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Blog: This Writing Life


It's All About--Moving Forward with an Idea

This post first appeared on the Children's Book Academy blog.

Last month, I posted about finding writing ideas in winter. Now that you have hopefully identified several ideas, what’s next? Review some of your notes and then take one idea through this process:

Brainstorm the idea - What thoughts come to mind? What plot points can you envision? Is there a main character ready to be born? What point of view might best serve this story? Is there a theme behind this idea?

Flesh out the idea a bit more - Jot down words related to that idea. Play with potential titles. Come up with a few names for characters. Can you identify a beginning, a middle, and/or an ending? Maybe a first line or a last line rises to the top.

Let the idea sit - Sometimes it works best to just let an idea percolate and marinate. It may feel different and more developed after it jumps through your mind and imagination for a while.

Write a first draft - just write! Some writers prefer to outline the story, others prefer to work out the story as they go along. Whatever your preference, get the story out of your brain!

After this point, there will be loads of revising, sharing with critique partners, and more revising. But if you set a strong foundation with one idea and then another, you will be well on your way to writing superb stories!

Happy creating this winter! Let me know how it’s going in the comments.


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