Ever since people knew that I wrote an entire book at the age of fourteen I have been bombarded with questions like “How can you write so much?”, “Where do you start from?”, “How do you have so many ideas in one place?” and so on. For that reason, I thought about collecting together some guidelines and advice that I follow to write all of my previous and current stories. Every individual has their own methods of writing, and what works for me might not be the best method for others.
Before I continue, many might be thinking “Why would I even want to write a book? I barely get by with my essays.” My simple answer to that would be, “Don’t deny the thought until you try it.” Academic papers are far different than a creative works such as a story, book, or novels . Sometimes it is relaxing to write freely, and before you know it, you’ll have hundreds of written pages.
- You don’t need everything figured out. All the time people told me to have a clear outline and plan before I start writing. Some people even write three or more drafts before their final version so they have everything planned. My method? I open a blank document and begin writing. Of course you need to cover some basic facts before you start, like what your aim is for the story, plus the genre, characters, and plot, but the details will come along the way. Don’t think that you need everything figured out all at once.
- Research is your best friend. As much as we think we know something, we actually don’t. Especially if you plan to write in the realistic genre every detail needs to add up with the real world. A certain animal can’t live in just any country that you decide to write about, so
research becomes essential whether we like it or not.
- Visuals from words. Words carry massive meaning, for this reason I personally avoid using photos or drawings in any of my works. I rely on words to paint the portrait of the characters’ descriptions, along with the scenarios. With some practice, you can describe even a bathroom in a way which will captivate the reader.
- Leave mystery. This is something I am still learning, but it makes sense nonetheless. As much as you want to give everything away in the first chapter (I am guilty of this), you lose your reader really quickly. You need something that will keep them going until the end. Even towards the end, don’t be afraid to twist the plot for an extra surprise.
- Write from the heart. I know it sounds cheesy, but it’s true. Don’t write about a topic or genre that you don’t really like, because chances are the reader will get that energy from your writing. Similarly, don’t be afraid to write exactly what is on your mind, because writing is a form of expression and in some ways an escape. Remember that the paper won’t judge you for pouring your emotions into it, so take the opportunity to do so.