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The Book Writing Process

Updated on July 23, 2015

Thanks First and Then Meat and Potatoes

I was stuck for ideas the other day, so I turned to my friend Lizzy for help. She came through and this is the result.

In case you don’t know me, let me tell you that I am a big believer in writers helping writers. I mean, why wouldn’t we want to help another writer? Writers are the only ones who understand what we go through. We share commonalities with writers that we do not share with family or close friends, and we should be using each other as a resource.

So thank you, Lizzy!

I am by no means a prolific novel-writer. I have written two to date: The 12/59 Shuttle from Yesterday to Today, and Resurrecting Tobias. I am currently working on my third, entitled Shadows Kill. So what I am about to tell you comes from limited experience, but at least there is some experience to back it up.

I have many writer friends who have not written a book yet. They want to, but something is holding them back. Call that something fear. Call it procrastination. Call it a lack of confidence.

That is why I am writing this article. I thought I would take you through the process I have experienced to date with this latest novel. Maybe you’ll find something that you can relate to. Maybe you’ll hear the magic words that will get you over the hump and start you on the path you were meant to follow.

Shall we begin?

Sit down and begin
Sit down and begin | Source

Let’s Begin with a Disclaimer

I’m only writing this section because I’ve always wanted to write a disclaimer. J

Seriously, the disclaimer is this: this is not a case of my way or the highway. I can only tell you what works for me. It seems that every writer has their own process when writing a book, and that is as it should be. You, the writer, are the one who has to be satisfied with the end results. You, the writer, are where the buck stops at the end of your writing day, so follow that voice inside of you and do it your way.

The following information is simply my way. If it gives you some ideas that you had not thought of in the past, then great. Take what you need and leave the rest for someone else.

Resurrecting Tobias...my best work to date
Resurrecting Tobias...my best work to date | Source

The Birth of a Novel

Trying to explain creativity is like trying to catch a mermaid. It would be wonderful if you could, but don’t bet the bank on it happening.

My first novel started out as a dare from my wife. She asked me if I thought I could write a book as weird as those books written by Tom Robbins. The 12/59 Shuttle was born.

The second novel came about from a casual statement by my wife. She said something to the effect that it was a shame I couldn’t write a novel using many of my “social consciousness” articles. I said why not, and Resurrecting Tobias was the end result.

My latest novel came from a desire to write a mystery, my favorite genre, but I wanted the characters to be tragically flawed human beings. I wanted psychological conflict walking hand-in-hand with the story conflict. “Shadows Kill” is all about psychological turmoil, and the fine line between good and evil.

Turn the characters loose and let them tell the story
Turn the characters loose and let them tell the story | Source

Let the Characters Do the Walking

I am a huge believer in allowing the main characters to tell the story. The greatest thing I can do, when writing a novel, is to get the hell out of the way and let the characters do their own thing. I have to have complete faith in them. That is why I sat down and wrote a profile of each character in this latest novel. There are five main characters, and I had to know as much as possible about each of them, so this part of the process took quite a bit of time.

These are also complicated characters, and they will be going through quite a bit of emotional and psychological stress for three-hundred pages, so it was important that I know how they will handle stressful situations. Once I became comfortable with them, it was time to see what they would do in the plot.

Learn from the pros

The Plot

I begin each book with a general idea. In this case, I knew who my main protagonist would be, so I wrote an introduction that reflected him and his beliefs. I also knew how the story was going to end.

From those humble beginnings, I took a detour from the recommended process of book writing. Most “experts” will tell you to sit down and write an outline of the story, and include in that outline the main “sparks” that will fuel the plot as it goes along. I do not do that. I know where the story starts, and I know how it will end, but the middle forms as I write. To be more accurate, the story forms as the characters tell it.

I know that I need a spark every twenty-thousand words or so. For a novel of 100,000 words, then, I’ll need four or five sparks, or important events, that will keep the plot flowing. I decide what those sparks are as the story unfolds.

Again, not every writer does this, and I respect that. All I can do is follow my own creative process.

