How to prepare before starting a story
Sometimes it can be daunting to look at a blank page before beginning a piece of writing, so here are some tips before beginning to help.
- Research your topic
If you’re writing about a topic you don’t know much about, research it. Research the life your character might lead by doing something like listening to a podcast, scrolling though websites or reading books about your subject. It’s really beneficial and will make your writing seem much more factual and realistic.
- Immerse yourself in writing
Sometimes you just really won’t feel like writing or being creative, but if you surround yourself with it, you’re much more likely to get some inspiration and push away that Writer’s Block. Write every day, even if you write about your inability to think of something to write about.
- Just get started!
Despite my first point, sometimes the best way to start is to do just that! Forget the plans and conventional methods, if you want to think of an idea, just let your mind take you wherever it wants, and an idea will spawn and grow. That being said, sometimes this isn’t the most effective method, as you might end up rushing through scenes or not be producing your best work. However, it’s fun to do this every once in a while!
- Set up your space
I always like to set up my working space before sitting down to write. This may include things like tiding your work space so that your head is clear, making sure you’re sitting at a desk or eliminating distractions.
- Don’t expect too much of yourself
Try not to edit as you go because it will slow you down and make you critical of every word you write. Know that if you write a scene you’re not pleased with, you can go back and tweak it, but focus on just getting words down on the page first. Set achievable goals that will make you feel good when you meet them. Don’t ask yourself to write 500 words a day – start with 100 and work your way up if you’re finding that too easy.
- Have a basic plan
It’s much easier to begin writing if you have a basic idea of where your story is going. I used to hate planning my stories, but I kept doing it over and over and now, I’m pleased that I possess that skill.
- Know about your characters and setting
If you don’t know who or where you’re writing about, that’s going to make it very difficult to dive in headfirst. Learn about them so well that random things will make you think of them. Put your characters into different situations (an elevator that stops unexpectedly, a betrayal of a friend, a family reunion etc.) and think about how they would react and what they would do about it.
Writing gets easier with practice, just like everything else. It won’t immediately be as easy as breathing, but the beauty of it is the creativity that will flow through your veins when you fall in love with your storyline and characters. I hope this helped you prepare to write.