Writing: Getting Started – show notes 27/12/16

So, in our first segment, we take a look at how to get started on your writing journey.

Here are my five tips to get you on your way:

Don’t broadcast it

  • Don’t tell your friends and family that you’re writing a book
    • They’ll keep asking you how it’s going, which won’t help if the words aren’t flowing
    • This in turn adds pressure

Forget the three Act structure

Also known as beginning, middle, and end

  • It’s too easy to be put off by that huge chunk of a middle section
  • Do what screen writers and playwrights do – split the middle section into three, giving you five parts or “Acts”
    • It’s more manageable, and less daunting

Plan ahead

You’ll be more productive with your time

  • You don’t have to plan out the whole story, but make sure you know the start, and how it ends
  • If you can, plan what author Peter James calls the “gosh, wow!” moments at the end of each of those five Acts we just spoke about

Write regularly

Forget about “finding time” – make time

  • 10 minutes a day is all you need to form a habit to start off with, and then you can build up to longer writing sessions of 30 minutes or more. Get up half an hour early, or write when everyone else has gone to bed.
  • You can even use a notebook or dictate your ideas into your phone while you’re waiting to pick up the kids from school
  • If you struggle to get started, write about what you’ve done that day, or describe something you can see – it helps to get your brain into the right gear for creativity

Don’t worry if you can’t think of a character’s name or you need to check a fact

  • Just put three XXX’s in capital letters, or a note to yourself about what you need to find out, and keep writing.
  • If you keep stopping and starting, you’ll lose your flow, or – worse! – start playing around on social media!

Here are some books I’d recommend about writing fiction in particular – as you can see, I have lots of coloured sticky tabs on mine because I’ve found them so inspiring!

Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder

The Writer’s Journey ​by Christopher Vogler


Why not come along to one of my writing workshops?


On Saturday 27 May, I’ll be teaching two workshops through Queensland Writers Centre in Cairns, Qld.  Spaces are limited though, so please book well in advance.

Click on the below links to find out more:

Self-publishing for beginners with Rachel Amphlett

Author branding for beginners with Rachel Amphlett

I look forward to seeing you there!

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