In our daily activities, we come up with ideas or come across people who would make wonderful characters in our books. If you are the kind of person that is always formulating story plots every day and haven’t brought yourself to put them down on paper, here is a guide to take your story from imagination to paper:
Once you come with an idea that could be the plot to the next New York’s Bestseller’s List novel, get down to prewriting. In this process, expand on your idea. Avoid getting head first into writing. You can expand on your idea through free writing. This is where you write all the ideas that come in mind, in relation to the topic at hand. From the ideas that you come up with, go on to choose which ideas will go to your first draft and how to use them.
After coming up with a plan, get right on to writing. In this stage, don’t stress on grammar, punctuation, word count or spelling. Simply write, even if you go off-topic or some sections of your writing are not in accordance with your plan.
After you’ve completed your first draft, the next step should be revising it. In this process, you make changes to your draft; changes that affect the larger part of the story. This includes removing whole sections to your story, rewriting paragraphs as well as adding more information which might be essential to the reader. In order for the process to be effective, you could break it down into the following steps:
1. Addition- This is where you add information that the reader may need or add more words if you are yet to meet your word count.
2. Rearrangement- If the sections to your story are not in harmony; re-arrange them.
3. Extraction- If there are ideas that are not working out, or you’ve gone past your word count, remove them.
4. Replacement- If adding more vivid details will help make the story better, by all means, add them. Don’t hesitate to rewrite paragraphs that are not in support of your arguments.
In this process, be keen on words and individual sentences. Make sure that each sentence or phrase is as strong as possible. Be sure to check on:
1. Words you’ve used multiple times. Use a thesaurus to find alternative words.
2. Whether the sentences are understandable and don’t hesitate to make changes.
3. Spelling mistakes.
4. Whether punctuation is right.
After you are done with editing, the next step will be publishing or getting your story down on paper ready to be made into a book, article, school report and such.
There you have it. In those processes, the budding writer can get their idea down to paper.
How do you get your ideas down on paper? Let me know in the comments below!