Dear Writer Guy,
I’ve been thinking for a long time now about writing a book…. Please give me directions on how to set about writing the book?
Here are the steps I usually follow when writing a fiction story:
- Inspiration. A main idea kicks off the story writing process. Sometimes it’s a great title (like TROUBLE IS MY BEESWAX). Sometimes it’s a what-if question (what would happen if a vegetarian was forced to work on a cattle ranch?).
- Questions. Ask, what is my story about? Who’s the main character? What does the main character want, and what prevents him/her from getting it?
- Brainstorming. Come up with lots of dumb ideas and eventually a good idea pops up. Remember the Rule of Nine: For every ten ideas you come up with, nine will suck. But you don’t get to that great idea until you go through all the lame ones.
- Structure. Think about the beginning and ending. Roughly plot out story events before starting to write — but leave some parts blank, so you’ll have the fun of discovery.
- Sloppy first draft. Write that first draft as fast as possible. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, details, or whether things make sense. The first draft is supposed to be a mess. Don’t get it right; just get it written.
- Revision. Let your first draft cool off for at least a week. Then rewrite. And rewrite. And rewrite.
Enjoy the process,