Monday, 25 April 2016

What do you write? How do you begin?

There are always two burning questions for new writers; what do you write? And how do you begin?

The answer to these questions might sound a little trite, but it is true and quite simple.

Write about whatever is in your head to write.

Now I know you want to reach through the computer screen and strangle me now, but before you do that, let me explain…
Only you know the story you want to tell. If you gave the same story synopsis to 3 different authors, you would get three different stories.
No one writes in the same way that you do. No one will ever write in the same way as you.

Therefore, I cannot tell you what, specifically, to write, but I can help start you off.

I know, you have this fantastic idea in your head for a novel, or you wouldn't be here reading this blog post. So let's go into your mind and think about that fantastic novel…
What is your absolute favourite part of the story?
Is it a bit of action?
Is it violence?
Is it a love scene?
Is it a huge argument?
Is it a car crash?
Whatever your favourite part of the story is, think about that… Go on, think about it. Immerse yourself in it completely. Imagine yourself there with all the characters, in the middle of the action, or as one of the characters.

Now, think about how you would describe that. What triggered off the violence? Did one of the characters lie to another? Was that the trigger?
Describe something like a bead of sweat running from your characters forehead down his temple and the side of his face into his beard, perhaps. What about the light in the room? Are they even in a room? What can you smell?

Jim watched Andy's eyes flick back and forth staring at the ground as he fought to find a lie in his head that would excuse him for what he did… Something like that, perhaps?

The key is to start with one sentence. It doesn't matter where, precisely in your story, you begin, you can sort all of that out later. But it is important that you start something.
I just gave you an example sentence there. It's not perfect, but it's a start.

Then what happens? What's the next bit? Does Andy speak? Does Andy's behaviour trigger Jim to react in a particular way? The point of view in that sentence was Jim's, so how does he feel? Is his blood beginning to boil? Does he clench his jaw? Does his hand tighten around the lead piping he is holding?
These are all questions you can answer with the next sentences that you write.
Why is Jim angry at Andy? Why does Jim even have lead piping in his hand? Why would Andy want to lie?

The only person who can answer these questions is you. You are the only person that knows the entire story.
The reader wants to know what you know; you have to put it down on paper.

Begin with one sentence. Begin with your favourite scene. Then, like a spider's web, watch it grow from there…

Let me know what your beginning sentences and scenes are. I'd really like to hear from you.
Most of all, I'd like to hear about what you're writing and I wish you all the best!

Happy writing!
Karen x