through.
The second plot point occurs about half way through your novel. It usually is some sort of revelation that causes your main character to question his motives and actions during the first half of the novel.
The third plot point ensues around the 75% mark. It usually sets up the end, and may have some revelation, like in a mystery the main character finds the final clue that solves the case. There’s some sort of conflict, and maybe even a final stand. The third plot point almost always surprises readers (and sometimes the writers).
Next Monday on The Path to Publication, I will be talking about outlining.