Writers find it hard to put their story ideas onto paper for various reasons. It can be an unhealthy degree of perfectionism. It can be a lack of confidence in their skill or originality. It can be the lack of a writing habit – that is, a lack of consistent practice.
A new writer often meets a stumbling block early on when they realise that writing a novel (or any other book) is not as simple as they first thought. It’s the difference between appearance and reality. To the reading public, it looks as though an author sat down one day and produced the book straight from brain to page.
You should be reassured that this is not the case. An author does not sit down with just an idea, start writing, and have it all come out perfectly. Stream of consciousness writing is fine for your own diary or journal. It’s also fine for getting your initial story ideas out of your head so that you can stop carrying them around inside your brain. But that first brain dump is not what everyone reads on the bus or by the pool.
Yes, it means that there’s more to it than you might have thought, but it also means that you shouldn’t give up on your idea of writing that book. That stumbling block isn’t the end of the road. I think of it as a road bump. It’s that time in a writer’s journey when they become aware that there are skills and knowledge they haven’t acquired yet.
When you reach this stage, this is huge progress. It may not feel like it, but it means you’re past the stage of not knowing that there are things about storytelling and writing that you don’t know.
This in turn means that you can learn about them. Good news!
How can you learn about them?
How can you make writing less hard?
There are two things to do. Firstly, learn about the craft of writing. Learn about creating characters, showing not telling, plotting, and a myriad of other skills. Secondly, form a writing habit. Write often. Even if you don’t like what you write, keep writing. You will improve if you keep at it. It’s impossible not to improve if you keep giving it a go.
There is also the option of getting help.
Hiring an editor is the help most new writers have heard of. Most people are also aware that there are courses and programmes out there through which they can learn about the craft in a more time efficient way than ploughing through a whole library of books on the topic of writing.
Another option is story coaching. You can get help to develop your story ideas and characters. You can make sure you have a strong enough conflict in your story to sustain the plot. You can get the clarity and lightbulb moments to reignite your passion for your story and to get you over that road bump and back on the path to getting your story out of your head and into a book that will make others think you just sat down and wrote it!
Does this sound like you? Have you hit a bump in the road with your writing? Lost direction with your character and plot after a few chapters? Or got a load of notes but no idea how to form them into the story as it sounded in your head?
I have the perfect package to help you navigate that writing ‘road bump’ and move on with your novel-writing journey. My Navigate Your Writing ‘Road Bump’ Package helps you figure out the shape of the book you’re trying to write so that you can get over this sticky patch and move on with clarity and confidence.
DEANNE ADAMS - STORY COACH AND MENTOR
I care passionately about words and stories. As a Story Coach and Mentor, I help writers to tell irresistible stories. I offer courses, memberships and programmes to suit beginners, developing writers and those ready to become the writer they've been trying to be for years.
Learn how to 'Show more than you tell' in your writing with my free workbook - your guide to an engaging storytelling style. You can also follow me on Facebook for more tips to support your writing journey.