So, you’re thinking about writing a (new) story. Good for you! The world needs more Klaroline. Or maybe you just want to write. And I will say it again: good for you! The world needs more writers.
I won’t pretend that I know everything on the subject because, clearly I don’t, but here is a list of a few things I would were I to begin a new story.
1. Finish what you start.
It might seem strange that I’m writing about endings when it’s all about beginnings. Let me explain myself. You owe it to yourself, to your characters and to your reader to finish what you have started. We all know, as Klaroliners, how frustrating it is to be left hanging.
So, if you’ve got a story that is still in progress, maybe it’s time to finish it. Unless, the next story you’re planning to write is a one-shot (sometimes, writing something else can help you with writer’s block). But if you’re planning to write another series maybe you should reconsider.
For whatever reason, you’ve reach an impasse with your previous story. Take a breather. But don’t add to your plate by beginning something you might not finish because it’s becoming too much to handle.
So finish what you’ve started – or put on your story on hiatus – and focus on the new one until the end.
2. Have more than a basic idea of the plot.
Writing is a process of creative evolution obviously. Nothing is set in stone. But you need to have a decent idea of the main storyline of course and of the subplots you’re going to weave into it. How are you supposed to go from point A to point B? Is is logical? How are you going to build the climax? If a motion is set by the actions of one of the protagonists, are they in character?
If you have a good idea of the storyline, it will help build up the story in a way that makes sense for the reader. But it will also make your writing easier. If you have a good idea of lies ahead, you’ll be able – as you write – to lay the solid foundation of a gripping story.
Writing takes time. So, try to have a few hours in the week (if possible) devoted to writing.
Give yourself deadlines for each chapter. And be realistic. Life happens. So, in ”writing” time don’t forget to include some ”I’m kinda stuck” time.
4. Write it before you write it.
If you’re hit with inspiration, write it down. Inspiration is a fickle thing. Keep it for later. Words, sentences that pop in your head at the most inconvenient moments. Write them down because you’re doomed to forget them.
Words only come to life when read or said out loud.
Put them on paper.
5. Be honest with yourself.
Make a pact with yourself: you’re writing this story because it needs to be told. This story. Your story. Not the one you feel the people want to read.
Not the one you feel will get you the most reviews.
Write. For the sake of writing. Write because you want to write.
6. Do your research.
Depending on the type of story you’ve decided to write, you’ll need to make sure that you know what you’re writing about.
Look into the mythology of TVD/ TO. Check your facts.
And that applies for everything else of course: history, places…
7. Know your characters and honor them.
Characterization is key.
If you’re writing a Klaroline story, chances are you love these two. Don’t rewrite their personality because it’s more convenient for you.
But what if I’m writing an all human story?
Klaus is a complex character. A monster. But he’s still very much human. A lot of his actions are in reaction to something. And a lot of the time it has to do with rejection. Look out for those moments when you feel like you can empathize with the monster.
How? Re-watch some of you favorite ”Klaus” episodes.
Please, there are worse homework…
8. Look for a beta.
At some point, words won’t make sense and your beta will become your best ally.
There are times when we just don’t know anymore what you’re writing. Are these words, lines making any sense? Sometimes, we’re just so engrossed in something that we lose perspective. In those moments, you need a fresh look on things. May it be grammar, characterization, logic, ask someone to help you and to tell you when things are not making sense.
And if things are not making sense, accept what your beta has to say, change it and move on.
9. Look for inspiration.
You can find it anywhere. So, read, watch movies, go for a walk, listen to music, sleep, dream, look around you. Let your mind wander.
10. Take your writing seriously. But don’t take it too seriously.
At some point, you just have to go with the flow. Yep. That means letting go of everything and just write.
No matter what.
So, now, do me a favor and go write that story!