Write Your First Novel (pt 1: Idea Generation & Brainstorming) | Inger VB | Skillshare

Write Your First Novel (pt 1: Idea Generation & Brainstorming)

Inger VB, jack of all trades, tryer of all things

Write Your First Novel (pt 1: Idea Generation & Brainstorming)

Inger VB, jack of all trades, tryer of all things

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7 Lessons (12m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Lesson 1: Idea Generation

    • 3. Assignment 1

    • 4. Lesson 2: Brainstorming & Story Outlines

    • 5. Assignment 2

    • 6. Lesson 3: Setting up your Writing Environment + Writing Tips

    • 7. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

In this class, you will learn tips on how to come up with ideas for your story, how to develop your story outline and create the background to your story before you start writing it. You'll also learn some effective brainstorming skills to help you plan out and get an overview of your entire book.


In the class project, you will explain where your idea came from, describe your story in one sentence and create a brainstorm for your novel.


This class is ideal for:

  • Fiction writers
  • Creative writers
  • Short story writers
  • Poets
  • Travellers
  • Storytellers
  • Future New York Times Bestsellers :)


This class is for writers of all levels and does not require any prior knowledge or creative writing experience. You also most definitely don’t need a degree in writing or language to take this class. All you need is an open mind and willingness to learn and practice the things you’ll learn in this class.

Character Sheet Template: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AqEO8yLE2DRT-FxfK_8FVYroPgLc9kw7kF7a2TFjjz0/edit?usp=sharing