First Draft and Then Serious Draft

Again, this stage is not how all writers write. I sit down with the first draft and tell the basic story. There is no fluff to it. There are no fillers. There is no editing. Picture the bare framework of the story and you’ll have a mental picture of my first draft.

After that is completed, I go back and write more detailed character and scene descriptions.

I do this so that I don’t upset the flow of the story by getting bogged down in minute details. I think flow is crucial in a novel, so I let it flow freely on the first write, and then I trudge through the muck and mire in the second draft.

On the second draft, I keep in mind that my words must paint a picture for my readers. They must be able to see every scene in their mind. Details are very important at this stage. What was the character wearing? What was the weather like? What section of town are they in and what does that town look like? What were their thoughts as they faced obstacles? All of these are necessary if the reader is to fully understand and appreciate the story.

When you are all done, sit down and write again
When you are all done, sit down and write again | Source

I’m Finished…now What?

Well no, you aren’t finished at all.

After the second draft is done, the editing begins, and I will usually edit three or four times. First I read the entire novel out loud so I can hear what the words sound like. I can do this alone or read it with a trusted friend or loved one.

Next I turn it over to friends who are willing to read and give me their thoughts. They are my sample audience, so I need feedback.

After I have feedback, I decide if changes are necessary, and I go back in and make those changes.

Finally, I have someone who actually knows how to professionally edit a book, take on the task of making my novel as perfect as it can be.

And then, hopefully, I am done after I make the recommended changes.

One quick note on editing: when it is all said and done, it is your name on the book cover. You will have to decide whether to make recommended changes or not. You are the only one who knows if the changes will harm or help your book. Editors assist…they do not dictate.

And That’s All There Is to It

I’m being facetious of course. This is tough work. It takes me about six months to write one novel, and then the editing stage takes another two months if all goes well. Is that normal? I have no idea. It’s normal for me but may not be normal for you.

I need to say one more thing and then I’ll let you go.

I want you to enjoy this process, and when you are done, be proud of the finished product. There are few people on this planet who can write a full-length book, so give yourself a pat on the back for a job well-done.

Now quite procrastinating and get to work!

2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 2 years ago from Arizona

      Some excellent thoughts here Bill. I wrote two books--one very successful and the other not. To write fiction takes so much more than an easy How TO book. I never entertained this and honestly it takes a special talent. After all painting a picture takes a moment of appreciation and a successful book you have to keep the read interested for hours. And to me it is all in the characters and to me the plot comes second.

    • Availiasvision profile image

      Jennifer Arnett 2 years ago from California

      Bill, I love how you aren't shoving the snowflake method down our throats like its the holy grail of writing. I agree, the character should tell the story. Great point about the editor assisting, but not dictating.

      Any tips for it you're stuck in the muck of the middle?

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 2 years ago from New York, New York

      Thank you for sharing how you went about writing your novels and love that it was Bev that gave you the extra push (not shocked in the least, but still love it). Have a wonderful weekend now, Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, it is a much harder process than I originally imagined, and I love every minute of it. :) Happy Weekend to you my friend, and thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jen, that's a tough one, and I just ran into it last week....so I walked away from the book for five days and let my subconscious do the hard work. All was well when I returned. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, behind every successful man is a woman shoving him. LOL No surprise at all about Bev.

      You are a doll. Thank you.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      I'm following much the same path as you, Bill. Although I don't spend as much time as I'd like in writing my novel, I let the characters speak to me. Once that happens, I write the next chapter. Unfortunately, finances don't allow me to work solely on my book, so it's very slow in the making. And that's okay. Hopefully, by the time I get through the entire process, I'll have something I can be proud of and readers will want to read.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hopefully indeed, Sha. Mine is moving very slowly, but I have found that writing a mystery is a very slow process, so I'm right on schedule. LOL

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thanks, Bill. Your process is closer to what I have done than I might have expected. This is, overall, a wonderful process to use, for those that have not yet done it. But, as you've been careful to say, each person must listen to their own inner voices, to do it "their way." However, if stuck, follow this pattern, and see where it takes you... to the end, is the best way. Thanks, again, for sharing these valuable insights. ;-)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Bill, have you ever had a character you intensely disliked but which was integral to the story? Why did you dislike him/her? Did you seek to change him/her as a part of the story?

