Story Writing Tips for Long Form Writing

After a hiatus from writing, I have returned to start typing up the thing that got me started on this crazy journey, my book. For those of you who don’t know, which is almost everyone as I never discuss it, I have put together an idea for a series of books. The first book in this series is titled “At the Edge of Light, Darkness Falls”. Here is a short synopsis:

Travel with Miles, a journalist and historian, as he chronicles an adventure of discovery through post-civilization America. Joined by a security detail and his ever present curmudgeon of a photographer, Miles will learn about a whole new world and himself as well.

I don’t know, it’s a start, right? This will be a long process as I am a traditionalist and I have handwritten the story and will first need to type it up before I can start editing. Let’s take a look at my process that used in this endeavor.

My Process

1) The Idea

It always starts with an idea. Whatever you idea may be, as long as you commit to it, it can become a story. The last thing you want to do is kill any forward momentum by thinking your idea is “stupid”. I like sci-fi and exploring the edges of human possibility, whether it be for good or ill. So that’s what I wrote about and I loved putting the story together.

2) Preliminary Write-Through

My next step after was to sit down and do a run through of the whole story arc. Depth is not the object of this, the object is to cover the main story points so they do not slip into the oblivion of forgotten memory. This will also give you a basic roadmap of where your story needs to go. Some people prefer to write on the fly, and while that may work for them, I prefer a rough map of where I’m headed.

3) Establish depth

This is the point when I decided on which characters will be players in the story. Age, motivation, background are all things that must be thought of at this point. There will be some changes when you do this, so don’t be wedded to initial conceptions if the shoe doesn’t fit. I had strong male leads turn into strong female leads and also shifted around character ages. Write down these details so you do not forget!

4) Start Writing!

Now that you have your idea fleshed out with a map as to where you are headed, start writing. Write every day and do not stop until you finish the story. This is a first draft, it will have errors. A lot of errors. That will all be fixed in time. Spelling errors, continuity errors and anything else that chaps your ass during this part, just don’t sweat it. You will be doing another write through to fix anything that doesn’t make sense. Just get it down on paper or onto your computer. Whatever your preferred method, just keep chugging along until done. I paused in the middle of my story and it cost me. I started to lose touch with my cast and that makes the writing flow a lot less smoothly.

I am excited to continue this journey and will be using this blog as a manner of keeping myself on task. There will be more blogs to come and I hope to have the process finished by end of year. Since I am in the early stages I will be learning as I go, so we can all learn together.

Cheers,

Peter

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