You're not ready to write that book. [7/52]

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“Have an idea for a huge space opera trilogy? You’re not ready to write that novel yet. Start with something small.”

This is one of the best pieces of advice about writing I received when I was first starting out. It came from my friend Lance Schaubert.

He wasn’t talking to me specifically, I think I read it on his blog, and we weren’t friends yet, but it resonated with me.

He was right.

I do have a giant space saga that deals with time travel. And if I would have started my writing career with trying to write that story, with all of the characters and locations and plots and subplots and side plots, I would have never finished it.

Instead, for my first book, I decided to write a small, familiar story, adding my own twist to it, and using the tried and true hero’s journey outline.

By doing this, I made sure there is never more than two people in the scene at the same time (I had a hard enough time trying to figure out how to write dialogue between two people. Trying to balance a group conversation would have been unwieldy).

I also stuck to the outline. The goal of the first book wasn’t to tell a story that would blow everyone’s mind with its originality. The goal was to learn what it get like to write a book.


So, shelf that space saga, pick one of your simpler story ideas, and see if you can turn it into a thirty or forty thousand word story.

Jump. Build, Fly.
F.C. Shultz