Story starters can help you with one of the biggest problems a beginning writer has to face – simply getting started. Motivating ourselves to sit down in a quiet place with just our thoughts for company can be very challenging if we are not used to it.
MEET THE CHALLENGE
But there are easy ways to meet the challenge. Making appointments with yourself in your diary and keeping those appointments religiously is one of the best ways to start the writing habit. You’ll soon find that if you keep these appointments and show up at the page on a regular basis you will reap the rewards. You are teaching yourself winning habits by doing this. Unsuccessful writers are those who think they can sit down now and again and produce a great piece of writing. Successful writers are those who are true to themselves and respect their emerging talent by writing, writing and more writing.
Even more challenging is the thought of sitting down to write without a clue what we are going to write about. In other words how do we face the blank page?
FACING THE BLANK PAGE
For some writers a blank page is the challenge that motivates them. They use the blank page as the starting point. Some writers can stare at the blankness and find ideas present themselves instantly. One of my writer friends always says if you stare at a blank page long enough the writing fairy will wave her wand and the page will start to write itself. I suspect what she means is that she is one of those writers who thinks a lot about their writing before they actually sit down and do it. She will have enough of her story worked out in advance to enable her to start writing straight away. Her subconscious which will have been working on her ideas unknown to her will show up at her writing desk rather like magic – or a writing fairy.
However, for those of us not lucky enough to have a writing fairy, or to have enough experience to plan most of our stories before we actually sit down to write, another way to get started is by avoiding that blank page altogether. You can do this with story starters.
STORY STARTERS, EXERCISES AND PROMPTS
Story starters, exercises and prompts are all part of the same thing – they are pieces of information, maybe one or two sentences, or a paragraph, designed specifically to help you find an opening into a story. They stimulate your brain, get you thinking and allow your imagination to find the story you want to write. Story starters prove that you can write and I have seen students literally gasp as they realise that they are not only writing without stopping to think, but their words are flowing freely, without pause, all because they used a story starter.
The best thing about using a story starter to get you writing is that you can ditch it quite easily and simply try another one if it is not working out.
WRITE TO PLEASE YOURSELF
Writing is not like school where the teacher set the subject of an essay and you had to write about it whether you liked it or not. You don’t have to write to please others – this is all about writing to please you.
So don’t slog away at something that you are not enjoying. Find something that makes you really want to sit down and write, and more importantly a story that compels you to return to write more – time after time.
I don’t mind repeating the importance of writing regularly. If you really are really serious about being a writer then you must write as often as you can because as far as I know the writing fairy is all booked up!
Best of luck with your writing.
P.S. I love encouraging others to write and all the information, exercises and tips on this site are provided free of charge. All I ask in return is that you like, share ,or comment. Let me know how you are getting on with your writing. I love hearing from writers and I always reply to comments.