If you are like me, you get these moments of inspiration out of the blue and you are convinced that they are such great ideas and you will eventually get to them. The problem is, you never do. The moment disappears as soon as it appears; a call from your best friend, a question from your daughter, or the red light turns green and the moment is gone forever.
Capture that fleeting moment before it fleets!
Here’s a novel-writing tip: As soon as you get an idea in your head you have to start writing. Make it a do-or-die situation and you are sure to get your ‘next idea’ into a novel idea!
Here is the do-or-die checklist to start your novel right now! If you can just get to Tip #1, you will be able to get to Tip #5!
1. Write The Logline!
Make it a one-liner – it’s in your head already, so get it on paper now! Now make it work. This is the one line that you will tell your best friend so that she will say, “I want to read that!”
2. Write the Amazon.com Product Description
Head over to Amazon.com and read the Product Descriptions of some of your favorite books. It could be a lengthy synopsis or an expansion of your logline. This is your ‘thought in process’ going through the motions so it does not have to be the ‘final draft’. It’s a rough draft of your idea, which is meant to get the reader to buy the book! Make it exciting enough for someone to want to own it!
3. Twenty in Five!
Spend five minutes to write down 20 ideas. This is a brainstorming session that is meant to expand your idea without trying too hard. If you can’t come up with 20 ideas on things that can happen in your book, maybe the idea is not strong enough. Think about your characters and give them depth. What are some conflicts that can arise and what are your characters flaws?
Set your stopwatch to five minutes and jot down anything that comes to mind. Character arcs, love triangles, relationships, scene ideas, etc.
4. Pick an Idea and Write The Opening Chapter
Wow, you just created twenty writing prompts in 5 minutes! Pick the most compelling one and start writing your first chapter!
5. Write Scenes That are Open-ended…
Begin writing some scenes based on your writing prompts. But leave them open-ended. Almost like a cliffhanger that can go anywhere. The first 5 steps are supposed to get your novel started, not finished. By writing several scenes that are open-ended, your next writing session you can start by reading a scene and come up with many different directions to transition to.
Having a scene finished could make your next writing session come to a standstill as scenes are already completed. Walking into an open-ended scene can help you branch out to many others.
Finally, as you continue to work on your novel, one helpful tip is to always stop your work with an open-ended scene. It works the same way, you come back to your writing session reading a scene or two and since they are not completed, you actually have something to continue instead of starting from scratch.
Capture the fleeting moment and get it started right away. Getting from Tip #1 to Tip #5 will lead to another productive writing session where your novel will start to evolve. It’s not that hard, is it? Good luck.