Getting Started, How Did You?

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Getting Started, How Did You?

I was talking to a family friend the other day, and we got on the subject of books and then writing. As we were talking she asked me, ‘So how did you start a novel? I would love to write but where do you really start?’ I told her ‘Just write’ but I could tell by the disappointed look on her face. She needed more to go on than that. Didn’t we all at some stage? So I promised to blog my five getting started on writing tips that I found useful…l when I got started.

Tip one) Find what you want to write about, only you know what characters/ subjects are interesting you. If you’re struggling with that look in other books, newspapers, or talk to friends to get inspiration. Once you have that decided, choose if you need to plan!! For me it was more add a chapter title and off I went.

Tip two) Questions, one of my favourite parts of writing was getting to know my characters. And a helpful way of doing that is to start a question sheet and answer at least one new question on said character a week.. I find if you learn all ones character secrets too quickly then writing their story for me knowing everything at once would be less of an adventure. I like finding out as I go.

Here are a few to get you started…

What is your characters biggest fears? Would said character share those fears with anyone?

Does your character have any special power? If so what do they make said character feel like?

What does your Character do when no one is around?

Do they have a strong feeling towards something or someone?

Tip three) Chapter size, I find up to 3’000  words per chapter enough for each one. This does change to less, or even more at times but as a template goal 3’000 words is a good one to aim for I think.

Tip four) Once that novel/ short story is in progress, then oneself might want to seek out a short course, share your story, get feedback because other readers/ tutors can really help open your eyes to even more places that oneself might have not seen in ones story. I found that helpful myself…But if that isn’t what you’re ready for then seek out a friend to start sharing Ideas with, that can be equally as helpful to start off with.

Tip Five) Nothing is set in stone, write and write…. Once it’s done, go back,  change, read  and don’t be afraid to cut and chop out parts. Until that novel/ story is just how oneself saw it in the mind’s eye. Where most stories start…..

So how did you get started? Feel free to share your own tips.

I hope you all have a great weekend.

Take care.



8 thoughts on “Getting Started, How Did You?

  1. Hi Katie,
    Good advice! These are all techniques I use to help me get started when I need motivation. I know what you mean by ‘just write’ though too. I began my first novel by just writing down what it was I wanted to write about, not so much in scenes with characters but just total freewriting. I gave myself permission to write as badly as I needed to and that made it much less daunting. I also wrote what I saw in my mind’s eye when I thought of what I wanted to write, in my case this was a small girl in a forest and then I broadened out from there.
    Anyhow, best of luck to her!

    • Hi Kendra.

      Thanks Hun, me too. I agree with you free-writing is a great tip…I do think it’s important to let oneself write badly, and just get the words out. I think starting with your small girl in a forest was a great place for you to start. 🙂

      I hope you have a lovely weekend.


  2. Hi Katie,
    Great tips – really helpful. It’s strange where ideas come from, but when they arrive, it seems hard not to write. I found rewriting to be the stage where my story came alive, so your point about not being afraid to cut out, or change is very important.

    • Hi Ruth.

      Thanks Hun… I agree with you when an idea hits you have to write it… That’s true not being afraid to cut out or change is important. I also like the rewriting stage it does help your novel feel like its coming fully alive.

      Have a lovely weekend.


  3. Great tips! Usually, I start with an idea or feeling, then I have to let it stew for a while… If I’m lucky, a very rough outline will form itself in my mind; that’s when I start to write. And then I just have to do as Kendra says and write freely to get all the ideas out!
    Thanks for sharing, Katie!

    • Hi Louisa.

      Thanks Hun, That sound like a fun way to start your stories/ novels.. 🙂 And letting your idea stew for a while then writing it all down, is a great tip too. I tend to focus my ideas with a little mediation because I find that it helps me visualise some parts of my ideas before I start writing at times.

      I hope you have a fantastic weekend.

      Take care.

  4. Hi Katie,

    Your post is so helpful because sometimes people don’t know where to start. Knowing you want to write a novel could help get you in the mindset of actively looking for ideas while out going for a garden walk or cooking.

    It’s very true that when people start writing, they do tend to believe what they write down in set in concrete.

    Great post 😀

    Hope you have a great week,

    Ash 🙂

    • Hi Ashley.

      Thanks Hun, you are right knowing you want to write is a great mindset to start with, As well as starting looking for ideas I think some of my ideas flowed while hoovering the house at times.

      I think it can be hard at the start to change things, but soon enough the red/ blue pen is out and the changes begin.


      I hope you have a lovely week.


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