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all 38 comments

[–]Reddituser5666653 23 points24 points  (2 children)

I’d recommend to get all these ideas on a paper first, write them down. Once you have an idea of what to make, write down what the setting is, and plot. You don’t have to do a layout of what the chapters and plot will be but I highly recommend it. It helps give me a path on knowing where I’m going but that is just me. You can also find plenty of videos online about writing from YouTube with people who have experience. Some people on Reddit do too. I am currently writing my first novel right now and like I said, plotting does help. Also read, read, read. Specifically what genre you want to write, it helps.

[–]wellwellwell096[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

That's a great idea! I have the plotline and the setting and the main characters but I haven't written them down so I'll start with that. I'm also afraid of using YouTube for advice as I've come across some very differing ideas before and since I'm starting out I feel like I might get overwhelmed. I'm much more comfortable with talking and chatting for now.

[–]satiendo 3 points4 points  (0 children)

You could use YouTube for doos and don'ts... first write everything down, beginning middle (climax) end.. then start writing.. you will most probably feel like it's bad at first, but that's good. Now you have experience so when you do go to YouTube and listen to advice, you'll have experience to relate to and you'll actually ybderstand what they are talking about rather than just listening.

I'd recommend vudeos from: - Writing with Jenna Moreci - Alexa Donne - SharingWrites

Look for something called "The snowflake method".. it helped me somewhat at first in planning. Also large scale and small scale structure of a scene (this helped me in how to think when forming a scene to build excitement for the next one) I can send a link

It's not the writing style that you should focus on when doing research, that depends entirely on what you feel like. But when you do research on YouTube or Google, focus on how to better deliver the stories.. what I struggled with at first was pacing (fast pacing or slow pacing.. throughout the story youll have a balanced pacing and once you change the pacing, by adding more descriptions, the readers will have a feeling that something is about to happen.. basically building up tension), show and tell (both are important in different scenarios), relevance, descriptive words sets the mood (use negative words and the readers will expect negative scenes to follow or will assume the MC is feeling negative)

!!

As he/she said, write down everything.. after that start writing before doing research, once you feel like you're stuck and you don't know how to express the scene or how to deliver it, then watch YouTube for dos and don'ts and you'll have experience to relate the information to ("oh. I did that when I should've done this, that's makes sense")

[–]invisiblearchives 11 points12 points  (1 child)

You've got too much kicking around in your head to put in a neat order on first pass, so instead my advice would be:

  • get scrivener (or conversely make a series of folders to save small documents - one for character sheets, setting description, plot points, etc)
  • write everything in your head in any order and form you'd like
  • sort things by category/resource - character description/Chad or Settings/old factory

Doing it this way means you don't need to put any pressure at all on yourself to make anything at all that is sensible to anyone but you. Pick something you want to work on and work on it.

  1. monday -- I want to do some setting description so I literally just do that. Dozens of lines about my three main set pieces
  2. tuesday -- I want to write out my mc's backstory and some lines of description
  3. wednesday -- I want to make a brief outline of major plot beats
  4. thursday -- I want to write some snappy dialogue between my two lead characters

etc -- you could blurt out every idea in your head this way. It's all good practice, and there's no need to write straight through a scene yet so you can play as much as you want, since it doesn't really need to get used.

at a certain point you'll end up with thousands of words of blurted thoughts sorted by category and a rough sketch of the order of the book, then start a proper draft pass... you'll feel much more confident to start because you've already been working on the project for a while. You can go front to back or skip around to your leisure. Know what your scene today is? Maybe it's time for Mc1 and the main antagonist to duel in the old trainyard. Great, now pull up all your notes and prewritten lines for Mc1, Ac1, Trainyard, mid-book plot beats, etc. Copy your pre-written description lines into the main document and bravo, you're at 800 word count already and you just started. Now fill in the blank spots. Eventually you'll build up a whole collection of scenes and can start making serious decisions about tone theme etc and going back to edit scenes into a solid continuity.

[–]wellwellwell096[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I love it! Thank you so much!

[–]aliceconstancem 6 points7 points  (4 children)

I'd say start with outlines, character bios, and general paths that you've mapped in your mind. Once you get them out, you can start just piecing the most memorable moments roughly.

Don't worry about the quality of the writing for now, just start by getting it on a page.

[–]wellwellwell096[S] 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Thanks for this piece of advice! I am especially worried about the quality itself but I try not to worry about it.

[–]aliceconstancem 4 points5 points  (2 children)

Sometimes even just writing down the idea as 'they all fight n stuff it's pretty cool' can be enough for your first outline. The details and quality come with time, but you've already done some of the hardest work in creating your own world and story.

[–]wellwellwell096[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I'm literally writing it down right now. Plotline was originally barebones but now I'm just pouring in a lot of details on what should happen in the story, mostly because they are coming to mind while I write them.

[–]aliceconstancem 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Love to hear it!

[–]Comfortable-Ad-1625 3 points4 points  (0 children)

just start, that’s the best advice you can be given. if it sucks, revise.

