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
That's what she said! What kind of fiction is it? You can change things.
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.
Relax. No matter what you do you'll offend people.
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.
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.
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.
First, pick one story and stay with it. Is this adult fantasy? You said story, short story or book?
Pertaining to setting, I would write what you know, meaning set it in a place that you have lived in. For example, if you've never been to Hawaii don't have your story take place in Hawaii.
Pertaining to characters, write down your characters' names. Then describe each one of them, use adjectives if need be. Picture each one in your mind, write down what you visualize and refer to it when you are writing about them and show, do not tell, their qualities to me, the reader, so I can visualize them,too. Revisit the descriptions when you come to a part where they are in the story.
Outline your story!! Start to finish but include all the twists and turns you already have in your mind, keeping in mind it will deviate as you write. Do you have where the love interests first meet, if applicable? The big reveal where the reader learns the main character's secret? The struggle/fight? The struggle of the main character? The main character's change and growth, if applicable. The main parts that will keep my attention?
Hope this helps! :)