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How To Start Writing

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start writing

We’ve all started here at one point or another. You either want to start writing or you’re new to writing. At first, you may have been so excited, but now, you have no idea where you want to go. Where do you even start? Well, first of all, I’d like to assure you that you’re not alone. All writers have gone through this. More importantly, there are solutions.

Practice, Practice, Practice

As with any skill, you get better at writing the more you do it. The more you write, the easier it becomes. But what do you even write about? Well, if you haven’t got any ideas in particular, simply write about anything that comes to mind. Write about your day. Carry around a notepad with you and write down your observations. Watch people, movies, or even TV. Look at how people around you interact with each other. Let your mind wander. Explore different possibilities and cherish your imagination. Let your creative juices flow and write as much as you can while they do. These are all essential to becoming a better writer.

Read More

What is just as important as writing is reading. By reading, you find out what you like and what you don’t, what works and what doesn’t, and how stories are written. Be sure to read books by authors you both like and dislike, in all sorts of genres and styles. You’ll be exposed to new words, styles, and techniques, which will increase your writing toolbox greatly. There is so much to learn about the world around you. Even I’m still learning. After seeing all this world and others have to offer, how could you not feel motivated to pour your heart and soul into a story?

Look for Inspiration

And be prepared for when it hits you! Inspiration can be found everywhere in the world around you, through music, art, and experiences. It could be found in a writing prompt that you connect with or a song that inspires a story or a scene. It could be something as small as watching a bird in your garden and wondering what its life would be like. Be prepared for those moments and write down any ideas that come to you. Put them in your phone, write them on your hand, or use that notepad I suggested earlier. Don’t assume you will remember them, because chances are that you won’t! The more you practice writing down your ideas and inspirations, the more your mind will create them.

Find Friends

As you continue the writing journey, make sure you create connections with fellow writers. Together, you can learn and improve your craft, becoming better writers together. Don’t forget that helping others with their writing teaches you more about your own, too! You’ll experience much greater success together with other writers than if you venture on alone.

Making friends in a writing community gives you a support system to turn to when things get tough. Friends can help you brainstorm, answer research questions, and give you the motivation to keep going. Every writer knows the pain of jealousy and comparing their work to others. It can be a pitiful way to lose motivation. Having fellow writer friends at your side to talk you through the struggle helps tremendously.

Of course, I would suggest you join the Wacky Writers Community if you are looking for a supportive community of follow writers. But there many writing communities out there, such as Tapas, Royal Road, Reddit- r/writing, and many more!

Everyone has to start somewhere, but the good news is with writing you can start anywhere! Jot down an idea on a napkin, pull out your notes app, open a blank document, or get out all those old notebooks you promised to fill! All you need is a little time and imagination and you can become a writer the moment you start writing.

Notable Replies

  1. I started writing with a couple of fanfics. They weren’t so bad I guess… but they weren’t great either :sweat_smile:

    I think it worked to use the world / characters I already knew the relations of and how they interacted to explore my own plot ideas to get into the habit of writing and forming ideas into cohesive chapters (or as best as I could lol) for practice before jumping into writing my original ideas out more in full. It definitely helped to get a little feedback and see what people liked. I would recommend even just a couple of one shots to start if someone wanted writing practice.

    I still have them saved… I should read them back some time lol.

  2. Ooh, i like this subject!

    i wrote grade 0, bottom of the scale, absolute cringe stories. :joy: they were so baddd.

    My number one tip, besides just writttee is to understand the craft. Since quarantine started I’ve gone through thousands and thousands of blog posts and videos on writing and plotting and what makes a good story and I now really understand the craft of writing and finding one’s characters and themes and internal conflicts and I love it. People say reading blog posts about writing doesn’t actually make you a better writer, but it kinda does. It helps you understand the craft and that can make you a better writer.

    Writing does not have rules, true, but it’s still a craft, and if you’re scared to actually write then better educate yourself on the subject. There’s a real magic to writing and plotting and there’s a
    science (or magic, if you will) behind it. It’s super fascinating.

    Good luck to all writers who are starting out!

  3. OMFG ME TOO. Neopets roleplay was the best. :joy:
    I have logged into Neopets within the last 6 months lmao

  4. Yes, it just gives you a place to start and to practice. Dialogue, the structure of a plot, and how to describe those characters without having to do much of the inventing part. It really helps with learning the writing craft with a bit of a springboard haha.

    I think because there are a lot of younger writers, and because it’s not original work, it’s seen as not as good, but if you like fanfic and you want to try writing out, it’s a small step to get started. I mean, I didn’t turn out so bad after it, and luckily didn’t get caught in the web of only writing fanfics. Not that it’s bad if that’s all someone wants to write, but if you want to get published you at least need to have an original idea within the fanfic so you can at least change the names and it’s basically your own thing.

    It doesn’t sound silly! From an old draft of a story, one of the characters had a dream while watching a James Bond movie and I’m tempted to write some kind of James Bond-my character short story :joy: I don’t think I’ve written fanfic of my own stories otherwise really lol.

    I do agree that exploring them in more ways could help develop them though.

    That’s true, learning about the structure of a story is important, kind of like reading stories of a similar genre to get a feel for how to make your writing sound, but you also have to remember that aside from rules on language and grammar, the stuff that makes it coherent, it depends on the genre and your storytelling. It’s opinion to a certain degree, because that’s the point in creativity. You can sometimes break the rules. Trying to stick to how you should structure it can make it harder to express your ideas in your own way.

  5. Well, this is how I got started.

    From like middle school until like my mid twenties, I actually had something of a creative writing phobia. I had straight A’s, but the one type of assignment I refused to do was creative writing. I had a fear that someone was over my shoulder watching my paper the whole time.

    A few years ago, I had a random dystopia sci-fi idea floating around, and last December I actually tried writing the damn thing. I had no clue what I was doing and ended up with like 1400 words before quitting.

    That brings me to idea two and three, which I made it to about 4000 and 7000 words respectively. Cue many more false starts, and I end up with a 29k “finished” sci-fi novella. It was terrible(especially the end). But, with each false start, I learned more about how things work, especially with my main struggling area of pacing. My first works had the issue of being both super fast paced, yet extremely boring at the same time.

    So, basically, I’m still starting, since I only have one year’s experience. It’ll be a while until something comes of it, if it ever does.

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