>Over six years ago I decided to do the unthinkable. Write. It was something I always wanted to do but didn’t know the first steps into starting. Do you remember being there as a writer? The very beginning steps?

Well, if you are there now – I can promise you that starting isn’t as difficult as you may think. Do you have a story in mind? That’s the first key to writing your story.

There are a few programs out there that can help you write your story. I love ywriter. It’s my personal favorite. There is also Scrivner. It used to only work with Macs, but now there is a windows version.

Do you have a plot already planned out or are you just going with the flow? You’ll hear terms like Plotter vs Panster. Figuring out how you write is helpful. Knowing methods that work best for you can help, so it’s always good to figure it out. I do both. Being a Panster means I get to go with the flow. I have a general idea of what I want to happen in the story – I know how it will start and an idea of the ending but getting there is where the fun happens. Being a Plotter on the other hand equates to organization. You know every single step your character will take. You know the scenes, the characters, the issues that will arise. Many writers like this approach.  I’ve discovered that I like to do a general plot – I create an outline of what will happen but then give myself the freedom to let my character grow and tease me.

Okay – so let’s assume you are either in the midst of writing this fabulous story or you’ve finished it. Your mother, BFF and neighbour have all read it. Now what?  Now you go back to the beginning. Edit. Print off your manuscript or work right from the computer. Use track changes. Visit the Bookshelf Muse and learn how to describe things in a way you never realized. Get rid of your cliches.

Then find beta readers. If you write Christian fiction – ACFW is fantastic for a new writer. They have critique groups you can join and share your story chapter by chapter. If you write RomanceRomance University is fantastic in offering tidbits, helping you as a writer grow. RWA is also a good resource if you want to find an organization to belong to. Sign up and find a chapter that is close to you – or one you can join online. I love my Calgary chapter – CaRWA is full of seasoned and new writers and the resources I have found through RWA is phenomenal. If you are on Twitter ask around, find fellow writers to connect with. I have an amazing community because of this.

Please Read. Read. Read in whatever genre you are writing!

More tips for new writers on Wednesday – from Twitter writers themselves 🙂