Just Write!

July 7, 2009 at 3:55 PM | Posted in Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Advice, YA | 1 Comment

I was recently talking to someone who was having trouble getting their book started. They would begin, decide they didn’t like it, and start over. This happens a lot and my advice to everyone is the same: “JUST WRITE!”

There are so many questions posed by new writers when they’re first starting. Who should be my main character? What should they be like? What should they look like? What POV should I tell it from: first or third? What tense should I have it in: past or present? Is it too much like (insert book/movie title here)? Is the idea even good? Will anyone like it? Where should I start the story? Will anyone think this story is too dark?

Then when you finally start there are even more questions. Does this suck? Is that first line hooky enough? Is this where I want to start the story? Is my MC likeable? Should that minor character be in the story? Is that dialogue good? Is the description enough?

I have one response to those questions: “Just. Write.” Don’t worry if it’s going to be good enough, if it’s going to be long enough, what POV it should be in, what tense it should be in, whether it’s cliched or not, whether anyone’s actually going to like it, if that sentence wording is right, etc. Don’t worry about all that!

If you let those worries stop you from writing or make you start all over, you’ll never be done. So just push all of that to the back of your mind for when you’re editing. Because that’s why rewrites, edits, and revisions were invented. So you can turn your rough draft until something shiny that everyone wants to see.

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  1. Personally, I like to outline my stories and think about them loads before I start with the words, but after that comes, just writing is a good way to go. Sometimes, it’ll take you to unexpected and interesting places. And, as long as you know your characters well enough before you start, you should have too much trouble figuring out how they’ll act and speak. Just put black on white and trust your gut, at least for the first draft.

    For interesting thoughts on this I’d recommend, reading the post: http://betweenfactandfiction.blogspot.com/2009/07/worst-draft-ever.html .


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