Have you ever just stared at a blank page, biting your nails and rolling your eyes impatiently, waiting for ideas to come to you when trying to start a narrative? Me too. Instead of staring at my computer screen, achieving nothing productive, instead, I searched online some tips on how to start a narrative to try to provoke some ideas for my own narrative. I managed to successfully write my narrative with a continuous flow of ideas, so here some of my top tips to getting started!
Make sure you have created a full profile about your character– You can’t write a narrative without knowing your characters inside out; their name, age, personality, likes, dislikes, their reactions and mannerisms etc. You will find knowing these tiny intricate details about your character will help build the narrative when describing scenes, whether it’s in first person, second person or third person.
Decide and plan the basic frame of your narrative– Decide whether you’re writing your narrative from a first, second or third person perspective, as well as what tense you want the story to be in. This is very important as it could determine where you start your story- that something has already happened and the reader is in the middle of it, then flashing back to the past to finally get to the present of the situation you are in now? Or a story of past events?
Think ahead– You don’t need to know the exact details of your story, just the basic frame of it, and make up the finer details on the way. Keep a notebook next to your computer, so that when you are writing, if any ideas or description quotes spring to your mind, make sure you write them down so you can later on refer to them- trust me, this helped me a lot!
Set yourself in the scene– To help write your narrative, perhaps write about something you do often or you can relate to. For example, my character in my story was sat on a bus, and I get the bus regularly. By knowing what the character feels like and what situation they are in, it enabled me to be able to describe the intricate details that people are familiar with, but don’t necessarily notice until you point it out.
Don’t rush– If you are frustrated about not knowing where to go with your narrative, don’t get too annoyed. Try and think of some ideas, but don’t force ideas and panic- it’s okay, writer’s block is common, so don’t fret too much! Just keep a notebook next to you at all times, even just in your bag in the house, or even on your bedside table, so that if you ever you experience something or think of an idea you could use, jot it down in your notebook, or so you don’t you probably will forget it, or forget the fine details about it at least. A lot of writers use their dreams or inspirations from their dreams to write a novel, so keep a notebook handy.
Don’t rely on dialogue too much to start off your narrative– While starting a narrative with dialogue is a strong start, don’t rely on it too much- it is so common, you don’t want to fall into the trap of copying everyone else. Try to find a more original start to your story, you can do this by deciding depending on what your story will be about. Don’t be afraid to try something new or daring.
I hope that a few of my tips help, good luck and enjoy writing!