(This is my 50th post!)
There’s no right or wrong way to write, but here’s the procedure I typically use to begin writing!
- GRAB A SNACK.
Very necessary. Usually it’s something like peanut butter sandwich crackers, or a packet of brownies–whatever happens to be available.
- FIND A COMFORTABLE SPOT.
Usually I sit against my bed with a pillow between us so that the frame doesn’t dig into my back. Surrounding myself with many pillows is even better. Pillows are very useful.
- OPEN THE DOCUMENT.
Although I write short stories in my notebook, I mostly use Google Docs for my larger projects, a.k.a. novels. Not that Google Docs isn’t (very) flawed, but it’s the best resource available to me without paying.
- SET A TIME FOR A WORD WAR.
Some people don’t know what word wars are, so if you’re one of those people, they’re basically set periods of time when you and your friends try to write as much as possible. After the set amount of time is up (usually it lasts from five to fifteen minutes), you tell each other how many words you wrote using the handy-dandy word count tool available on most word processors, and whoever wrote the most words wins. There’s almost always someone available to word war when I want to, which is very fortunate. It helps with motivation, especially if you’re competitive.
- CONTINUE WRITING FROM THE LAST WRITTEN SCENE.
Sometimes it takes a long while to figure out how to continue, because writer’s block is a pain. But usually, if I just start rambling about something in the story (like, say, a fountain), it’ll help me get back into the story. It’s just the first draft, after all; it doesn’t need to flow neatly quite yet.
- REMEMBER TO AVOID STEREOTYPES.
A lot of very minor characters tend to pop up as I’m writing because my characters kind of need to interact with other people. But since really minor characters aren’t as important to develop as major ones, I tend to use a default for all of them until there’s nothing to differentiate them. So whenever a new person comes up in the story, I challenge the original idea for them. Usually I find that the default is Caucasian, male, and abled, so I change that. Of course, you shouldn’t rely on this all the time–that creates an opposite stereotype/default, which is the same problem but on the other end of the scale, resulting in the same flat characters. That’s how a lot of tough, brave heroines have become so cardboard-like in YA fiction, after all.
- LEAVE NOTES FOR MYSELF USING GOOGLE DOCS’ COMMENTING CAPABILITY.
This is really useful because as I’m writing, I know what my writing is lacking in. If I leave it without giving myself a note, then I’ll forget it and have to rely completely on rereading to find what I need to fix. But if I do leave a note for myself, sometimes as simple as highlighting a sentence or a word and writing “check” in the comment section, I can look back on it and see exactly what needs to be fixed or researched.
- CHECK WHO WON THE WORD WAR.
Once all the writing is over, I check with my friends to see who won. Mostly it isn’t me, unless I accidentally cheated the word war and kept writing too long–but that’s not a bad thing! That means I can easily write more with or without another word war to motivate me.
- REPEAT STEPS 4-8.
Self-explanatory; repetitively doing word wars does help me to keep going.
MAGICAL WORD OF THE DAY/WEEK/MONTH/WHATEVER:
Quietus, which means death or something that causes death.