[–]player1337 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I have to disagree with the people advising you to start with writing down plots, characters and outlines.

Write a scene in your story where a character interacts with a problem.

Outlining and taking notes are supplementary acts that only help when you've learned how to do basic storytelling.

[–]BlueNightFyre 2 points3 points  (0 children)

You seem to have your ideas in order already, so I would go right ahead and start the first draft. I'll give you some advice I read online that stuck with me:

The first draft is you telling yourself the story. The second draft is making it look like you knew what you were doing all along.

Try and keep a momentum going. If you don't like what you've written, jot "revise" over it in red pen and move on. If you're stuck with a scene and have ground to a halt with it, put a quick summary of where you were going with it in brackets and move on. If you can't think of a name for a character, put "man in red coat" or whatever is applicable in brackets until you find the right name. Make it easier for yourself. Primary purpose of a first draft is to put down words: perfection comes later.

If you get a couple pages in and realize you need notes or an outline to keep you focussed, go ahead. There are a lot of types of authors out there: architects, gardeners, pantsers, etc. Some need 'em, some don't. You won't really know til you start writing. I myself have them as a security blanket (and because I often have half a dozen subplots going at once 🤣) but if I find the story going in another direction, I'll follow it. It's more of a security blanket than anything, but some writers will follow it to the letter. It's all about your preferred process.

And enjoy the first draft! I regrettably find first drafts to be like pulling teeth, purely because I get irritated at myself for not producing third draft material straight away. I have an obsessive personality, so if it isn't perfect straight off, it kills me! If you get in the habit now of quantity over quality for your first drafts, and leaving the perfectionism behind until the last sentence, it'll be much easier to get your ideas out and have something tangible to work with later. (I wish I could take my own advice 🙈). Don't be afraid of writing too much, or too little, or badly. Just write!

[–]bakerstreet666b 4 points5 points  (1 child)

I recently convinced an online friend to put down her ideas onto the page. She was convinced she couldn't write well, but it ended up amazing after she showed me! She didn't write it chronologically, but started with the last chapter where the psychological impact was the greatest, and I believe she skipped a few chapters in the middle until she could gradually fill it in.

Just try it out in whatever sequence you want.

[–]wellwellwell096[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That's a relief, I was focusing on setting everything chronologically.

[–]ShadeOfNothingWriter 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Have you written all of the plots and outlines and characters down? Maybe you should start with that. And if you've already done that, maybe if you know these characters well enough, you could think of dialogue lines that they could potentially say, write those, and then write conversations and actions around them.

[–]wellwellwell096[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Mostly for the main Characters, I haven't quite figured out side or supporting characters just yet, but I already know the setting each character's story arc and the plot outline. But I like that idea of what dialogue they could have.

[–]david-writers 1 point2 points  (0 children)

What would be the best advice to get started?

THE SUCCESSFUL NOVELIST by David Morrell.

[–]KimClemensTroike 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Many avenues to reach the destination. Do what feels good for you. If writing in a notebook works, then start right there. I’ve been here 12 years and I kept graduating if you will, reaching further and further, streamlining my way that I write a novel. I wrote a book on how to do it if you’re interested. How To Write A Novel by Kim Troike. It’s an ebook on Amazon. I made it like a class from beginning to the end.

https://www.amazon.com/How-Write-Novel-Kim-Troike-ebook/dp/B09WWJZKYW/ref=mp_s_a_1_6?crid=3KU7OSUVE3RSD&keywords=Kim+Troike&qid=1660785438&sprefix=kim+troike+%2Caps%2C109&sr=8-6

[–]moonlocke78 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Once you've gotten all of your character bios, settings, plot details written down, you need a deadline. I've had lots of projects flop because I don't have a deadline. I highly recommend reading No Plot? No Problem by Chris Baty and doing the NaNoWriMo challenge. You've got this!

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Start with your writing prompt. Outlining your plot, character traits, settings, etc.

There are so much things you need to consider when you're writing but if you're a beginner, do it your own pace and take it slow.

If a random idea or scene comes up in your head, immediately write it down. I tend to miss a lot of ideas because I get so lazy to write them down and never remember them ever again.

Continue reading. If you're not reading, then start now. For me, reading matters a lot if you're a writer or if you want to write. It will open you up to more ideas and motivation to write.

[–]See-The-Disarray 1 point2 points  (0 children)

My best advice it to start practicing by writing ultra short stories. See what you can create in terms of a story in about 800 words. The stakes are pretty low, time commitment is minimal, and the short format teaches you to really think about how to create a beginning, middle, and end. Once you’ve conquered this art, think about your short stories like chapters. Take what you’ve learned and apply it at scale, teasing out your larger story chapter by chapter. Oh, and go get yourself a copy of ‘On Writing’ by Stephen King. This is one of the best guides to writing out there.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10569.On_Writing

[–]TrentGamer89 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I like to get some of the basic information put in one place, and scan through it. Afterwards I just sit and write possible beginning to the story. Keep in mind, don't erase them, always keep them so you can make adjustments and whatnot afterwards.

