What to do Before You Start Writing Your Next Story


There are two things I love about writing – beginning the story and ending it. Sometimes it’s hard to get momentum going for another novel, especially with NaNoWriMo right around the corner. Here is a list of my favorite things to do before writing the first sentence of a new story.

1) Review what you’ve written in the past. See what you can learn from it. How is what you’re writing now moving you toward the person you want to be?

It’s my personal goal to better my weaknesses with each book I write. For example, if you’ve struggled with fleshing out the setting, make that the goal of your next book. Don’t shrink away from the challenge!

2) Plot the major instances of your story. Try out the Snowflake Method. (I did this with my second story and it worked wonderfully!)

Knowing where to go before you begin your journey makes getting to the end much easier. If you’re like me, the middle can be hard to get through. Having an idea of what major events need to happen at that midpoint can prevent the middle of your novel from being a big, black hole.

3) Gather up all of your favorite snacks and prizes. Living a creative life is hard. You need to take care of yourself and nourish your soul while you’re creating.

We writers tend to be so hard on ourselves. Plan how you’ll get plenty of sleep and say NO to other things (even if they’re good things) so you can get your writing done. The words don’t put themselves on the page.

4) Commit to a daily writing goal. No matter how big or how small, this gives you a way to stay accountable to yourself. Plus, when you look back on your data (if that’s the kind of thing that gets you excited…), you’ll be able to better visualize your success!

5) Alert your tribe. Bring along the kindred souls who will build you up when you’re struggling.

Writing is a solo gig, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend all of your time alone. See if your kindred souls want to do some write-ins with you at your favorite hang-out spot, and then make it happen when you’re ready to write.

What’s at the top of your to-do list before starting your next story?

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
― Sylvia Plath

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About Sydney

Sydney is writing happy endings. She loves connecting with readers and writers while helping them pursue their dreams. In August 2015, Sydney released her first novel Chase through Koehler Books. When she isn't writing, Sydney can be found at the barn with her horse Snowdy.