As a writer, I am constantly evolving my process and learning about the craft. There isn’t one way to write. And what works for you one time, may not work for you with your next work in progress.
Last night on my hours long scroll through Tiktok, I came across another writer and how she plots and outlines her novels. She does some things that I don’t do but other things I was like, “huh, I should do that.” She outlined each chapter onto a single page in a notebook. I always started my story from page one and instead of starting a new page for a chapter, id just skip a line and move on. I am going to try this other way though. Just to see if it works better for me.
If you plotted your story, however you wanted, the next step is to sit down and write. Take that plot and flesh it out. This is the second part most people give up on. They feel their sentences and word choices have to be stellar in order for the book to flow well. Negatory.
You can write the worst sentences and used the same word 32 times in a paragraph while you write your rough draft. It’s meant to be messy and ugly. Hence calling it the “rough” draft.
The rough draft is there for you to get the story out of your head. It does not matter if it is out of order. It does not matter that your characters are cliched or if you have filled the entire story with tropes.
It also shouldn’t matter if you feel you do not have the intelligence or vocabulary to write. Get your story down.
Why? Why shouldn’t it matter?
Because after you are done writing the first draft, the second painful part happens.
This is where you go back and put the story in order. This is where you fix those sentences. This is where you make it look like you knew what you were doing the entire time.
This is also a good reminder for you: THIS IS YOUR STORY.
People have opinions and they aren’t going to like your work. Don’t worry about them. Never worry or waste time thinking about the people who do not like your work. They are not your demographic. There is someone or many someones out there that are waiting for your story. They are waiting and bored to read the novel that will change their life. That could be a hyperbole but I don’t think so.
Reading changed my life. Reading allowed me to escape from not having lots of friends to having a close few. There were parts of my life where I was not a social butterfly. Those were the times I turned to books. Even as an adult, I turn to books to escape my day to day life. I love getting lost in the pages of books. So please write your story, someone out there is waiting to get lost in the pages and fall in love with your characters.
Write that terrible story down. Get it out of your head. It will be the most painful thing you ever do. Writing is hard but worth it. So many people think they can just sit down and write out the next series that will take the world my storm, until they sit down and stare at the blank page for a few hours and give up.
Don’t be like them. Write. Write what is in your heart. Write what plagues your mind. Write what terrifies you. Write what makes your heart sing with joy. Write what makes you squirm in your seat in a very dirty way. Write what you feel and I guarantee you will have a book you will be proud of.
When you think about giving up because a scene isn’t working or you have no idea how to fix the situation in your story, don’t! You got this. Trust your creativity. Trust your gut. Ask yourself questions. Are the stakes high enough? What does each of these characters want/need, should I give it to them or ruin their day by keeping it just out of reach?
Tell your story!