6 ways to start a new writing project - Claire Scobie
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6 ways to start a new writing project

6 ways to start a new writing project

I can’t help myself. I’m already plotting my next two big writing projects even though I’ve hardly recovered from my launch last week of The Pagoda Tree.

ring binders in computer - database conceptIn this week’s post I’m focusing on non-fiction.

So where to start?

  1. Spend time thinking about your project …

When you’re walking the dog, washing up, in the shower, cooking dinner. Let your ideas percolate. Ask yourself questions. Some writers find it helpful to talk it through with friends or family; others prefer to keep mum. What’s most important is to allow your imagination to fly.

  1. Make notes …

Have a handy notebook with you at all times or use your phone to jot down ideas. Write them as they come – otherwise you’re likely to forget them.

  1. Create a new folder …

I usually have a folder in my filing cabinet for any articles / hand written notes / images I collect. I also start a new project in Scrivener or Word.

  1. 6 ways to start a new writing project2_080713Do a mindmap or spreadsheet …

In the planning stage I am always thinking about the bigger picture. Mindmaps are quick to do and you get a sense of what’s involved. Then I turn this into a more detailed & colour-coded spreadsheet. Here I breakdown the project into smaller chunks.

  1. Think laterally …

Allow yourself to think outside the box. If you’re writing a travel memoir, don’t just read other travel narratives scour the bookshop for novels set in the place you’re writing about. Go to an exhibition or gallery for inspiration. Get Google alerts and follow any relevant trends in social media.

  1. Kickstart your writing …

Block out some dedicated writing time to get stuck in. Half-a-day or a weekend if possible. Or sign up for a writing course – either an intensive or online – as a way to focus.

Any tips on how you start a new project?

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