After conversing with many fellow aspiring authors over the years I’ve come across a common issue.
You would think that the issue was getting started. Actually the real problem its getting passed that block that rears its’ ugly head a quarter into the process. Many authors have problems getting passed the first act.
“I’ve successfully self-published two books and working on my third. Why am I saying this? Is it because I’m a show off?”
At times, maybe I can be. Is it because I’m proud of the fact that I’ve accomplished what I’ve always wanted to since I was a child? Most definitely. But the main reason I’m writing this today is I’m here to aid in breaking down that wall that we writers refer to as “The Block”.
Understand, what you’re about to read works for me. I hope that this can be of some assistance to someone out there.
Most of the time, at the beginning of the writing process, we know how we want the story to end, but we just don’t know how to get there. We start down the road and find ourselves at that block.
One of my preferred techniques for getting passed this dilemma is becoming more acquainted with my main characters, before I start writing the story. Yes, as the creators we may think we know who these people are, but half way through we lose our way and often don’t know why.
Ask yourself these questions of both your protagonists and your antagonist, and then try to answer them:
- What does he/she want?
- What does he/she hate?
- What is he/she afraid of?
- What is in the way of the character getting what he/she wants?
- What does it mean for this character to achieve their goals?
Once these questions are answered, your story will begin to develop naturally.
Then before you start penning the actual manuscript, outline your story from beginning to end. Just write it in a conversational manner; the way you would if you were just telling someone what your story is. No one else will see this.
The outline is for your eyes only, so don’t worry about punctuation, spelling or grammar. Just write it out.
“To me, one of the most important things to consider, once you start writing the actual book, is the first line. When I’m reading a book, the first line or first page should grab me.”
One method, when trying to figure out how to grab your reader is to remember that our brains are wired to root for our hero. So immediately try to relay what the protagonist wants or needs to achieve.
If done properly, your reader will be turning the page, waiting to see the hero attain his/her goals.
I hope I this will help someone out there. I’ll end with the immortal words of JJ, from Good Times: “Write On.”
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