The Craft of Writing Fiction: Where to Begin, Pt. 3

When writing a novel or short story or poetry, there’s always the blank page and in this little series we’ve been looking at some things to do and consider before or as you begin.  While we’ve talked about writing what you know and figuring what you want to write by just starting or mapping it out, there is another place to begin, and it may be one of the most important.  It’s important to embrace one thing if you want to write: consistency.

Image from The Guardian

Countless writers have had their quirks and habits when it comes to writing.  Some people set page limits per day, time limits, a specific amount of chapters, and so on.  Also, some people want to write in the morning, others the evening, some want to write lying down, standing, etc.  However, it’s important that you are consistent in your writing.

I hate to keep recycling advice from Stephen King, but to paraphrase him, you never know when the muse is going to show up but you must be ready to go when he/she/it does.  This means, finding a time and place to write everyday or on a regular basis that not only works for you but also allows you to get to and meet your writing goal for that day.

Some days you may not feel like writing, other days you might not want to stop, but like eating, sleeping, and exercise, it’s important to exercise your writing muscles daily and build up your endurance to sit at the computer or notepad and get to work.  Again, even on days when you don’t want to write, you might be creating some great stuff because you’re not inside your own head, judging what you’ve written. And writing is practice, like with exercise, and workouts that seem terrifying and insurmountable will become fun and you’ll meet them with boldness once you’ve gotten into shape.

You never master storytelling but if you are able to consistently come to the page and put down your story, you’ll find you grow bolder and you might just be making magic one daily goal at a time.