All you really need to start writing a story is an idea and some time to spare. The funny thing is, many people shy away from writing because they think it’s too hard, especially when they hear things like character and plot building, planning, research and the dreaded “G” word, otherwise known as “grammar”.

If you’re just starting out in the story-writing world, forget all of those technical aspects and concentrate on your enjoyment.  If you’re going to write something, you have to want to do it. That said, until you’re comfortable with taking your writing to the next level, all you need to start writing is an idea. Nothing else.

The idea you have for your story doesn’t have to be complicated or profound at all.  In fact, it’s usually better for it to be simple. That will give your idea a lot of room to grow as you write your story.

Some examples of simple ideas are:

  • Boy meets boy, falls in love.
  • Newly discovered power (like super-strength, telekinesis, or invisibility)
  • A ghost in the house
  • New home, new discoveries

You only need one idea to start.  You don’t need to expand on the idea or think about what the point is in the idea. It’s your idea. It doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else but you.  When you start building on that idea, it’s no longer an idea; it’s the building of a plot, but don’t overthink it! Find that idea and latch onto it.

The most important thing to remember is not to worry about anything. If you’re writing really slowly, that’s fine.  If you keep making mistakes, that’s great! Just ignore them and keep writing. They’ll still be there later—after you’ve written the first chapter or even completed the entire story!  If you get stuck, don’t stress out.  Take a break and try again later.

A good thing to remember is your story doesn’t need to be an epic saga. In fact, it can be as long or as short as you like. My personal recommendation is that when you’re new to the fiction-writing scene, write small. Aim for a ten to twenty-page story. Concentrate on your single idea and see where it takes you. If you get more inspiration on the way, roll with it. If not, wrap things up and move on. When you finish a story you get this really cool feeling of accomplishment, and it helps fuel your imagination for future stories.

Writing a story needs to be fun. Remember that. It’s rule one. If you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, then there’s no point in doing it. Take everything at your own pace, and never fool yourself into thinking that what you’re writing isn’t good enough. You are, after all, writing for yourself.  If you decide to share your story, that’s great, but don’t do it for the readers and potential fans.  Do it because it’s what you like to do.

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