Meet Your Teacher

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Inger VB

jack of all trades, tryer of all things


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1. Introduction: Hello, Future, New York Times Bestselling writers and welcome to my sculpture Close. My name is Anger and I'll be your teacher for today. This class is designed to help you start writing your very first novel. In this close, you learn how to come up with an idea for your novel, how to create a story line and how to flesh out your story before you even write the first chapter. You'll also learn some tricks to creating a great brainstorm so that you never forget a single detail about your story. In the next lesson will be discussing idea generation and how to know when you should proceed Your ideas. I look forward to seeing you there. 2. Lesson 1: Idea Generation: hello and welcome back to my skill share Close. Today's lesson is going to be about idea generation and how to know when you should pursue your ideas. The first thing you need to do is to decide whether you want to write fiction or nonfiction . Fiction is composed of made up elements, is often imaginary and isn't based off of real things. It can be inspired by real things that are they changed to see more fantastical or imaginary. Nonfiction, however, is made up. Effectual elements is based off of real things, people and events and includes biographies, autobiographies and informational texts. Next, we're going to move on to how you should actually generate an idea. There are a lot of things that you can use to generate an idea, but some of my favorites include writing prompts, music, daily life and someone else's life as well as world events. Most of my ideas come to me what I'm doing. Very mundane things like making a sandwich or taking a shower. But sometimes I'm inspired by someone else's work, like a TV show, a poem on Pinterest or someone else's life story. It's okay to be inspired by someone else's work. As long as you're not copying it directly, everyone is inspired by someone else in one way or another. Now we're going to talk about how to know when you should proceed. Your idea. Now you can ask yourself these questions. If you're writing fiction, can you see how the story will end? Can you imagine it being made into a movie or Siri's? One of the end goals off many writers is to have their books made into a movie or a Siri's . Or is it something completely new and something no one else sort of, for example, writing into the future or creating a new universe or species? If you are writing nonfiction, however, you should ask yourself if there's enough interest around the person or topic you want to write about, or are you trying to create awareness around the topic or person you want to write about? In the next lesson will be discussing your first assignment, and I'll be explaining everything you need to know in order to complete your assignment with ease 3. Assignment 1: Okay, so your first assignment is on the topic of idea generation. Now, I know you learned about idea generation in the previous lessons, and now what we're going to do is we're gonna take the things that you've learned and put them into action. So for your assignment, I want you to describe the idea behind your novel or give us a summary of your novel in one sentence. Then I want you to explain where the idea came from, such as a writing prompt or music or anything else. Then I want you to upload that into your project and publish it to the Project Gallery. Now, I know this doesn't seem like much, but it's a nice way to spark your creativity and get you into the habit of writing in. The next lesson will cover your basic storyline and some tips on creating a brainstorm for your novel. 4. Lesson 2: Brainstorming & Story Outlines: So in less than two, we're going to be covering your story outline and your brainstorm. Now I assume everybody here knows that every story has a basic storyline, which includes a beginning, little and end. But I don't think everybody knows that it doesn't necessarily need to be written in that order. For instance, you can put the end at the beginning of your novel and write it backwards, or start somewhere in the middle and have flashbacks to the beginning while moving towards the end of your book. Now, that's just a little thing that I wanted to mention to you, because I have often gotten stuck in thinking that I need to write my stories with a beginning, middle and end, and that's the only order it could be written in. But I just wanted to give you a little insight and say, You know, you can be creative with the ways that you write your book. So now let's move on to the topic that we want to cover today. Okay, so I want to let you know that your brain storm and your story outline go hand in hand so you should work on them side by side. You can start with a brainstorm and write out all your ideas on one page and then use your story outline to put them into the chronological. Order off how you're going to write your book. Then you need to flesh out your story in your story outline. That's why it's cold. A story outline because you flesh out your story anyway. You can include major events, character's motivations, sitting in time and anything else you need to effectively write your book. Next, I want you to create a character sheet. You can add as many characters as you like, and this just helps you keep track of all the characters and their roles in your story. You can also add things like their physical features, their hobbies or occupations and the relationships. They have Two other characters in your story Now I generally only do this for my main characters and create more characters as I need them. But feel free to try it out and see what works for you. I've created a template that you can download and customize to fit your story needs. You can find it in the about section of this class, and all you need to do is click on the link. It will open up in any tab, and then all the instruction that you need to download it will be written out for you in your brain storm Oreo storyline, Whichever you prefer, you need to write out all the possible ways your story could end. Don't get stuck on only one idea. This will probably be the reason you get writer's block, so it's best to write out all the possible ways it could end. You never know. Maybe even use two of the ways that will end and combine them into one. You can even go as far as to brainstorm the layout of your novel like if you want to make, write a novel made out of poems. If you want to write multiple short stories and combine them or whether you want to use chapters, parts or scenes, your brainstorm and your story line are the backbone or spine of your book. Yes, that pun was intended, so put as much detail into them as possible. This way, you'll always have a reference to come back to while writing and something to guide where your story will go next. It will also ensure that you'll instantly remember what your story is about, no matter how long of a break you take from working on it. The first thing most people notice when they see your book in a bookshop or online is the title. Your title is essentially what draws readers to your book. I'm going to share with you 15 ideas you can use to create an amazing title first, what is your story about, like of the Hunger Games? When does your story take place? For instance, in 1984 by George Orwell. Where does your story take place? Death comes to London. Fill in the blanks, such as it lives in the basement. You can make your title a mash up or re imagining, such as Robin Hood and Friar Tuck. Zombie Killers. You can use illusions like the fault in our stars. You can use imagery like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. I like this one a lot, and it's contrast ing ideas such as Eyes Wide Shut. You can use metaphors like The Catcher in the Rye. You conclude your main characters name such as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, you can use a little ation like the wind in the Willows. You can name it off to your main character, like on a car. Any now, you can use a quirky title, such as What to say when you talk to yourself. You can use utterances that one of your characters says in the book, like I was told there'd be cake. Or you can make it a one word title such as Hamlet. Now, in the next lesson, I'll explain what your second assignment is about. 5. Assignment 2: your second assignment is on the topic of brainstorms. What I want you to do for this assignment is to create a brainstorm for your novel so we can see your story, outline and ideas. You don't need to add in too much detail at this point. We just want to see the basic ideas behind your story. Next, I want you to upload a picture or screenshot of your brainstorm to your project, or just copy and pasted directly when you finish this callous in the discussion section of the class so we can all go have a look at your project and give you some feedback. Now an optional thing that you can do as well. You can tell us the title of your story if you already have a title for his story, and if you want to share the title of your story, remember that this is completely optional, so you don't have to do it at all if you do not want to. In the next lesson, I'll tell you how to set up a writing environment that's perfect for you and give you some writing tips to get you start writing that damn novel 6. Lesson 3: Setting up your Writing Environment + Writing Tips: So the third lesson is about setting up a writing environment that's perfect for you, and I'm going to be sharing some writing tips. Let's start with setting up your writing environment. Try writing everywhere until you find someone you like. Try writing in cough, shop at the park, in bed, at the library or even at your desk at home. Then create a playlist that gets you into creative or writing mood. If you like, you can even create playlists for each chapter or part of your story where comfy clothes when you're writing because there's no point in trying to write. When you're constantly fiddling with your clothes, your hair or your makeup, try different writing mediums until you find the one that you like best you can use pen and paper and notebook, your phone, your tablet, your laptop or even if you're lucky enough, a typewriter. Don't let anyone disturb you, or at least donate them to stir. Before too long, you'll get pulled out of the zone, and it's really difficult to get back in once you've been disrupted. Now I want you to combine all of the above to create your perfect driving environment remember that everyone is different, and what works for me won't necessarily work for you and vice versa. I don't feel like there is one perfect way to write or that there is a right or a wrong way . There really isn't so just do what works best for you and stick to it. Next. We're going to be covering some writing tips that I want to share with you. This is something that everybody always says, but you just have to start writing. I know it sounds cliche, but really you won't ever finish your noble if you never start and it doesn't matter how bad it is at first, it's only your first draw from You can always fix it later. Don't not write your book because you think someone else has written something similar. I want to read you a quote by ash adorn faced if you don't know who she is, ushered on. Fist is an American author and trainer who has written numerous books. On were designed minimalism and even parenting. The quote goes, I think new writers are too worried that it has all been said before. Sure it has, but not by you So it doesn't matter if someone else has written something similar to What do you want to write? Your novel is never going to be executive. Same is there is because your thought process and even your writing style is completely different to theirs. So just write whatever you want to. It's always going to be unique in some way or another. The next tip I want to give you is to not over research. If you're writing fiction, just start writing. And if you come across something you don't know, research it while you're busy writing. Not before you start now. I have Bean guilty of this. I have done this many times where he start researching for my books that I want to write. And then I eventually lose interest in writing the book because I've gotten too caught up in trying to research and find out everything I need to know before I even start writing. So try not to research too much before you start writing your novel Now. Obviously, if you're writing nonfiction, it requires more sit research, since it's based on facts. But you don't need to research everything at once. You can try researching one chapter at a time, or maybe one topic at a time. The lost tip I want to give you is to try writing in bid your mind associates your bid with relaxation and creativity. Since most of what you do invade asleep and dream, so you won't feel as much pressure to write something amazing the first time around. I often find that it's when I'm trying to fall asleep at night that I get a spark of creativity and I want to write something. 7. Final Thoughts: I just want to take some time to thank you very, very much for taking my class. It's my very first skills, your class. And I really appreciate the fact that you took some time out of your day to learn something with me. Ah, hurt. I was able to teach you something new and that you're inspired to write a novel. Remember to upload your class projects into the project gallery so you can get some feedback from me and the other people taking this class. I hope to see you all again soon. In part two of writing your first novel, we will be discussing the process of actually writing your level from start to finish. Feel free to hit the follow button on my profile. So you get notified when I upload my next class. That's all for me today. So once again, thank you very much for taking my class and I'll see you in the next one