Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Writing the Book, Part One: The Idea

Hey guys! Today's post is the first in a series that I've titled, "Writing the Book." (I know, the title is soo creative).
Anyway, today I wanted to talk about the most important piece in the book-writing process: the idea.
It doesn't matter how you got it. Maybe you were watching TV or a movie when it sprung into your head. Maybe you were bored in class and daydreaming like crazy. Maybe you saw something out the car window that sparked a series of thoughts in your head. However you got it, you have it: the idea.
It's there, and it's big, and you're mind is constantly scrambling to understand the awesomeness of this idea. It needs to be a book right now!
...So, what do you do?
I'll tell you.

1. Write. Down. EVERYTHING. If your idea is good enough to be a book, then you need to sit down and write or type absolutely everything you know about this idea. Write down character names, words, phrases, dialogue, settings, etc--basically take the contents of your mind that are swarming around this story idea, and empty them onto a page. This is your start.
2. Ask questions. If you're going to write a book, getting an idea and then immediately starting chapter one is a one-way ticket to a dead end where you'll more than likely get stuck, scrap the idea, and move on to the next one that pops into your head. No, if you're going to develop a book, then you need to take this grand idea in your mind and expand it. Ask yourself questions, and not just the normal questions like, "What's my main character's name?" and "What is my book's setting like?" I'm talking about questions that make you think. For example, if your idea is a story about an orphaned girl who steals people's identities in order to survive, ask yourself questions that will stretch your creative mind. What if the girl could steal identities because she was a shapeshifter? What if the story takes place in a world where identity theft is the highest crime possible? What is the reason behind that? Etcetera, etcetera. Write these questions down as you go, let your mind wander, and give yourself time. Soon enough, you'll find yourself with a buttload of awesome ideas.
3. Organize! So now you have a developed idea. Great! All you have to do now is organize it somehow. Now, this part really depends on your personal preferences. Some people take this step as an opportunity to craft an outline. Others just make a list of possible scenes, plot twists, etc. My favorite thing to do is write scenes from the middle or end of the book that I've envisioned in my head as I developed my idea. Usually, writing these scenes allows me to get a pretty good idea of how the whole story will go from beginning to end, like a messy outline in my head.
4. Write! You've got your idea. You've developed it, you've written an outline or a handful of scenes, and you're ready to kick this book into action. So do it! Jump in and start writing. All you have to do is rearrange the letters of the alphabet to make some words and sentences to fill some pages. It's that easy, and that hard.

On Thursday (hopefully) I'll move onto the next important part of writing a book: the beginning. Dun, dun, duuuuun! :)

"Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men." Colossians 3:23

3 comments:

  1. I LOVE all your writing posts and I have been using your Writing the Book series lately. I came up with an idea and I have written down almost everything. I started asking questions that will further my plot, but now I have SO many ideas! I don't know where to even begin or what my story is even exactly going to be like! How should I start my story or how should I clear my mind of all my ideas?

    My next question is how to write a story when you haven't experienced it? My idea has quite a few components that I don't know a lot about. Should I do research, or just scrap the idea all together? If yes is the answer on research, then what type of research would be most helpful?

    How do I add new and exciting twists to my story? Do I outline it, or just let my characters speak? If none of those then how do I add twists in my story that will make the reader not want to put my book down?

    This is my last question: How do I come up with my own creative ideas? Like Hunger Games or Divergent? I would have never thought of that! How do I come up with my own brilliant not common story ideas?

    Sorry for all the question, I hope that they make sense! Thank you for all the work you put into your posts! Thank you!







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    1. Aw, well awesome! Okay, let's see... first, I suggest trying to narrow down your ideas as much as possible. Are there any that you can combine? Are there some that you could scrap? See what ideas for together, and go from there.
      For your second question, research, research, research! One of the coolest parts about writing (I think) is that you get to learn about some pretty cool things when you research. Your research should obviously focus on what it is you need to know. I suggest googling things, reading books, etc. I can't go too detailed with help simply because I don't know what it is you need to research about.
      Your last two questions have similar answers, so my advice is to just let your writing brain handle it. Listen to your characters, keep your mind open to inspiration, etc. Actually, I have a few posts on this that could help! Check under the brainstorming tab (the one about being inspired in a car ride is applicable even if you aren't in the car.)
      I can't really tell you how to come up with ideas; you just have to let it happen! Sometimes ideas will hit you in the coolest ways.
      Good luck with your writing, and if you have any more questions, let me know!

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  2. Thank you so much! This was very very helpful!

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