Saturday, April 20, 2013

Stop Thinking and Start Writing!!!

Well, I’m back from my trip to Washington DC and my three weeks of chaotic traveling is finally over!   Yeah!!!!

They were all good trips; however, I’m glad to be back to the joys of writing!! FINALLY!  Over the past three weeks, I haven’t been able to workout much or write at all. So I’m feeling a bit out of sorts.

I’m also a bit out of sorts because Riddle in Stone’s momentum seems to be stalling a bit.  I haven’t had a new review on Goodreads, Amazon, or for a while.  Sooooo…if you have friends or colleagues who enjoy fantasy novels, please mention my book.

I’m sorry. I know that is horribly self-centered and selfish of me. But…WON’T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!   My children that is.  I have to pay for their college!   At any rate, if you can encourage people to read the first chapter of Riddle in Stone available on my website (, I’d GREATLY appreciate it! 

And if you’ve already read my little story, PLEASE post reviews wherever you are able…Amazon, BarnesandNoble, Goodreads, G+, bathroom walls, wherever!  Thanks so much!

Anyway, today I want to address something people always ask me when they find out that I’ve written a novel, specifically—“How do you start writing your story?”

It seems that a lot of want-to-be writers feel paralyzed when they start a story because they don’t know “everything” that’s going to happen.  They feel that they need to know every character’s backstory and how each scene is going to end up and so forth prior to writing.  As a result, they never start. 

I don’t know how many times would-be writers have said to me, “I’m going to start writing (insert name of story here) as soon as I get the feel for the characters.”

I suppose that’s fine.  But it seems that several of them have been getting a “feel” for their characters for months, if not years. 

So to them, my advice is: STOP THINKING AND START WRITING!!!


Just start writing and see what happens.

This probably sounds a bit crazy, but I don’t have a clue who my characters are or what’s going to happen to them when I start writing the first draft.   I just start typing—usually with a general location and a vague character in mind—and then I just see what happens.

To me, characters develop during the writing process.  Sometimes characters pop into a story and steal the show!  Or they pop in and fall flat, in which case I cut them out.  No biggie! That’s what the delete button is for.

Writing is a journey just as much for the writer as it is for the reader.   I begin with a vague sense of a situation and a couple characters and then I sit back and watch them develop and mature.  I honestly don’t know how the story is going to end or what my characters are like until well into the third or fourth drafts. 

That’s what drafts are for…polishing the characters and the story!

How boring it must be to sit down and painstakingly consider every little nuance of a story before actually writing it!  Seriously! I’d get bored and never finish it.  Why should I?   

Would you read a new book if you already knew everything that’s going to happen?? NO!  It’s the same thing with writing.

I like to write because I want to see how things are going to develop.  I want to see what’s on the next page.  If I already knew, I might as well just sit here and daydream!

So my humble advice to those of you who never start because you don’t know EVERYTHING about your story is to…relax.  Sit down.  And write!   Characters and stories will develop themselves—if you let them!


  1. "Just start writing and see what happens."

    Amen to that! Sheesh. Again, another viewpoint of yours I completely agree with. Would-be writers fret too much over the details right at the outset, when that's the fun, creative part, and it's supposed to flow. They're supposed to go with it, THEN shape the world, the characters, the plot, the . . . everything.

    You hit the nail right on the head, Robert. And hopefully many would-be writers will read this and take the hint. :D

    1. Kimberly!!!! Thanks for stopping by! I'm glad this post struck a chord. And I think you're right...would-be-writers do worry about details too soon when they should be worrying about the story.

  2. I absolutely agree with you on this point (this is coming from a reformed plotter). I tossed the outline for my story about halfway through and something really amazing happened: The characters came alive. They started doing things on their own, not useful things like mowing the lawn or washing the car, but acting in ways that I had not, nor would have been able see if I had followed my initial plan.


    1. KEVIN!!! I'm not sure being a plotter is all that bad. It just isn't right for me. Also, I think some "plotters" are too rigid and won't allow their characters to develop in unexpected ways. They clutch their outlines in their tight little fingers and try to force the story to end up where they want it to end. Letting go is difficult, I suppose.

      Thanks for stopping by!!! Everything good with you?