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Writing Books/how to start?


I've had loads of wonderful ideas to write a fantasy book and now i just need to put them together but the trouble is i just don't know how to start! any advice you could give me?
thank you very much

There's really no single way to go about beginning a book.  Different things work better from one writer to the next.  A lot depends on what you've got to go on.

You mentioned "loads of wonderful ideas."  Clearly, this is where you begin.  But are these ideas related to characters, plot, setting... all of these?  

Try taking one idea and really fleshing it out.  If you have an idea for a character, do a character profile sheet.  Fill in all kinds of things that you'd want to know about this person if you were meeting and becoming friends.  Even things that you know you'll never work into the story... you, as the writer, will want to know them, anyway.

Ditto for other things... setting or plot ideas... flesh them out in great detail.

The purpose of all this is so that YOU know your characters and their settings inside and out.  You want to know a TON more information than your reader ever will.  The reason being is that, the more "real" these things are to you, the more real they'll seem to the reader.

You'll also find, in the process of expanding on these ideas, that other ideas will most likely occur to you.  Eventually, it should come to the point where you understand what the story really is, and you won't have such a difficult time thinking of how to get it rolling.

And of course, just write.  Doesn't matter about what, even if it's something that'll never be part of the book.  Just write.  

Good luck.

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Vincent M. Wales


I am a speculative fiction novelist (fantasy, science fiction, and so on). While I may be able to answer questions on non-fiction, my specialty is fiction. Please keep that in mind when asking questions.


For four years, I taught a series of fiction writing classes in Sacramento, CA.

BA in fiction writing.

Awards and Honors
My 2004 novel, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, won BEST FICTION in Fresh Voices 2006, BEST FICTION and BEST YA FICTION in the NCPA Book Awards, and placed as a finalist in BEST BOOKS 2005. In 2002, my novel WISH YOU WERE HERE won awards for Best Fantasy and Best Fiction/Drama in the 8th Annual SPA Awards. My latest work is a trilogy titled THE MANY DEATHS OF DYNAMISTRESS (a superhero memoir). The first book, RECKONING, was released in 2013 and won the SF category in the 2014 San Francisco Book Festival, took second place in the 2013 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards for the SF/Fantasy/Paranormal category, second place in the SF category of the 2013 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Awards, and was finalist in Foreword's 2013 Book of the Year Awards, Fantasy category. The second book, REDEMPTION, will be released in early 2015 and the final book, RENAISSANCE, is scheduled for release in late 2016.

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