Writing Insights #1: Where Do I Even Start?


Hello there lovelies! I suppose it is time for a new feature here on Life and Other Disaster and it’s one about writing, my WIP and all the struggles that come with it. A dear friend of mine said she’d be interested in something like this (I love you Marie, you are the best! Thank you for all the support!) and just to confirm you would be on board with this, I also did a Twitter poll and your responses were the best and most welcoming! This is still a topic that makes my heart race and my stomach tie up, simply because I am always nervous to share my stories. However, I am totally getting ahead of myself. This will be a feature in several parts and today is all about:

WhereΒ Do I Even Start?

First off, I am Jon-Snowing this thing. I am in no way an authority on writing and there are people out there who are way more organised than me. Truth is, I am a messy writer. I have barely to no plan at all, I just dive into it straight ahead and here are some reasons why that can be an issue:

  • If you don’t outline your story, you will eventually get stuck in the middle of story-nowhere with no idea of how to go on. You don’t have to know all the details of the journey before starting, but you should at least know where you want to end up. I found that out the hard way.
  • Research is NOT one of my favourite past times, but it is very often necessary. If you don’t do that beforehand, you might have to stop right in the middle of a writing spree, simply because you have no idea how many years it takes to get a doctorate in archaeology or something like that. Wouldn’t that be a shame?
  • When you write without a plan, you just go with the flow. There is really no limit as to how rough a rough draft can be, but editing is hard and just floating from scene to scene won’t make it easier in the aftermath. (Also learnt this from experience …)

So, I want to do this right. I still need to do my research, although I doubt that I will do it all before I get into the writing process. However, I do want to outline a timeline, just to make my life a little easier. That won’t stop me from writing random scenes that I’ll add in later anyway. Something I always do though, and it’s something that I simply cannot live without, is figuring out my main characters. They need name, age, quirks, likes and dislikes, because otherwise it doesn’t feel real to me and it probably won’t feel real to you, the readers, either. What I really enjoy doing is casting them, but I haven’t really done so this time around, instead I made character aesthetics. I never thought it would be this difficult to find the right pictures, but at the same time it showed me that I had very specific ideas about who these people were supposed to be and what would properly represent them. To leaveΒ everything up for interpretation, I am just going to postΒ them here without further explanation.





So, what do you think about them? Do you want to give any guesses as to what their personality could be like? There’s definitely some magic in this story, but more about that later. I have no idea how often I will post Writing Insights, but next time will include the Prologue of Kasia and Dyson’s story … which still doesn’t have a title. Is there something in particular you would like to know about my writing process? Any and all questions are very welcome!

57 thoughts on “Writing Insights #1: Where Do I Even Start?

  1. Ah, Dyson looks so exciting. I’m curious! I like this feature already and I can’t wait for more :).

    I haven’t started writing yet but I’m in the midst of researching for my possible, future, maybe, might do novel that I want to write. You know when you have a really good (well, to me anyway) idea but you’re not sure if you’re capable just yet? Well I’m at that stage.

    Liked by 1 person

    • YAY! I am so happy you like it already. I thought I’d go easy on all of you with the first part hahaha
      I totally hear you on not feeling ready. Quite frankly I don’t think there ever is such a thing. Are you considering taking part in NaNoWriMo. It really helped me the first time around, because I had a schedule and motivation. And I actually also had a finished draft by the end, which wasn’t very good, but the main gist of the story was fun. My cousin at least enjoyed reading it hahaha

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think the pressure of NaNoWriMo would freak me out a bit. I’d love to though. That’s so great – I can’t believe you got a full draft finished! I think I’ll start doing more little bits of research here and there and then see if I have the courage. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • Somehow it is exactly the pressure that helped me pull through NaNo. It’s also a great support system, because there are writing buddies and community meet ups. I enjoyed them a lot. I hope you have fun writing either way though!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I can imagine the support you get is so encouraging. Sat alone writing with nobody to chat with about it can’t always be the best way to go about writing. A little help from your bloggy friends :).

