The hardest part of writing is getting the story from inside my head and onto the paper. For the most part, the story is very clear in my mind. The book I want to write plays out like a movie reel in my head: there is a beginning, a middle and an end. But sometimes in the effort to get it all down, the story gets lost in translation and what is on paper resembles nothing from my imagination.
I have discovered that writing is 90% re-writing and editing and the finished project rarely looks anything like the first draft. I have to remind myself to keep an open mind and remember this as I am starting a new project.
The first thing I need to do is to disgorge the whole thing from my head immediately. Employ a stream-of-consciousness type of writing: write it all down as I see it; paying no attention to details like grammar, punctuation, spelling; don’t hesitate at how to write the sentence perfectly; and don’t worry about chapter breaks. That is all for later.
All I want now is the story in word form, word by word, one at a time. Once my head is empty–-and I may only have ten thousand words or I may have one hundred thousand words–then I can go back and rewrite, edit, polish and refine. Keeping an open mind, letting the story and the characters take me to where they are meant to go.
Give it a try, you may not end up where you had planned, but you might end up pleasantly surprised.