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 2 years ago

      Bill, you are lucky you have friends willing to read and make suggestions. Not all of us do, especially professional editors like me. It would be very helpful to know when a story lags or you’ve gone off sideways. I like your statement that “editors assist … they do not dictate.” Once, I had an editor colleague totally rewrite a paper I was submitting for a class when I was working on my masters. He had removed my whole personality and injected his. He was offended when I didn’t use most of his suggestions. I appreciate critiques and suggestions from my friends on HP, but I’ve had to ignore similar help, and I’m sure you have also.

    • Deanne Victor profile image

      Deanne 2 years ago from Bronx, New York

      This is such a great article, and I appreciate the tutorial because I too have a novel in the works. (Among 10 thousand million other projects) Yes, fear is one aspect, plus my full-time job where I can't even have my phone on me. ~Sigh~ Have you ever tried your hand at children's books? I figure I'll start with that, then work my way up to young adult, then get into the crazy stuff. lol

      If you need it, there are awesome resources for writers. If you see a gun in a movie and want info on it for your book, there is this: http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Main_Page

      And then there is havocscope, for all your black market info needs that won't wind you up on some interpol watch list. http://www.havocscope.com/

      Hope these help. Keep up the great work. :D

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Bill. I appreciate you adding your two bits worth since you've been there and done that. The voice of experience carries weight with me.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Flourish, I'm writing one now, and he is intentionally creepy and easy to dislike...and he needs to stay that way. :) I am going to use your question in next week's mailbag if you don't mind. Thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I have indeed Miz B. My heart and soul are in a book...nobody better try to edit that out. :) Thanks for your thoughts. As always, right on.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deanne, great resources...thank you for those links. I had no idea they existed but you bet I'll use them.

      No, I have never even considered a children's book. LOL That's funny only because I was a teacher. :)

      Thanks for a great comment.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Very helpful and interesting hub. Pinning to my board called help for writers.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 2 years ago

      Bill, like we often hear, "Timing is everything."

      My daughter has been talking about writing a book for years, but has yet to put pen to paper so to speak.

      I am going to encourage her to read this, and many of your other hubs to see if I can get her moving in the right direction.

      Any updates on when you might start that writers school?

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 2 years ago from Pune, India

      This hub is very useful for me as I am writing a novel in my first language Marathi. Thanks.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, Susan. I hope it helps someone.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Poolman, if you want, you can have your daughter email me at holland1145@yahoo.com and ask any questions she might have.

      Writer's school....sigh! It's on the back burner along with twenty other things to do. :) Thanks buddy. What I need is an agent or a publicist or someone to manage all this crap for me. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jainismus, best wishes on that novel. Thank you and I hope it all goes smoothly for you.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      As always a fully appropriate method of approaching life as well as writing the book.

    • profile image

      dragonflycolor 2 years ago

      I love it when characters jump out at you. Right now, your book's characters are jumping all over the place. Thanks, Bill!

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 2 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      You've summed it up perfectly. I do much like the same- except somewhere in the middle of the book, I begin working on a cover. For some strange reason, once I have a cover and title created, I'm much more inspired to finish writing the book. I guess at that point, it becomes "real" to me. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, Eric, and I hope your weekend is a good one.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      They are active little devils, Mari. :) Thank you and enjoy your weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Interesting, Liz. I find it fascinating how each of us arrives at the end in different ways. Thanks for sharing that.

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 2 years ago from Hudson, FL

      I don't remember giving you this idea, but you're welcome. Hahah!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      Fear is a big thing, so is procrastination! You've set all this out so that it's clear, it progresses, it's the solid guide ropes that keep the canvas on the ground.