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Casting is a great idea – not only does it help you to get a sense of how the characters look, I find that having actual voices in my head (err, not in a bonkers way!) as I write helps the dialogue to sound distinct to each character and avoids ‘one voice writing.’ I came to fiction from screenwriting where plot is king so I’m in the habit of outlining and outlining and outlining some more – which is handy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha I completely understand what you mean by voices for the characters, also in a non-bonkers way.
      Was the transition from screenwriting to fiction difficult? I tried screenwriting, but even though I am not a massive fan of description, I need a whole lot more than stage directions to make it work for me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It was – I’m probably still guilty of underwriting a bit in my fiction after years of being told to keep as much white on the page as possible! I’m finding fiction extremely satisfying – though think I’ll always do a bit of both!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I guess it’s better than overwriting – at least it always moves fast! I’m kind of doing that with my current project (the link in my gravatar) – I’m blogging as a character in a script I’m pitching at the moment, so I’m getting to know her through fiction though she will ultimately be on screen!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I LOVE YOU KAT you are amazing ❀ This needed to be said. And I'm so, so happy you decided to go on with this, I'm so SO HAPPY and weirdly, inspired by this? Like your aesthetics actually inspired me to write? What are you doing to me, I haven't written a thing in months and now this haha. I'm so excited to get to know these characters more and the story you're writing! I have the same question as Keira above me: are you going to do this for NaNo, if yes, or no, are you going to participate in NaNo or not at all? πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Refer to my initial reaction on Twitter, IT STILL STANDS !!! Oh my god how I enjoyed reading this little post !!
    You characters’ aesthetics are to die for (especially Kasia, I get a me vibe from it) AND their names are gorgeous. When I used to write, figuring out characters was my favorite thing to do, I had these charts that I filled in with all the info as well as their relationships with each other, instead of actually writing anything hahaha!
    I CAN’T WAIT FOR THAT PROLOGUE ❀ *sits and stares at the computer until next post pops up*

    Liked by 1 person

    • YAY ❀ you make my heart do a little happy dance! I thought I'd go light on the first post and not make it too full with info, sort of let the pictures speak for themselves first.
      Those character aesthetics took FOREVER! I don't know how people just whip them up in 10 minutes sometimes. Kasia was supposed to have that lone wolf with a hint of magic vibe, while Dyson was supposed to be the golden son with a knack for adventure.
      I don't know if you remember something that I posted on Twitter a couple weeks back. I may or may not be using that for my WIP now. Your enthusiasm really is the best kind of motivation!!! ❀ (Maybe the next post will come up on Friday already, but no promises)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yaay !! Yeah I get that, like some sort of introduction to test the waters haha!
        I can’t understand people who make aesthetics quickly either to be honest, I find it so hard !
        That’s the exact vibe I got from both of them πŸ˜„
        Ooh no I don’t πŸ˜₯ Gaah I feel si bad and I’m disappointed in myself !! I normally have a good memory.
        Great! Then I’ll be bursting around whenever you’ll need a little boost β€πŸ˜‚ (YEES!!)

        Liked by 1 person

      • I am glad that came across in the pictures, means I did it right hahaha
        And don’t feel bad or disappointed! It means you won’t feel bored reading the same thing again like some others might hahahaha

        Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, mine are my babies too! It can be an issue though, especially when I don’t want them to make bad decisions but they have to because … you know conflict and plot are kind of a necessity. hahaha
      Thanks for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. WOW, beautiful aesthetics! I’m sooo excited that you shared this, Kat!

    Kasia strikes me as a person who likes to think and be alone to think. She likes being away in the quiet, and she is comfortable with solitude. I like the cool colours – maybe she is quiet, relaxed, and appears aloof to people?

