Starting To Write – My How-To

Bliggidy bloggedy bloo. The three brothers saw a dark expanse before them, a swirling pattern of deep greens, blues and greys that combined to create the images that one sees in nightmares.


The flight was dragging out longer than Mark would have liked. Earlier, a subdued voice that belonged to their captain announced to the residents of the plane that they were being delayed in their landing and that they were in a holding pattern above the airport. Of course, that was an hour ago, and the natives were getting restless.

Janice sat quietly on her knees, hunched over in the dark and careful not to make a sound. The last thing she wanted to do was get the attention of whatever it was that took out the power to begin with. She could hear the low, buzzing sound coming from everywhere, all at once. Afraid to move, afraid to stay, she leaned forward and placed her hand against the floor to prepare to stand. Suddenly, the buzzing stopped.

The room was immaculate; there wasn’t a speck of dust to be seen. Darren looked at the room from the doorway, careful not to cross over the threshold to the room that lay beyond in all its glory. Inside, he could see a crown under glass, multiple antiquities made of gold and jewels, as well as ancient books whose texts would be soon known to him once he was able to breach the room. Removing the case from his shoulder sling, he opened it to reveal a most odd-looking gun. Taking aim at the top center of the room, Darren pulled the trigger.

There was no loud boom, only a slight popping sound akin to the sound of opening a bottle of champagne. The projectile popped again when it reached the top of the ceiling, creating a huge plume of very fine dust suspended in the air. Within that dust, Darren could easily now see the multiple beams of light which crossed the room in multiple places at multiple angles. What concerned him the most was that they appeared to be ever so slightly moving.

In case you were wondering what the point in this post was, I will be happy to enlighten you. Basically, when I am preparing to write a short story, I start out by writing gibberish. My reasoning is that more often than not, the hardest step in writing is to begin writing. I’ll write gibberish until I actually think of something to write about.

Once that happens, then I will just start writing. I don’t concern myself with the overall arcs or plot points. I just write. Most of the time, I will read what I am writing and the plot will begin developing in my head. Other times I make it to about five thousand words before things begin to firm up.

Then, once I have a decent beginning, I start writing something completely different, as I did above. One after another, I write initial paragraph after initial paragraph until I have a few to choose from.

Then, I re-read them all. I try to imagine where my subconscious was going with the story. I’ll try to read it and imagine hot it could end, or what the major plot may be with only the single paragraph written.

Eventually, I will settle with the one that I like the most and I will start writing on it. I will be a little more meticulous with this writing, as I usually have an idea of where I want it to go. Because of this, I always need to be aware of what is happening in the world as I write to make sure that something at word 400 doesn’t conflict with something that I write at word 4000.

I don’t know if this will interest or even help anyone else that has started writing, but I feel that by explaining my method of writing it will give anyone that reads this another thing to try if they are feeling frustrated in how to start writing. It also helps me better understand how I write, and may eventually even give me insight on how to improve my writing process.

About Burt Kilgore

Burt Kilgore is an amateur writer, dispatcher, filmmaker, husband, father, and grandfather. You can find most of his work here, but he hopes that you will be able to pick up one of his stories in the future at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Audible.Com.

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