Writing – Where Do I Start?

Now let me start off by saying that I will not be able to provide any sage advice here. I am merely asking the question and hoping that some readers will be able to give me a few pointers and share some of their experiences with me.

So very recently I decided (after years of toing and froing) to sit and start writing some of my ideas down. So far I have my protagonist and some of his back story. Also, I have managed to write 3000 words (go me!) and there is actually some dialogue in there.

My struggle so far has been with originality. When I am writing I keep thinking to myself I’ve heard that before, I’ve read that before, this guy is similar to that well-known character and so on and so on. With this in mind I decided to just write down what I need to, complete my daily word count (around 1500-2000) and see where I go from there.

Another major struggle? Names. Lord Almighty, the Names! What will my main village be called? Hell, what will the world look like? I recently attended a book launch with Joe Abercrombie (which was absolutely brilliant by the way) and he spoke briefly about ‘mapping’ his world. He spoke of how he had gained a lot of experience in his younger days though RPG-ing and drawing maps for that purpose. Well I don’t have that experience and I am struggling like hell to name a world, its nations, its races, its species etc etc etc. I mean, where do I start?

I have no doubt that my first ‘draft’ will be garbage but I will continue on like the brave soul that iIam… I thought I would put my feelings and experiences  ‘out there’ to see if anyone has had any similar problems challenges? Please do let me know. All advice is appreciated 🙂

So currently, my answer to ‘Writing – Where Do I Start?’ Is simple…start typing.

 

9 thoughts on “Writing – Where Do I Start?

  1. Goodluck with your writing. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a lot. I’ve got to say, it’s bloody hard mate!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi. I found that the world and characters are an interrelationship. Our lives are defined by what we have to do and what we choose to do, and those things are limited by the world around us. Once you know that you have the influences that shape your characters. It’s an interrelationship because these things don’t entirely determine our characters. Frodo would never have left the Shire if he was like all the other Hobbits.

    Villages may often be named after individuals or their immediate geographic environment. Falmouth, in Cornwall is literally ‘at the mouth of the river Fal’. A village on a high rocky outcrop? Lassiter’s Ridge, after a once famous hunter that…you get the idea.

    The more I ground a place in terms of research, history and culture, the easier it gets to bring a character to life there, because they will be of a certain clan, and that clan will have been under the heel of that other clan for the last thirty years, their tithes are more punitive etc. etc. and these things shape a youngster growing up into a man or woman. So you get a lot of the biographical work at the same time you’re figuring the bigger picture out. As I’m sure you’re aware, there’s no substitute for research.

    Finally, you’ve got exactly the right attitude. You’re starting out, enjoy it, write something that writes itself, almost, and the learning will happen. I have a novel I wrote when I was 18. It’s awful beyond belief, but when I finished it, I knew I could actually finish a novel, no matter how bad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Adrian, thank you for that sound advice! I had started to research different place names and what I could call the nations and the people etc but I hadn’t thought about using our naming customs as a way to do that. I will have to put my cartographer hat on, if I can find it, if I even have one… It does actually sound quite fun though!
      I think you’re right Adrian, just knowing you can finish a novel is an achievement in itself, no matter how bad, or cliché, or naïve it may be (I feel that these may apply to me) but I am just enjoying the experience and bringing my characters to life.
      I appreciate you taking the time to help me out, you have given me a lot to think on 🙂

      Like

  3. Gosh, what a big question! Not that I’m necessarily best place to answer, but from my own experiences… first, keep enjoying it. It’s not a slog, it’s not a ‘job’ – it’s something you do out of love and desire to get the stories out of your head, and making that a miserable chore is never going to work out for you! Secondly, remember that – like any skill/art/craft – you are NOT going to be good at this straight away! You need to practice. I’ve heard many, many authors admit that their first 2, 3, 10 ‘books’ were not published, or even fit for outside review! And lastly, try not to think about marketing or originality or get too hung up on names – just, tell the story, make the characters ‘real’, and let the rest sort itself out in the edits. Because there should be *many* edits! 😉 Oh, and try some books on writing – I just finished reading ‘The First Five Pages’ by Noah Lukeman which I thought was very good.

    Very best of luck! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey! Thank you for such great advice! I do love doing it and I love telling the stories of my characters, some of them are real wrong ‘uns! Haha I totally agree with the not being very good when you first start out, I re-read some of my work and I just hang my head and give a good facepalm! I think the good thing is that I am not expecting immediate quality but I am expecting progress, and when you first start out, that’s all you can make I suppose.
      I’ve been dubious so far about the reading-books-to-write-books idea but if you recommend doing that then I shall certainly have a look! Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences and your advice 

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Re writing books: recommended, but don’t take them too seriously! Read several and take the best bits, as suit your own style, etc.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ooh, and check out writing sites, too, like this one – I am just reading and nodding to the advice here myself: http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/how-to-plot-a-book/

        Like

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