      I like to have that kind of 'plan', so I'm very grateful you've done this. It's made me less afraid. The procrastination is something only I can work on!

      You've pulled it all together in this one, bill and I thank you.

      Ann

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Yes, you did, Lizzy, so there!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, I'm a bit surprised to read that you have a touch of fear and procrastination in you....I think we all do depending on the situation. I know this for a fact: you are a good writer. I think it's time for that good writer to spread her wings and fly.

      Have a great weekend my friend, and thank you.

      bill

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 2 years ago

      MUST LEARN TO CLICK, "POST COMMENT"! Aye, yay yay!!

      My research has been the engine driving my story. My characters are

      trying to have a life in the middle of the chaotic world around them.

      I took a cue from you and am exposing some depraved conduct from

      humans against other humans.

      Plot? We don't need no stinking plot!

      I can say in all earnestness, this path has been one of the most intriguing

      ventures I have ever attempted. Never would I have summoned the courage to write if it was not from the support of you, Bill, and the others

      here at HP, who have helped build my confidence.

      Great hub, as always.

      Many thanks,

      DJ.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DJ, if I helped then I am happy. The book was already inside of you just begging to get out. I love that you finally opened the damn door.

      Have a great weekend and thank you for always being here.

      bill

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Always a good thought from you.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      Thanks for your kind words and encouragement. It means a lot to me.

      I'll get down to some concrete plans tomorrow!

      Ann

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glad to hear it, Ann!

      bill

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan Robert Lancaster 2 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      Very informative and probably useful to anyone venturing into book writing. Along with your other Hub-pages, if anyone's followed from the word 'go', this ranks as a form of manual for the process. One thought, Bill, why not put them together as an e-book on Amazon or any other such system?

      I'm within about two chapters (20 in all), 630 pages of about 700 of completing the MS stage on book six of my series (10 planned) , just less than six months on "WAYFARER - Long Road North". Next there's the editing stage.

      Usually I go through the editing stage like a 'dose of salts', a couple of weeks or so. Why so short a time? Well, the time I've taken over the choice of words, sentence construction, etc., as it's created, means it's more a 'knitting' process than 'surgery'.

      Rock on, Billy!

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 2 years ago from Upstate New York

      Trying to explain creativity is like trying to catch a mermaid...I just LOVE that! You are correct. Voted up, interesting and useful. I love how you use yourself as an example when explaining the book writing process. You continue to be a terrific encouragement with your numerous articles as well as an inspiration. I know I have said this before, but it is worth repeating.

      One question: I STILL do not understand why you, and other authors, have a target of, say, 100,000 words for a book...? This is an example. Why does there have to be a word target? Can't the writer just write the book then see how many words it is? (my computer has the word count at the bottom and I am certain yours does also). Are you targeting a certain publisher who requires this number of words?

      IF this question has been addressed and answered I apologize. I was just wondering.

      I am still working on my book and I WILL contact you at the right time about checking it out, but I have not even thought about word count. Am I doing this wrong?

      Anyway, I SO appreciate all that you share. LOVE seeing your name pop up every day on the hub notifications. God bless, Sparklea :)

    • profile image

      sheilamyers 2 years ago

      As you said, everyone is different, but you did a great job hitting all of the main points. I'd just like to add some encouragement for anyone who may be thinking about writing a book and may be a little afraid of trying. Sit down and try. You never know whether or not you have a book in your brain if you don't at least make an attempt. My first attempt was a flop, but I tried again and succeeded. Go for it! The worst thing that can happen is you find out you're not a novelist; however, you never know until you try.

    • W1totalk profile image

      W1totalk 2 years ago

      billybuc, it has been a long time. This is a great article. It just lightens the heavy process of making a novel. Solid write.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you DDE! Have a wonderful weekend.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 2 years ago from Arizona

      Bill: Check this out. This is the bookmarketing genius http://bookmarketingbestsellers.com/101-ebook-list...

