Please note that everything I say here is my own opinion, developed by my own experiences. Take my advice with a grain of salt - only you can truly know what works best for you.

Some of you probably know the feeling of starting something new: at first, it seems easy. You'll be thinking, 'I could do this every day.' Chances are, though, that doesn't happen (and if it does, props to you!), and then it starts to get hard. This is how fun hobbies can sometimes turn into chores.

If, however, this has already happened to you - or you just want to prevent it - this article is for you.

Staying Motivated

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If this isn't your first time looking for advice then there's a high chance you'll have read guides by people who somehow manage to write 567889 books a week, and the advice you probably got from them was to 'just write.'

I can't deny that 'just write' gets the job done, but it can take the soul out of a story, and be the thing that turns a beautiful piece of writing into a word count you constantly try to fill. And if you tend to procrastinate or have a ton of other hobbies, the advice still falls flat.

I'm going to take a wild guess and say that if you're writing a story, you probably enjoy reading them, too. So, the best advice I can offer is to consider what types of stories you like to read. What drags you into a novel? What do you really enjoy reading about?

For me, this would be detailed characters. I make sure I know them better than they know themselves, and this help me to write about them better. If you love your characters it definitely makes it a lot easier to write about them.

Please Diddly Darn Plan Your Characters

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This isn't always the first step, nor the second. A story can begin in almost any way: through inspiration for a plot, built around a character with a strong/entertaining personality or inspiration from a photo.

Either way, please please please don't make the same mistakes I did and plan them out. When I didn't, the resulting characters usually fell flat as paper and resulted in a lot of rewriting and re-planning.

Not all details about a character have to be mentioned. You can decide their birthday, their least favourite film or their favourite colour and never put it in the story. Instead, make sure to know them in detail as this will make the way you write them more realistic. Who they are drives the story, influencing their choices.

Plan the Story!!

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Again, there seems to be no end to the mistakes I've made throughout writing stories but at least it resulted in a lot of advice! This might seem obvious but having a clear idea of what you're going to write is vital.

And before any free-flow writers look at me with disgust, until only a few weeks ago I literally never planned anything (the sound of writers screaming in the distance is heard).

Even for descriptive writing, a rough frame of what you're going to do is so important! This makes such a huge difference to your story, and I say this from experience. Before I started planning my books, they ended up as faint, ghostly outlines of what could have been even remotely good stories, or they were just never finished.

Although, if you still manage to produce masterpieces by winging it, then of course I'm not trying to stop you (please teach me your ways).

Research

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This is just as important as structuring your story properly. You will not believe the amount of epic writing fails there are because of not doing research properly. Especially if you are unclear on something that is very major in your story - for example if your main character is in a profession you know nothing about.

And yes, keeping up the 'Blue's fails' theme, at first I did this one incorrectly too. In my story, two very significant characters are reporters, and in the first draft of the story they randomly left work at 10am. Yes, you can laugh.

At least I corrected that now asfgjgfghdfgsh.

Keep Going

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Don't give up! If you're a first time writer, or (like me) you've written for a long time but haven't finished anything yet, don't give up!

What I was trying to get across through this article is that if you organise your thoughts, create a clear plot and characters you love, your story will hopefully become something you want to write. Create yourself a world you actually enjoy.

Thanks for reading and I hope some of these will help you! :)

Love, Blue

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