I have recently subscribed to a fun 30-Day Writing Challenge by one of my book distributors, Ingramspark (part of the Ingram Content Group), where they will take me on a writing journey and share tips and advice on how to be motivated and inspired as a writer/author. Along with sharing their posts each day, I will also be sharing my own tips, advice and experience. Enjoy the journey!
I have previously written a post How I Write my First Draft of a Novel in 3 Months where some aspects of it will be useful for this post. When it comes to writing a new book, I always like to imagine how it would turn out if it were made into a movie (hence my blog tagline). So I play the movie in my head.
I am always filled with ideas for new books to write, and I would usually have more than just one idea at any given time. Sometimes it’s hard to know which ideas to focus on. But fear not. I have a small brown book which I carry around with me where I scribble my ideas in it. They are usually quick notes, drawings and phrases scribbled in a way only I could understand. I try not to spend too much time dwelling on the ideas.
Once I’ve settled on an idea for a story and I’m ready, I will start to draft each chapter. In my opinion, it’s always a good idea to draft the chapters so that when it comes to the actual writing of the story, it will act as a guide. Without the guide, trust me, I will be lost along the way. For me, I tend to draft the chapters until around the middle of the story before I actually start to write the story chapter to chapter. Mind you, I only do this when I have a clear idea as to how the rest of the story will pan out. Also, I am old-fashioned and traditional when it comes to writing, meaning I like to draft my story via pen and paper. I cannot type straight onto the computer/laptop. I will use my computer/laptop when I have the finished draft.
If I’m not ready to start drafting because I don’t know where to start, I will do some writing exercises. For instance, I will start off by writing down the first word that comes to mind. Anything. And from there, I will start to write what comes to mind about that word. I tend to write at least a full page long or until my mindset is on writing mode. This has worked for me. I think of the exercise like a warm up before a sport or workout. I don’t spend time thinking about what to write or else I will lose the momentum. I just write, even if it’s nonsense. I keep writing and the ‘nonsense’ will eventually form words and sentences that will make sense. What is written doesn’t have to make sense, but I always make sure that every word is written properly rather than use shortcuts eg. U, &, TBH, wat is it u want? It is ok to use such writings for taking notes, but when it comes to the writing exercises (including when writing the draft), I feel that by having the words written properly will enable me to have a more serious mindset on my writing.