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Bill you are so faithful in writing articles that help writers. Whether writing a book or a short story, i always learn from you. Thank you..

    • RachaelOhalloran profile image

      Rachael O'Halloran 2 years ago from United States

      I always appreciate reading how other writers go through the process. I love step by step articles and that's why I love coming here to read and learn.

      As I was reading, I got the feeling that you may think you have excessively covered certain material in previous articles. I don't know about other readers, but I always come across some new tidbit which you hadn't shared before. Even if you said it 100 times before, keep saying it over again because you'll never know if your visitor is new and reading your articles for the first time or not. Or worse, they might be a skip reader and totally missed valuable points.

      This is a wonderful article for seasoned writers or new writers. As always, I appreciate your insights very much. I'm still catching up since getting home from vacation, so I'll be hitting your other articles soon.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alan, the voice of experience speaks again. You are a writing machine my friend. As for my own ebook about writing, it is waiting patiently on my to do list, along with about twenty other "must do" items. :)

      Have a glorious weekend my friend, and thank you.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lea, I'm rushed right now with a customer who doesn't seem to understand that I stop writing for weekends. LOL The word count is a subjective figure that most publishers want...between 70,000 and 100,000...it has to do with the cost of publishing a book, but also with the definition of a novel...anything less than 70,000 is considered a novella and the publisher has to charge less for that. :)

      Gotta run...blessings always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sheila, right on as always. I'd hate to think someone has a great novel inside of them and never allows it to come out. Thanks for that.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you W1totalk...I hope you are well. Enjoy your weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Carol. I'll do so shortly. Have a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate that, Ruby, as I appreciate you. Have a marvelous weekend my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rachael, I appreciate that word of advice. I will do that, and thank you for the kind words. I hope you had a lovely vacation, and welcome back.

    • David Warren profile image

      David Warren 2 years ago from Nevada

      I find words of wisdom in all your articles, thank you for that and also for your steady determination. Many of the writers that encouraged me and became true friends here on Hubpages unfortunately moved on and then following the "featured" hub changes awhile back I deleted most of my hubs and drifted myself. Thankfully I didn't delete my account ...."whine, whine, whine", anyway the point of this comment is to thank you for your commitment as it means a lot to me to see familiar authors such as yourself sticking to it. I'm still struggling with writing my first book but always find encouragement by looking first at what you have written recently here.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      David, I'm glad to hear you are fine, and I'm excited that you are working on that book. Don't get discouraged. If it were easy then everyone would be an author. Thanks for the kind words my friend, and have a great weekend.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Bill - That would be great. I look forward to seeing it!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Bill. It's always interesting to see how other writers work, and you always have some helpful tips to share!

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      It's very interesting and awesome. I find many useful tips from you for everything. I have sketched a background for writing a biographical novel in about twenty pages about one year ago and waiting for some inspiration to complete it.

      Thank you for sharing your ideas.

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 2 years ago from australia

      Just as I'm inspired again I have to be on the move - I'm aware I've had ample time of late so have no-one to blame but myself. So there, I've admitted it. I'm an avid Dorothy Parker fan and love her quote — 'I hate writing, I love having written.' that's my mantra - Cheers Bill and happy weekend.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      I appreciate how frank your information becomes after reading your hubs.. helpful, concise.. and easy for anyone to follow and understand.. you are a writer's resources for dummies :)

    • Rehan Ahmad profile image

      Rehan Ahmad 2 years ago from United States

      Thanks for sharing your valuable experience and nice ideas to write. It will help a lot if someone is procrastinating.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great job Bill. Clearly writing a book is not an easy process. I admire how you are able to juggle writing a book, writing for HubPages, writing for your blog, etc.. It certainly takes discipline. Have a great weekend.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 2 years ago

      I am not writing a book, but my amazing 90 year old Uncle is. He is in contact with a writer/ editor who will edit his work for $100 an hour as a favor to him. Does this sound normal?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Flourish. Coming soon. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alicia, that has always been my contention, that we can learn from observing other writers. Thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Venkatachari, I hope that inspiration arrives soon. Best wishes to you, and thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Maj, I love that quote, and I can relate to it to a certain degree. Well my friend, have a wonderful weekend and may inspiration arrive soon.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Frank. I go with my strengths, and teaching has always been a strength of mine.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rehan. I appreciate you stopping by.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, discipline I have. The jury is still out regarding talent. :) Have a great weekend and thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      breakfastpop, that is extremely high. I can find him an editor for half of that. Let me know if he's interested....in fact, there are decent editors who will do the job for $25 per hour.

