Thursday, March 12, 2009

Off to a great start

Today I have a guest post by Holly McCarthy.

Tips for Getting Your Fiction Writing off to a Great Start

Writing fiction can be one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences that you do as a writer. You are able to create your own worlds, characters, settings, situations, and thematic elements. Sometimes, however, just getting started can be the hardest part. Here are a few tips for getting you fiction writing off to a great start.

Character Studies

What kind of characters do you want your story to have? Will they be funny, realistic, or fantastic? Taking some time to create character profiles is a wonderful way to ensure that your characters are fully developed. It’s good to know what your characters’ likes and dislikes are, what they look like, what kind of emotional problems they may have, and any number of other details. Getting in-depth with your characters will help to make them interact realistically with on another as well.

Goal Setting

Whether you have already started your work of fiction or are still in the planning phases, setting goals can make writing a large work of fiction less daunting. Set goals for each time you sit at your desk. Five thousand words a day may sound like a lot at first, but quickly becomes feasible if you make this part of your writing routine. If you want to become a prolific writer with lots of stories under your belt, you will need to learn how to achieve lofty goals regularly.

Shut the Door

Some of the best advice that can be given to any writer is to make sure that your time for writing isn’t interrupted by anyone or anything. You must make your writing time something that is non-negotiable and stick to it. This may mean late nights or early mornings are the best time to plug away at your story. The important thing is to communicate to those around you that you have set aside time to work and that you are not to be disturbed except in extreme cases.

Be Flexible

You may start out with a great idea for a story and you may feel like you shouldn’t waiver from that idea at all. However, remember that your story is a living document that will change based on a whole lot of variables. This means that any number of things related to the telling of your tale may change over the course of its telling. Be flexible and willing to make small and/or significant changes based on where the story takes you as a writer.

This post was contributed by Holly McCarthy, who writes on the subject of the best online colleges. She invites your feedback at hollymccarthy12 at gmail dot com.


Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Great article, Holly. A little discipline and I may just finish this one on time. Thanks, NienKe

Joyce Ellen Davis said...

Speaking of shutting the door...I used to try to write in the bathtub (not the ideal spot because your paper gets damp and tears easily) and in a locked car in the driveway (not a good idea in mid-summer or mid-winter because you either roast or freeze). I tried writing at the laundromat, but you have to keep jumping up to put nickles in the drier. Now that my kids are grown and gone I no longer need locked doors. But writer's block has set in....

Joyce Ellen Davis said...

You can see my mind has rotted, besides--what driers take NICKLES? The last time I used one it took FOUR QUARTERS! But I think back in the day I spoke of, they took dimes.

S.D. said...

Great Tips! Good reminder. I need to get in the writing routine as soon as I can (I've been staying up late and sleeping in since I hurt my ankle but now that it's getting better, I want to start writing more again)

Tracey said...

Great tips. You're right staying motivate is very hard sometimes. Often I charge ahead with great story ideas, but it's the motivation to keep at it that's hard. Goal setting is really what gets me through things.

Also great advice on being flexible, often I am rigid in my story and I think that's what makes me stuck sometimes.