Starting 'writing' does not mean starting writing

Starting 'writing' does not mean starting writing. Ok, let me explain what it means. If you think that starting writing your novel - or even short story - means writing Chapter I on a blank sheet, I just think you're wrong. Before the step of writing, there's much to do. First, ask yourself these questions:

- Do I know what I'm writing about?
- Do I know how my story will end?
- Do I know who are my characters?
- But, above all: Do I know why am I writing?

If you haven't answered one of these - there should be many others - there is a problem.

Before writing 'Once upon a time...' you must plan everything. Nothing must escape you. Or you won't have enough elements to keep writing. If your story is complete or not, it depends on how you behave now. So, brake your instincts and be rational. I hope you already have something to tell. And I think you've already thought to the main character of your novel. If not, do it now. Well, this is just the beginning.

Now you have to plan your novel in detail. How? Writing a plot. It must be brief, but it must contain all necessary information. It's likely you cannot completely change it when you're writing your novel - unless you want to distort it. So make any change now, until you're satisfied. (Then you will deepen or modify something when writing).

You have a plot. What is missing? Your characters. Read what you wrote. You know only their names, their genders, what they do... but it's not enough. You have to know everything about them. All the details could be useful when you'll write about them. In a sort of register, write down their age, their physical features, peculiarities, attitudes, preferences. You need this to avoid writing that Bob's eyes are black on page 2 and green on page 84. Readers don't forgive inconsistencies. They will stop reading because they don't understand what you wrote.

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