I ask myself a lot of questions – the two main ones being:
- What’s going to happen in my story?
- Who do I want to tell my story?
WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN IN MY STORY
This is the plotting part – this is where I sit down and try to free my mind and just write down random ideas that come into my head. I don’t rearrange them into the story order until later – and some of the original ideas won’t get used at all. This is the mind-mapping part I talked about on Tuesday.
Sometimes I even change what happens in my story as I go. Sometimes, the character decides they want to go in a completely different direction. In fact, the more I think about who the main character really is – and what motivates them – the more the plot for my story develops.
When I’m thinking about the plot for my story, I think about:
- What is going to happen?
- How is it going to happen?
- Why is it going to happen?
- When is it going to happen?
- Where is it going to happen?
- WHO is it going to happen to?
WHO IS GOING TO TELL MY STORY?
This isn’t as simple as it sounds. I am the writer, and yes…I am the one writing down the story…but whose eyes will I tell it through? Whose point of view shall I tell the story from?
If I tell it in first person point of view (using ‘I’); then I will probably have the main character tell my story. This way of telling a story lets me write what is going on in my main character’s head.
I could tell it from third person point of view where someone narrates what is happening to my main character, and this lets me describe more how things look etc.
For example: Matt wasn’t into furry pets and family holidays. There had always just been him and Dad, and they never went anywhere.
If I want to tell it from more than one person’s point of view, I can do this is third person omniscient where I hop from one character’s head to another. This can be a great way of adding lots of different perspectives to the story, but it can get confusing if you hop around too much.
For example: Matt had never been on a family holiday. Dad worked every weekend so they never got to go anywhere. Troy’s family went away all the time. Troy wondered how Matt coped with the boredom.
Don’t be afraid to change to a different point of view if the first one you tried doesn’t seem to be working. And don’t worry about scribbling all over the blank paper in writing that your mother couldn’t read. It’s important to get your ideas down so they don’t become a mish mash in your head. Then you can decide the order later.
The most important thing with starting a story is to ‘Start It’. Don’t put it off any longer. If you want to be a writer…you have to write, write and write some more.