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(10 Posts)
MargeryBaxter Sun 04-Feb-18 13:16:28

I've had a book in my mind for many years now, it's historical fiction and I've spent a long time researching it. I have the plot planned out and have finally answered the difficult question of whether side saddles were in common usage in the mid 1420s (they weren't!).

I've even written the first draft of the first chapter but was never very happy with it. It's been shelved for several years due to small children but they are getting bigger and I am running out of excuses!

The characters are constantly nagging at me in my head - and I even have the ideas and plots for 2 other books ( completely unrelated stories). I have a real need to get it down on paper... and then I get stuck.

I think it's a lack of confidence and a feeling that I haven't found my 'voice' yet. I try reading for inspiration and then feel I cannot match up to the styles of writing I like to read. Can anyone give a a shove to get started?

Would it be helpful to do a creative writing course? Or join a writing group? Or are these just ideas for even more future procrastination? What has helped you actually get down and write?

CheapSausagesAndSpam Sun 04-Feb-18 13:40:29

Try writing some conversations. Don't worry about where it's going ...just as an excercise.

MargeryBaxter Sun 04-Feb-18 16:43:35

Thank you. That's just the kind of thing I've been needing. Just had a quick go and it's been enlightening. Although I'm clear about my main character I've been lacking about some of the others and exactly how they interact. This is going to let me explore that a bit.And it's already hinting at a less clunky writing style.

Kai1977 Sun 04-Feb-18 19:51:31

Yes definitely try freewriting, keep on writing, don't stop, even when your brain needs a moment to catch up and you just write 'I don't know what to write now'! Don't stop to edit, just allocate a small amount of time and keep on writing. I find doing this for a while eventually leads to some OK stuff because your mind stops trying to talk you out of it and stops telling you everything is terrible.

I've written my whole first draft this way, then gone back to edit over the past few months.

schmalex Mon 05-Feb-18 06:21:49

Don't pressure yourself to write 'the book', just get into the habit of regularly writing. I'd recommend reading Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. Freewriting for 10 mins every day is a great start.
And remember, the published books you are reading are not first drafts!
It took me a lot of false starts before I got to the end of a manuscript, but it's never wasted time as you are always learning and improving.

schmalex Mon 05-Feb-18 06:22:00

And good luck!

Honeybooboo123 Mon 05-Feb-18 10:07:23

I'm at exactly the same point as you, wanna be writing buddies? ;)

I have an idea, characters that won't shut up and a goal to finish a book this year.

MargeryBaxter Mon 05-Feb-18 16:29:17

Thanks everyone! I'm 1000 words down today! Not a lot but much better than any other recent attempts.I feel like I've got over the block I've been stuck on. It's good to know I can make progress writing little and often rather than waiting for an extended time slot to magically become available. Watch this space.

honeyboo that sounds like a plan. Although I'm not sure I'll be finished this year...

Honeybooboo123 Mon 05-Feb-18 16:55:22

1000 words is great! I need to sit down and do some planning for where the story needs to go, I have a beginning and an end. Very little inbetween!

Mine's mostly historical too, although a bit earlier ;)

ChocOrCheese Tue 13-Feb-18 17:51:35

Have you read Emma Darwin's "Get Started in Writing Historical Fiction"?

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