You have an idea that you want to work on. You let it sink in and are still excited about it. Now, you should write it down. I know: duh! However, don’t start with a draft of your story (or an actual manuscript). Start with a storyline.

The storyline should help you to shape your story. It contains a short synopsis, description of the main characters, information on the environment, background stories, or anything that can help you with the story. It’s actually only a few pages long. This helps you to see the story more clearly, and more importantly, you can work with it more flexibly. If you need a major change, you just change a paragraph or two. Try that with two hundred pages!