Starting a writing project is exciting. All these characters and ideas are bouncing around in your head wanting to get out. The blank sheet of paper or blinking computer screen cursor is beckoning you to begin.
You are ready to start. Then reality hits. Some decisions should be made first - if you want to save yourself a lot of time and effort later.
Gosh, this is getting to be work!
Plot Line: What is the main plot line? Will there be more than one? If so, will you be able to keep the thread going throughout the book? For first time writers, sticking with one or two is probably a good idea.
Protagonist: Develop and really get to know your protagonist and other major characters. A bio should be written for each that includes physical characteristics, background, occupation, any little detail that will bring each character to life and resonate with your readers.
Setting: Where does the action take place? The geographic location, if described well, enables the reader to connect with the story.
Description: This is something else I struggled with. Thankfully, my beta readers pushed me to a deeper level of writing when they each demanded more description of people and places.
Point of View: This can be difficult, especially for a first time novelist – I know from experience. When two or more people are in a conversation, it’s easy to stray, so watch this.
Outline: There are different thoughts on whether or not to outline. As a beginner, it might be a good idea to at least sketch out where the story is going. You can always adjust the outline as the story develops.
Beware of your characters: Don’t be alarmed when you are “in the groove” and your characters take over. It is an amazing feeling! There have been a few times when I have read what I had written a day or two before and thought – I didn’t write that. I never would have said that. Wow!
Enjoy the writing journey.