Story starters lesson 1: Starting in anything is often the most difficult thing to do. Once you’re started it gets easy.
It is just getting started that is hard.
Here are three sure fire starters that will make it easier.
Starter 1: Don’t Be Afraid To Suck!
Many novels are never written.
This is because people feel that everything they write must be perfect. I certainly felt like this and it cost me a lot of time and heartache.
I felt I was a bad writer.
Well, let me tell you something. I was.
Don’t be afraid to be really, really, really bad! It’s the first step to getting good, which is the next step in getting better.
Remember, writing is not a performance art. No one can hear you writing poorly in the other room.
So take a deep breath and step away from the ledge.
Give yourself a gift. Accept the fact that a lot of what you write will be bad and must be revised. This will do wonders toward overcoming writer’s block.
Story Starter 2: In Between Point A And Point B A Miracle Will Occur
Want to know a secret?
You don’t need to know where your story is going…it will tell you as you write and rewrite.
Many people think they must have a good idea of the story they want to write before they even start.
Now, if you do have an idea, great!
However, it is not necessary. The answers you are looking for will present themselves along your journey.
If you don’t know what you want to write about or where it should take place, take heart. Simply start taking notes. A lot of times the people and events that surround you will inspire plot lines, pieces of dialogue, characters.
The other day I heard someone use the phrase “how the cow ate the cabbage”.
I’ve never heard that but I liked it and wrote it down.
I can see some hard edged gangster in a noir novel use that phrase as he is being interrogated…”so you want to know how the cow ate the cabbage”?
I don’t know where it will go but it is a story starter.
Another example would be a girl I saw who had multi colored hair and various piercings in her face.
She might prove to be an interesting character. You think?
She might be interesting in the setting of her subculture. But, she’d be even more interesting in a modern day western.
To start your story be an observer of what is going on around you. Keep a note pad with you. Take notes.
Story Starter 3: Don’t Force It
You wouldn’t expect ice to melt in January, would you?
Everything has it’s time.
Your story will not present itself in one flash like a lightning bolt. Stories usually accumulate over time like sediment on a riverbed.
As you start your story you will have both flashes of lightning and longer periods of collecting sediment.
Things may seem dormant.
But, below the ice, you are gradually accumulating all the bits and pieces you need. And when you start your story it will be as natural as the ice melting in March and flowers blooming in May.
The important thing is to gather all these free ideas that life offers you and review them until the story starts to take shape in your mind.