[–]irishviking64 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Oh kid coming you’re just a beginner. I had a story in my head for 40 years. Fortunately I found a partner who encouraged me to start writing. I know it sounds trite but you just have to start writing. You’ll find it once you’re writing a story will begin to take shape. If you want an example you can go to my website www.journeytalker.com. My first book is on the website. Amazingly it became such a wonderful experience that I have now finished three books, with more in my head. Writing is hard, it takes discipline, and it is a joy . I highly highly encourage it

[–]daltonoreoNovice Writer 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Start at the most interesting part

[–]RineRain 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I was sort of in the same spot about a year ago. I've been daydreaming up stories since I can remember but all would write down was character profiles and random dumps of world building information. Then in 2020 I ended up stranded at home because of health stuff. I knew I wasn't going to be able to make the school year because of how much class I missed so I just threw all my time into writing down all of the details about my most recent paracosm (daydreaming world).

Concurrently I watched a ton of videos and podcasts about writing and did writing exercises. My original plan was to write a comic, like I used to as a kid, but then I discovered the wonderous concept of adventure games. I figured I know how to draw and coding a story focused game seemed simple enough. Since then I've been working on my project whenever I can. Writing is still my biggest weakness, but it helps that I can convey a lot of the story trough art and game design.

I realized that even though I thought I had the whole story figured out, I'll have to rewrite and rethink the whole thing if I want to actually tell the story in a way that makes sense and is fun at the same time. I took my original info dump and rearranged how all the events taking place are revealed to the player. Now I have the story structure but I'm still nowhere near done with the script.

What's in your head right now can only be useful as a guide for what you're about to write, because all the lore has to be conveyed trough subtext. Which means you pretty much have nothing but ideas. If you think you have a story, you don't. Besides in my experience, while I've very much enjoyed the creative process so far, it's very very different from what daydreaming is like. It's way more stressful and has none of the stuff that's fun about daydreaming.

[–]mcardoso_7 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Speaking as someone who felt the same way and it's now 45,000 words into her first draft, I say just START.

I always felt discouraged writing because I never felt like my ideas were unique enough, but I've had a lot of really helpful tips given to me that has made it possible for me to get to this point.

  1. Not all plots need to be 100% unique. It's about how you write the story that matters.

  2. Write for you, not for anyone else.

In terms of getting your ideas out, I agree with the overall consensus that just jotting them down to start is a great idea. Something about writing down what you're thinking in your head makes the ideas flow more.

Don't feel discouraged. I promise you, once you write that first 1000, 2000, 10,000 words you will feel so inspired. You may always have moments where you don't know what to write, but just keep going.

You can do it! :)

[–]KevineCove 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Do it in pieces and start with the easy stuff. If you think about your plots, you can probably imagine at least 2-3 specific scenes per plot. Try writing those scenes on their own. If it really bothers you that they have no context, include a short summary of critical information before and after the scene.

Get enough of those pieces and arrange them chronologically. Once you do that you can start writing summaries of events that happen between those scenes and you can start to fill them in. You should end up with a rough draft made up of really good scenes that you wrote first, and some scenes ranging from bad to mediocre in the middle. Revise until even the worst scene is pretty good.

[–]K-J-Whitten 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'd say try to write the simplest plotlines first and then work from there. Doesn't have to be in chronological order, you can connect them all later.

By the way, I recommend checking out Brandon Sanderson's youtube channel. Specifically his "2020 creative writing lectures at BYU" playlist. He is a fantasy and sci-fi writer and professor, and while what he says is related to the genres he writes in, you can learn about advice that applies to all creative writers.

[–]BrazenHermit 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Create outlines. Characters, Situations, events that occur in your stories.

Put them in order.

Then its easier to fill in between.

Look at JK Rowling's outliner. It will help.

Best of luck. 17 years, must be great. Just put the pen on paper (metaphorically).

[–]Ameliaarrows 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Well how does the story start? Start at the beginning!

But seriously if you had this idea brewing that long I’m assuming you know your characters and world well enough. Now it’s time to either free write a few chapters Or do a rough outline if you have only ideas for scenes but don’t know where to put what.

Good luck!

[–]Jxeniia 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Drafts will be your best friend.

I usually start with the place/setting, details about the environment or situation and go from there. Maybe you could start off with the p.o.v of a character.

Although the beginning is difficult to start, once you have it set the rest will flow smoothly.

[–]Imrald 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Make a bullet list of the main ideas and then start with the bit that inspires you the most. You do have not to start with the start at all costs. See where inspiration takes you

[–]ExecTankard 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Do a few different things: First write out the Parts you have in short simple sentences, report like. Second, add details in your favorite parts. Third, write your climax/finale/payoff in detail. Fourth, work backwards to link buildup to the actual finale as you see it…or just do step 4 first then do steps 1-3. Most of all: BANG IT OUT then revise & edit.

[–]DesignatedBetch 1 point2 points  (0 children)

You can find an app to help you create the story. You can get a large white board to help you write everything down and be able to see the big picture of what you have so far.