I want to write. Where do I start?

(12 Posts)
Engelsmeisje Fri 06-Apr-12 17:12:04

Where oh where do I start? The idea of writing a novel is terrifying. At the moment I seem to spend more time reading about writing, thinking about writing and picking out stationery, than actually writing. How did you all get started and how do you motivate yourself to keep going?

What are your top tips for someone starting out?

Engelsmeisje Fri 06-Apr-12 17:34:30

Guess I should start by reading the thread with almost exactly the same title as mine...

NicholasEggcupkozy Fri 06-Apr-12 17:40:16

There is that. Or start writing a blog. It doesn't have to be about everything, just a place where you practice writing. Whatever you decide to do, good luck. smile

Engelsmeisje Mon 09-Apr-12 12:33:35

Thanks Nicholas. I guess my problem is making time to write. It's one of the things that I always push to the side, waiting for the perfect conditions (tidy house to myself, no chores or school work to be done) which means I never write! Am trying to start by taking some time everyday.

I'm not quite ready for a blog yet...feels so public. Am starting off with a journal.

I find writing with pen and paper works better for me.

Anyone else have an tips for a newbie?

GrendelsMum Tue 10-Apr-12 16:09:00

How about going to a creative writing class at a local FE college? You'll get a lot of really helpful tips and find other people to get you motivated.

Engelsmeisje Tue 10-Apr-12 18:50:06

Only prob is that I'm not in the UK GrendelsMum. I've found one English creative writing organisation that does short workshops ever here (in Amsterdam) and went to one last year, whihc gave me a kick up the arse (for a while anyway).

I was wondering about trying an online course . Has anyone done the Open University course, or head anything about it from people who've done it?

But I agree GM that working with other people is really helpful. I find it easier to write for a deadline, or if I have an "assignment". Perhaps I should see if any of my colleagues (I'm an English teacher) are interested in getting together for a writer's group.

Thanks for your advice so far. Keep it coming!

Novelist Tue 10-Apr-12 19:46:46

If you're looking specifically online, the Sydney Writers' Centre has some great courses. One I recommend all the time, however, is the Queensland Writers' Centre Year of the Novel course, where you're guided throughout the writing of your novel over a year. I'm pretty sure you can do it online as well as in person and I believe there's an express version as well that runs over a couple months. Both have websites if you google them.

Engelsmeisje Tue 10-Apr-12 21:10:29

Thanks for the tip Novelist. I'll check them out.

GrendelsMum Wed 11-Apr-12 08:19:36

That sounds like a great idea - thanks for the tips.

SaltResistantSlug Mon 21-May-12 21:28:03

It's a bit of a "cheat's fix", but have you thought about fanfiction?

Ok, so the characters are ready-made, but so is the audience. It's a good way to exercise your prose/dialogue skills - and of course your imagination. I've made some good friends on there in the three years I've written for it, too.

septembersunshine Wed 06-Jun-12 20:07:54

Try a site called 'The word cloud' it is wonderful- read other people's work and the critique on it. Then what I did was list all the books I love and thought about why. Think about what intrests you? time travel? romantic stories? the circus? nature? what is your passion in 'real life' and do you have any special knowlege of anything? I don't - not really but I have things that intrest me and I'm willing to research. You need to establish what kind of stuff you want to write - for children? romance? historical fiction? literary fiction?

Enter short story comps - try Fish international short story, Bridport - there are many others (go to the word cloud to find out more). If you start doing 2,000 to 5,000 short stories you will start to get experince and also build up the stamina and the skills to start a major work.

Good luck

Engelsmeisje Sat 16-Jun-12 20:51:42

thanks for the suggestions salt and september

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