PaytonLeigh's picture
PaytonLeigh June 28, 2018 - 10:58pm

Hello everyone,

I have this great idea for a story, an idea I’ve been thinking about for years, but I don’t know if I should write it yet. I love the characters and the plot and my villains. But when I sit down to write I realize many things. I don’t know ANYTHING about the places where my book takes place. I don’t feel like I know my characters well enough. And everytime I go to start writing, I don’t know where to begin and it’s like I forget everything I know about writing. I’ve thought about writing other stories first, as a way to get myself used to writing and to see where my problem areas are, but it’s like everything I write is trash. I have so many ideas, but no matter how much time I spend, whenever I read what I’ve written, it’s terrible. I’m wondering if maybe I should put aside my idea for now and work on getting better at writing first? And if so, what tips do you have for me to get better at starting my stories and moving them along at a good pace? 

Thank you so much 

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated July 5, 2018 - 10:56pm

That's what she said! What kind of fiction is it? You can change things.

PaytonLeigh's picture
PaytonLeigh July 6, 2018 - 9:37am

It’s fantasy. And I was thinking of changing things but I didn’t want to offend anyone who lives there by not showing their home accurately. 

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated July 6, 2018 - 4:59pm

Relax. No matter what you do you'll offend people.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal July 6, 2018 - 7:33pm

If you're unable to move forward, I'd say it's too big for you. (Dwayne beat me to she-said, dammit...)

Maybe it's like this: not every book is Game of Thrones. GoT is amazing in its complexity, but then, can you really argue that it's better than a book that has exactly one POV? They're doing different things. 

So, I'd say try something smaller in scope for now. Because even if you're Mayweather, you're not going to beat a decent heavyweight who has over a hundred pounds on you. Go back to that larger scope book later when you've gotten some story-telling, from start to finish, under your belt.

In fact... I think I'm going to make a blanket recommendation (which is never an actual good idea) that everyone's first novel be ONE perspective only. ... Maybe two. But really, just one. Just to get used to story-telling, long form.

You're only going to get better at writing by writing. And you'll do more writing if you write stuff you can, you know, write. Right? Right! Now go write!

Yeah, let's go with that.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated July 7, 2018 - 6:07pm

The only writing advice that really, really helped me was advice that could apply to almost anything. If you where isolated and dying, with just enough time to write and revise one novel, what would it be? Write that. No clue who said it first, but I read it on the forums here.

The other was Ian Flemming saying to not write the parts the reader will skip. Not sure the exact wording, lol.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal July 7, 2018 - 6:56pm

Ooo, don't write the parts your readers will skip... that's one of the best things new writers need to hear, in my experience.