    • profile image

      Breakfastpop 2 years ago

      Thanks so much. I will speak to him. You are the best!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 2 years ago from Singapore

      Phew. Writing a book is a really long process, isn't it!! And you are very neat!

    • Silent-Walker-20 profile image

      Silent-Walker-20 2 years ago from Settat

      good job

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 2 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks for sharing how your writing process goes, Bill!

    • CassandraCae profile image

      Cassandra Kuthy 2 years ago from Ohio

      great process, I have always wondered how all that happens, I envy anyone that is a creative writer

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, breakfastpop.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Michelle and yes, it is a long process.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Silent-Walker. I appreciate you stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much vkwok!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you CassandraCae....maybe it is in you and you don't know it yet. :)

    • SANJAY LAKHANPAL profile image

      Sanjay Sharma 2 years ago from Mandi (HP) India

      I like your idea to turn the characters loose and let them tell the story. Thanks for sharing.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Hi Dear Bill,

      As always, you provide such great insight into the book writing process which benefits all who read. I do hope the many newbies here now on HP will visit your side of HP Town to reap the benefits of you sharing your personal experiences of the book writing process.

      Your perseverance is awe-inspiring, dear heart.

      Blessings to you and yours and I do hope your weekend has been wonderful.

    • DabbleYou profile image

      DabbleYou 2 years ago

      Nice tips in writing. You forgot one thing though, you forgot to share where you publish them. :)

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 2 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Thanks Bill,

      It is very interesting to read your thought and planning process for your novels. As I have never written one I certainly would not be one to judge what is correct or not but it seems to me if it works for you then go with it!

      Inspiring as always Bill, you continue to show that dreams are possible.

    • bethperry profile image

      Beth Perry 2 years ago from Tennesee

      billybuc, first of all, congrats on the commitment to your work! Completing a novel can be the most rewarding experience imaginable, but it can also be like giving birth..arduous, frustrating, painful. And the advice you've given is sound. Finding a good editor -especially if you have to pay them out of your own pocket- is not always easy; so the part about reading it aloud to yourself is, I feel, one of the most beneficial tricks an author can implement.

      If you have an author's website, will you send me the addy?

      Very helpful article, and voting up.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      "A spark every twenty-thousand words or so." This is my big lesson from this article. Of course, there are others. Thanks!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, SANJAY, for stopping by with a comment.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you dear Faith. I promised myself that if I was going to try this writing thing, then I was going to give it my best thought. I don't want to leave anything on the sidelines. :)

      blessings my friend

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dabble You....Amazon. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Irish, and that is what I tell everyone...find what works for you and go for it.

      Sending hugs across The Pond.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you bethperry.....www.williamdhollandauthor.com....I appreciate you taking the time to visit and comment.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Dora. I'm glad you found that little tip helpful.

    • mdscoggins profile image

      Michelle Scoggins 2 years ago from Fresno, CA

      Wonderfully written as always. I am glad to know that my process is very similar to what you have outlined here. I also believe that the first draft is a quick and dirty process so the thoughts get on the page before they are lost. I also plan out my characters but not the entire story. I hope by having similar thoughts my writing career can get off the ground one day. Definitely sharing.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      mdscoggins, remember that this is a marathon and not a sprint. If I can ever be of any help to you, feel free to reach out.

