This post is full of swearing!!
So, you want to write a book, eh? But you haven’t even begun yet because, like, it’s scary and where the fuck do I even start?
Well, you don’t have to start at the beginning, that’s for sure, but you do have to START.
It doesn’t matter how shit it is. You can’t edit a blank page my friends. THAT is the truth.
So, first things first, what do I need to write?
Just a notebook and a pen or pencil and an idea. That’s all.
Simple, eh? Well, maybe not that simple. But we have to start somewhere. You don’t even need a computer in the beginning. A lot of writers I know actually prefer to write their first draft of a novel, or a poem, or a short story in longhand. I do a bit of both depending on how I’m feeling and where I am.
So, number one tip; get yourself a notebook and pen. (Actually, you might need several notebooks. A writer can never have too many notebooks. #FACT)
Okay, so I’ve got my notebook, now what? That is a good question. You don’t have to start out with a grandiose idea. Big Oaks grow from little acorns. If something pops into your head, jot it down. You don’t know where that idea will take you. My Bones, Ashes and Dust trilogy started in this way. Just a single idea. A what if?
What if the Angel of Death sent to collect the soul of a person who’d tried to end their own life, saved them instead?
Also, another good tip (obviously it’s good because it’s my tip :)) is to keep an ideas notebook. Random ideas pop into our heads at random times. Jot them down. You never know when they’ll come in handy.
But, I’ve never written anything before. I didn’t even finish school.
First rule of Writing Club, Fuck the Grammar snobs. This is important because, in life, there will always be people waiting to knock you down. That’s especially true when you’re writing. “Oh but that writing is shocking because you haven’t got an apostrophe there and BLAH, BLAH, BLAH! Fucking yawn! I know Sharon, I’m not a fucking grammar snob like you AND it’s a first draft.
Let me tell you a little secret. I’m shit at naming things. What is a Compound Sentence? What is an adjunct? Fuck if I know, Sharon. Doesn’t mean I can’t write. Telling a story is more than just naming things and getting the grammar right. A story can have perfect grammar but it don’t mean shit if the story is crap.
That’s not to say you can just leave bad grammar in writing. It will need sorting. What I’m saying is, don’t worry about grammar in the beginning. Start writing. Grammar is something you can learn. And if you can’t and still struggle, an Editor is your best friend.
DON’T let the fear of grammar stop you from writing!!!
And, finally, for today’s lesson, Practice. Practice makes perfect. Keep writing. It doesn’t have to be anything long. Your ideas don’t have to make sense and they don’t have to all join up. That’s okay. To write, you need to get into the habit of writing.
So, to recap;
Get a notebook, a pen and an idea. Now, go and write. And Fuck anyone who puts you down!
Oh, and apologies to any Sharons out there 🙂