Okay so basically I can just share what I do and then you see if it does anything for you.
Firstly you need to understand that writing is not a beginning to ending process. It’s not a chapter by chapter method where you unroll the plot as you write and then WHAM! finished.
Nope, it’s a bit more classy than that. Think of it as a spiders web. Most spiders build their webs from the outside in. They first span the basic structure before going from the outside and adding more threading to keep it all together and make it more durable.
Now I find that writing a story is very much like that. First you have a plot idea or a character you find intriguing, anything that inspires you, and then you go from there. You can have a few key things that inspire you that you then connect in a plot or theme or whichever.
These are the 7 principles I find works for me:
1. Write Everyday
Even if it is just a sentence or an image of a man that looks like your character or a quote that suits your one characters personality, anything. It is just for you to keep in touch with your story/work/project. It should always be lingering in the back of your mind. If not, it slips and before you know it you have a half finished story. Useless.
2. Collect Things that Inspire You
Keep track of things that inspire you, even if in the smallest way. It could be anything from images, quotes, music, movies and books. You collect them and study them, dissect them, to figure out what makes them tick. Why exactly do you find it so intriguing? What makes it so special? How does it make you feel? What was necessary for it to work? Take note and see what you can apply and what will make you story richer.
3. Take Notes
Get a notes app that works for you and jot down everything that comes to mind. Things should be pouring out of you. Inspiration is around you everyday in abundance. The app I’m using is called Momento. Fool around on it and get familiar with it. I know sometimes you feel like the idea is going to vanish before you get a chance to write it down. So use voice notes, Momento has a voice note option, making it possible to keep all your notes compact and in one place.
4. Apps You Have Too Have
Momento / A Dictionary / A Translater / WordPress / Stumbleupon (best place for random inspiration)
5. Keep A Blog
If you are busy writing a novel of sorts, it can take a while and it can be frustrating not seeing immediate results. The best way to keep your spirits up and stay motivated is writing short stories on related subjects. You then post them on a blog and with any other interesting or intriguing things you find. The blog then serves as a digital scrap book where you flip through when feeling uninspired.
Don’t be afraid to change your mind and discarding writing. In a good book there should be no space fillers. Every single word should have meaning and serve a purpose. It should either reveal something about the plot or the characters, or it should enrich them. If it does not add to them, it shouldn’t be there.
7. Know Your Characters
Many people make the mistake of focusing to much on the plot and leaving your characters watered down. Not the way to go. Characters are just as important as the plot if not more so. Know them inside out. Make them your best friend and your worst enemy, love them and hate them. They need to be a real to you as your mother, to have a chance of being memorable to the readers.
My last and most important message is that you must experience. I know you get those moments where you run for your notebook too immortalize a moment that has just happened, fearing it would escape you. Well, we need to stop that. We need to learn to savor the moments we’re in and make them unforgettable.
Experience, feel, experience.
That’s all I have to say for the moment.
Just remember that doing writing as a career means that life experience becomes your research. And seeing as you mostly choose your topics, your life will merge with your career like blood flows with water. I find that to be rather motivating.