    • Iris Draak profile image

      Cristen Iris 2 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      I don't write fiction; however, your suggestion to do a "no fluff", just tell the story version first is very helpful (I do recognize that all books tell a story in some way though). I'm partway through a book and getting stuck in places because some of the chapters aren't as fleshed in as I'd like. Thanks for reminding me that it's called a draft for a reason.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You betcha, Irish, and thank you for stopping by. By the way, I highighted you in my blog for tomorrow if you get the chance to visit.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      You have great ideas and tips that are very helpful, thank you for sharing this with us. Your wife has truly inspired you to write books, all the best for the new novel.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, Vellur. It's always nice having you here.

    • Iris Draak profile image

      Cristen Iris 2 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Bill, thank you. That is very kind.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, Irish!

    • lyns profile image

      lyns 2 years ago from USA

      Wow another wonderful piece of information Billybuc, thanks so much for sharing your information on book writing, this information is very much needed. Voted up/plus. Have a wonderful day. 82621410a lyns

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lyns, thank you. You are a kind person and I'm glad you are following me...and I am following you gladly as well.

      bill

    • Aliswell profile image

      Aliswell 2 years ago from Iowa

      Bill, just a quick question regarding your thoughts about how much surroundings and mood affect the positive flow of literary juices?

      I envision my idealic circumstance to allow my true purposeful arrangement of my thoughts pouring forth ....sitting on the balcony of my $6/day cold water thathed hut, with copious amounts of Mare-G-Wana at my disposal %~%

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Aliswell, I'm afraid, in that situation, I would get very little writing done, but I would be quite creative. :) I do believe in the power of surroundings and creativity. I have designed the perfect writing place for me, but what is perfect for me might not be for someone else in Jamaica. :)

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You write like I do. Know how to begin and end and let the rest of it flow. However, you rebuild a lot more than I do. Whatever works, works, right? As soon as I am done with Cornell and have a breather, I will get your book and see what Bill Holland has in his bones.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, it's always interesting to hear how other writers do it. If you get the book, I hope you enjoy it greatly. Thank you!

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 2 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      My hubby wants me to do a book and getting started is the hardest part (I'm finding) - helpful page, thank you - bookmarked for reference

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Brite, I would agree, getting started on the first book is the hardest. After that they get progressively easier. Thanks and I hope you get started.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 2 years ago from Scotland

      Hi Bill

      I like you thinking, structure but creativity and bucking the pre-destined path to do your own thing. I always was a bit of a rebel!

      I have my plot and my characters and they are slowly winging their way across the pages.

      Thank you for the sound advice and wise words.

      Anna :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Anna, it doesn't surprise me at all to find out you are a rebel. LOL I'm glad to hear your characters are out walking and winging. I'm sure they will do you proud.

      Have a wonderful weekend

      bill

    • lindalou1963 profile image

      Linda 2 years ago from Texas

      Bill,

      I have finally decided to take that big step and attempt my first novel. I knew when I signed into hub pages today that I would look you up and read some of your many articles. After choosing about ten or so, this was the first I chose to read. I couldn't help but chuckle when I read "I have many writer friends who have not written a book yet. They want to, but something is holding them back. Call that something fear. Call it procrastination. Call it a lack of confidence."

      How did you know??? :)

      I'm taking notes and I'm about to embark on a journey! Wish me luck!

      Thank you for writing all these wonderful articles. They'll certainly be a great help along the way!

      Linda

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, I am thrilled that you are doing this, and I am honored that you find my articles helpful. Best wishes to you, and if I can be of any help, look me up.

      bill

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Bill, I am still in confusion. It is the story of my wife. I do not want to involve myself or tell the readers that I am her husband. I want to narrate the story as a third person who is quite acquainted about her life. How to do this?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Venkatachari, the easiest way is to simply change the names of the characters...that way only you and your wife know who it is about.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 2 years ago

      As you know, I'm not planning on writing a book anytime soon, but this article is perfect probably because it breaks it down into simple steps that don't seem so daunting.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, Glimmer, once again, and if the mood ever overtakes you, I think a crafting book is right up your alley.

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