    Dyson looks like someone who doesn’t typically make attachments to people – maybe he’s a wanderer who is chasing a nameless something? Maybe he wants to see the world or things bigger than him? Personality wise, he seems warm in demeanor, someone that people like having around.

    (HOW DID I DO?)

    Where do you draw your inspiration from, particularly the fantasy/magical elements? πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much!!! ❀ Those aesthetics took forever. I have no idea how people make them all the time.
      You did exceptionally well! (but I also give myself credit for choosing the images hahaha)
      Kasia is definitely comfortable being alone. She's the kind of quiet but very observant person, who seems like she's just lingering in the background but in reality she's just taking the time to form her own opinions, and boy can those be strong opinions. I am not sure I would call her relaxed though … under normal circumstances, yes, because she's quite happy with herself. But right now she's on edge and under pressure.
      And Dyson is one of those guys who is the life of the party and seems to be friends with everyone due to his easy-going nature, but he only has one or two people he has really let close and get to know him. He's definitely looking for something, it's just that finding it might not prove as satisfactory as he'd hoped.
      I will talk some more about inspiration in my next post πŸ˜€ THANKS SO MUCH FOR STOPPING BY ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, I am a fanatic planner. I cannot get further than the first two chapters when I pants it (I tried for the last Camp NaNo and I failed at 7,000 words!) but when I plan I get further faster! (I wrote 130,000 words for last full NaNoWriMo).

    Research is the bane of my life, I either cant find what I need and get annoyed. Or I get that sucked into it that I end up buying loads of other novels, textbooks, reference materials surrounding the topic. Only to realise that I will only need one reference, in one chapter; and it most likely doesn’t impact my story that much!

    I loved this post! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I LOVE this post! I’m also such a messy writer and I encounter a lot of these problems! I just get so excited to write that I get caught in the midst of it and I don’t properly plan anything out. This whole idea of planning sounds so interesting though! I’ll have to give it a try sometime! Your characters look so awesome, I can’t wait to learn more about them! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so glad to encounter another fellow messy writer! I am still not going to plan anything in detail, but I know how derailed a story can get if it’s just random thoughts strung together. So, what I am going to do is plan a bit of a timeline from beginning to end and add some highlights in between. I hope that it helps, because I cannot for the love of god plan an entire story in detail … I get bored writing it down if I have it all planned out already.
      Thanks so much πŸ˜€ I hope you’ll also enjoy the prologue from my second Writing Insights post!

      Liked by 1 person

      • That sounds like a really good way to go! From experience I know my stories often go way off topic so I’ll definitely need to do a little planning before I start. Haha I feel the same way! If it’s too detailed then I get bored with my story a little and I get bored during writing πŸ˜›

        I just gave it a read and it was honestly so interesting and good! Wishing you good luck for the rest of your writing but I don’t think you need it! If it’s even a fraction of how good the prologue was, it would be fantastic!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you so, so much for checking it out! I am really taking it slow, one chapter at a time and I hope that I can make the best of it that way. I am really grateful for all the support though, it gives me so much more motivation!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi, this is great. I’ve tried something similar in a collage format on Picmonkey. I procrastinate a lot and, because of this, I have not done much writing other than putting my ideas on paper. I’d love to know what you do when you just don’t have the energy to write? And where do you start first? I uploaded an idea recently: https://blogginwriting.wordpress.com/2016/09/21/my-idea-for-a-novel-what-do-you-think/

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love this new feature Kat! I’ll have to catch up πŸ™‚ I also love casting my characters and making aesthetics for them. I feel like I get to know them better that way! I’m really intrigued by your characters. Is Kasia a werewolf? Or does she has an affinity with wolves? Obviously you don’t have to answer, just my guesses towards her character: P

    Liked by 1 person

    • I very much hope that I can get around to do more in that feature in the new year. Somehow my head just wasn’t into blogging torwards the end of the year, but I really do like the whole writing advice/rambling, so I don’t want to abandon it altogether.
      And weeeeell, Kasia isn’t a werewolf exactly …


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