Do you really want to be a writer?
April 8, 2015
“HOW DID YOU GET STARTED AS A WRITER?” That’s the question I am asked the most as I travel the country meeting potential readers and broadening my readership. Of course, I always try to answer the question to the best of my ability. It’s a long and complicated story, but to share my journey with others seems to give aspiring writers hope. Yes, it is possible, no matter the circumstances.
The second question they ask? “How do I start?” I usually tell them to break the fetters of doubt by simply putting down the essence of what they want to say or tell in any order. Simply do not worry about the finer points of writing just yet. Get those thoughts down on paper.
The next step I encourage them to do is start with a short story and learn the craft. In this age of the internet highway, there is a wealth of knowledge out there free for the taking. I still take online courses and workshops from the comfort of my home to polish my creativity. It’s a necessary element if you want to be a credible contender in the world of literature.
Beware the ‘think they know’ amateurs out there, however. There are a lot of people out there who just want your money, so make sure you take accredited classes and workshops.
If you have a story in mind, all you need to begin are a few simple essentials to put your story together.
- Exposition (Beginning)
- Rising Action
- Falling Action
Keep these five elements in mind to avoid plot holes or getting stuck.
Key elements in your story should also include the following:
A MAIN CHARACTER: This can be a person or an animal as long as this character is an active part of your story.
SETTING: Where does the story take place and what is the time period. Setting is key to bringing the picture of your story to the readers imagination.
PLOT: Your story must go somewhere. Create a series of events and character actions relating to the central conflict.
CONFLICT: This will show a struggle of some sort between two people or things with the main character usually on one side of the central conflict. The struggle can include another character, a force of nature, society, or an internal struggle.
THEME: Your story must show a central belief or idea.
These elements are a starting point, meant to give a simple outline of how to structure a story. Click on the hyperlinks for more in depth explanations.
Writing is difficult and sometimes lonely work. You usually isolate yourself by sitting in front of your computer away from the hustle and bustle of your everyday world. So once in a while, break out of that world and take your laptop to a coffee shop or other place where people mingle.
Another must for writers is to be a part of a writer’s group. Almost every town or city has a writers group. It’s easy to find them. Google! That’s how I found the group I belong to. There is a wealth of knowledge out there and friendships, as well.
Writing is a rewarding and exciting occupation, but as in all of the arts, you must learn the craft of writing. So, for those of you who have reached out and asked me, I hope this little ‘starter kit’ will help get you going!
Please click the book cover image to read more about Patty Wiseman and her novels.