get project started

Let’s Get this Project Started!

By on November 21, 2013 . Category Column

Maybe you have a great idea for a book. Perhaps you find yourself reading the works of other writers and think to yourself, “I know my idea is better than that. If they can do it, so can I!” So, you sit down in front of the computer, planning to get that book started and immediately draw a blank. You have no idea where to begin. Now what?


Take a look at your Notebook


What? You don’t have a notebook? For many writers, this is an absolute must-have. It’s a place to write your ideas about your story line, characters, plot, theme, etc. In short, your notebook is where you write anything you can think of for your project. It can be any type of notebook you like. I prefer to use graph paper. These notebooks usually have a thicker cover and the markings allow me to easily draw maps and other visual details I might need.


Create an Outline


You might choose to start with an outline. Your outline doesn’t have to be anything formal; its purpose is to serve as a guideline for your story. It will help keep you on track as you write. It will help you determine the beginning, the middle, and the end of your story. It helps with plotting the book and in character development. Use your notebook to fill in the details of your outline.


Start Writing


There is no rule that says you have to start at the beginning of your book. Eventually you will need a beginning to your story, but it doesn’t have to be the first thing you write. As a matter of fact, there are those who believe the very last thing you should write is the first paragraph! You can start writing wherever you’re most comfortable. If you have the perfect ending, go ahead and write it. Is there a specific event that occurs in your story? Start writing there.


Don’t feel as if you must get the story absolutely perfect the first time, either. It’s more beneficial to get your ideas “on paper.” You can go back and make all the changes you want later, and you will make changes–lots of changes.


In the end, the important thing is to just get started. Now is as good a time as any. What’s stopping you?


See Also

Interview with Louise Warberg

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