Step 1 – Imagination
This may sound obvious but this forms the beginning of any creative writing venture. An idea, a spark, an image, a thought or scenario. Just today I walked past a story in the street. I saw a single poker chip just sitting there on the pavement/sidewalk and wondered how it got there.
Step 2 – Writing a story
The first time you ever attempt to write a story you shouldn’t worry too much about whether it’s good. Just write the story you want to write, how you want to write it. Before I ever wrote a full length novel I wrote many shorter stories. When I was eight I would just write stories no matter how ridiculous or badly written. I focussed only on the characters and the story. Each time you write one you learn something new.
Step 3 – Find a Revision Process
I had plenty of practise writing stories but one thing I hadn’t practised was revising them. I use the word revising rather than editing because it evokes a less competitive image in my mind. Everyone says be ruthless with revising but I’ve found that you need to be careful of being too ruthless. Often you’ll re-write a scene thinking it’s better that way and people will prefer the original anyway. Do re-write and re-write but keep the originals so you can compare the previous to the new version.
Step 4 – Get Feedback
The trick to this is choosing the right people. You can ask friends or family that are interested in the sort of story you’ve written but be warned not every cares or is interested in fiction. The wrong kind of reviewer won’t be helpful at all. You can also post it online at a writing site or writing group or blog. Always remember to add a copyright notice (c) and make sure that the site allows you to retain full copyright over you work.
Please refer to my post Dealing with Bad Reviews for info on how to respond to feedback.
If you are stuck for words on your first attempt try a kind of automatic creative writing. This involves allowing the first words or images that come to you mind to flow and then just writing it down. You ideally want to try to write as soon as the thought pops into your mind, rather than thinking about it a lot and then writing. Once you’ve learnt to do this you will be able to write spontaneously. You can also do mind maps, brain-storming or just random word play and scribbles.
There is, of course, much more involved in writing fiction but this is a good place to start if you’ve never written any fiction before.
- Can Creative Writing Be Taught? (via Life and Art) (circularrunning.wordpress.com)
- Monday Morning Writing Prompt – Flash Fiction (liv2write2day.wordpress.com)
- What are other names for a creative writing club? (creativewriting504.wordpress.com)
- Focus Your Writing Projects (bardicblogger.wordpress.com)
- The Power of Music in Creative Writing (bardicblogger.wordpress.com)
- Writing Fiction: Never Tell The Reader Everything (pittsburghflashfictiongazette.com)
- Writing Fiction: Make A New Start (pittsburghflashfictiongazette.com)
- 5 Tips for Writing Fiction (writingcompanion.wordpress.com)