The Craft of Writing Fiction: Where to Begin

A blank page sits in front of anyone who wants to write a story, novel, or poem.  Also, that page doesn’t care if you’re serious and looking to make a career out of writing or if you’re just looking to create something only you’ll read like a fanfic that crosses over Twilight and Star Wars. *shutter*

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So, as with most work, you have to start somewhere and there are a few different thoughts on this when it comes to fiction.  Depending on what you’re writing, you may just start bleeding words onto the page while other works may call for some planning and mapping out.  Yet, even in these cases there are people who disagree on methods or at least don’t prescribe to certain practices.

If you are writing a more literary-type work, maybe something a little autobiographical or just a snapshot or character-driven work then some just get down and start working.  I think in these cases, when you have a premise or an idea of where you’re going, you can treat the work like a foggy road. It’s drivable but you need to focus and take your time.

Other works that may require more world-building could use more forethought. If you’re going all-out like Tolkien and have different races, being, creatures, and languages, then maybe, perhaps, you make a better roadmap and plan than you might otherwise.  This could help avoid plot holes, getting stuck, or losing track of where you are in such a large world.

However, at the end of the day, it depends on what works for you, as do most techniques in writing. It’s important to think about your ability to weave a story and keep track and pace of where you’re going.  If you’re got a lot of stories or a book or two under your belt, maybe just get it all out on the page and you’ll be looking at minimal work on the rewrites.  If, though, you’re new to putting a story on the page then remember that, just maybe, your pen isn’t a conduit for brilliance and taking the time think out what you want to say and why you feel your story is worth telling is a good place to start.