When an idea forms into a reality…

I’ve always been interested in the process of creation.  It’s what drew me to video games, and ultimately a job designing them, and to writing…always to writing.  It’s the idea that anything is possible, and that whatever you decide to create, it will be entirely based on your own life and experiences.  It’s impossible to duplicate exactly what you’ve created, whether it is art or prose or anything else.  There is a saying that there are only 12 stories in the world, and everything else is a derivative of those.  It may be so, but it doesn’t keep people from buying the same stuff over and over again!

The thought of writing a novel is intimidating.  You come up with a concept and then…what?  It’s daunting to think of everything that goes into a story.  You’re imagining this awesome book you’re going to create, and then after you start writing, realize just how much is ahead of you and you run out of gas.  You start wondering if you’re even capable of delivering half of what you envisioned.  You stop writing, you get distracted, and you find other things to do with your time.

Wrong!  It’s cliche by now, but writing requires you to write something nearly every day, even if the three pages you wrote that week is terrible and needs to be cut.  If you’re not writing, think about the story when you’re at work, in the car, at the grocery store, so when you do write…it’ll start flowing.

Every author has their own way of writing.  Some like to map out the entire thing from beginning to end, before they even start writing the first chapter.  I tried this process which is called “The Snowflake Method”.  Even if you don’t end up using this method to write your books, it’s worth doing at least once.

The other way is to just start writing, which is probably what most authors do, and which I prefer.  Typically I’d come up with a concept or idea, and start writing, then fall off track.  My problem was that I never had an ending in mind, and I figured that one would just “reveal” itself when I got to the…end.  If you don’t have a general idea of how you want to end the book, in my opinion, it’s very difficult to stay on track and motivated.

The end will be the light at the end of the tunnel for you as a writer, and for your characters, who are constantly moving towards it.  Don’t worry if you’re book will actually be good, just finish it.  Your initial draft is just that.  Once you have the core story completed, you can spend time fine tuning everything, and turn it into something worth reading.  Be satisfied that you completed it, and then move on to the next one!

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