How to start a new writing project

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How do you start a project? Some writers will just sit at the computer or with a notebook and begin creating their worlds.

I need to brainstorm in a particular order. First, a notebook. Side note, I’m obsessed with notebooks. I have fifteen, if not more, waiting to be used. I always tell myself that I won’t buy any new one until I’m down to the last, but who am I kidding? Not happening.

So, notebook, separated in three; characters, general info, outline.

Then, I cast. I know, not every writer does it, but for me, it helps my characters take form. After I’ve started writing, the actors fade away, so the characters have their own look and personalities.

Naming them is…hell. I’m so picky! Sometimes, I’ll want fancy and special names. Other times, I go with the first on the list because it fits. As long as I can ‘hear’ them being called that names, I’ll be fine.

Then, it’s developing their personalities. I usually follow a list; physical, emotional, hobbies, and future plans. It’s a 25-point list which I sometimes lengthen or shorten, depending on how they feel to me.

I continue with locations. Sometimes, I’ll choose them quickly, city, state, country; other times, I’ll research what suits best my story. My latest outlined project was carefully researched because I wanted an island, but an existing one. So, my inner perfectionist wanted…perfection.

I’ll usually finish with miscellaneous information that could be useful, but I don’t always put them in my story. They’re there just in case.

Then comes the ‘fun’ part. For some, outlining is the most boring thing to do. I’m okay with it, most days, especially since I see my stories as movies in my head. Outlining in chronological order is best for me, and I expand as I go, polishing my ideas.

Once all of it is done, it’s time for my good friend Google Drive to be put to work. I know, I know, there many writing apps; Scrivener, Novlr, and so on. But I could never get used to them, so I’m faithful to GD and its automatic saving.

And you, how do you prepare?


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