How do you write your books?
From my experience, everyone has a different writing method. Is there a certain method you use? Do you share a method with another writer? Just scribble it all down or organize everything? Drawings of your characters, maps of locations, a time line on the wall to help keep your mind on track?
I believe every author has their own way of constructing their books.
The first thing I did was write a paragraph or (description) of what the book was about. I then wrote the (forward) section describing how the book came to be and what led me to write it and what I hoped the reader would get from reading it. Essentially this gave me the goal for what the book was meant to achieve. These two steps alone will keep you on track throughout the writing process especially for a non-fiction book.
The next thing I did was list the (major) concepts I wanted to cover in the book and then I created chapter headings for each one. Having done this I had created my table of contents which served as a skeleton for the overall book. All I had to do from there was go back and write what I wanted to cover under each chapter. In fact I used some of my hubs/blogs where they applied.:-)
My goal was to have at least ten chapters plus the forward and introduction. I ended up with eleven chapters after I split one long chapter in half and I had a workbook/future strategy section.
Since my book is non-fiction and about relationships I wanted it to have a linear approach. My idea was to have the reader take a journey by exploring the various stages of how relationships come into being and how we have been taught to address the challenges that occur as we decide whether to stay or not.
http://www.amazon.com/Cat-Wont-Bark-Rel … ap_title_0
I have not written entire books (unless you count a five chapter early reader picture book). I write short stories and one act plays. The storyline usually evolves in my head before I start writing. If I just start with an idea, I struggle.
Research, rough copy, refine copy, edit - publish.
I have an idea this is the recommended way of doing things.
How much research goes into the writing is up to you as the author. Ernest Hemingway, Jeffrey Archer and Frederick Forsyth ('Day of the Jackal') go deeper into research than some others. Bernard Cornwell is another writer who does exhaustive research - such as for his 'Sharpe' series. I took a leaf out of their books, so to speak. I've trawled all the books on Danes, Icelanders, Norsemen, Normans, early English and so on around the 11th-12th Centuries for my 'RAVENFEAST' series. I went back in time as well, to Aelfred 'the Great', Ragnar 'Lothbrok' (Leather Breeks) and so on.
When you think you've done enough research for your story, play around with the idea of a story. Read other things, like newspapers. I got the idea for my main character, Ivar' from playing about with names after reading an interview in a weekend tabloid with James Blunt. Then I started on roughs. The story almost writes itself after you've done a fair bit of research into the time you've decided to fit your story into. Play about with scenarios, go into period names, look into modes of transport - it all 'dovetails' in.
Decision time now: Are you first person? Third person? Narrator? Is the story written in the past or present tense? Who are your friends (have you any), what are their names, where do they come from, how long will they last in the story? (improvise, it's like jazz!)
Satisfied with your jottings? Got references you can check on (books/other writings)? Get going then! It's easiest on a laptop. Change things, play with scenarios, where does your story start? I started with a 'pre-story' in my first book in the series that was loosely connected to the main story and so on...
Go geddit, iburmaster! Put the brakes on, throw out the anchor when you think you've got there, go through it again dressed as your 'editor'.
Since I'm now into my 5th novel featuring the same characters, I have everything in my head when it comes to what they look like and how they act. But I do keep a notebook with a short bio of each character on it's own page. I have trouble keeping track of their back-stories, so the book helps. I also jot down when I write about a new major milestone - a character gets married has a baby, etc. It all helps keep me from contradicting myself in subsequent books.
For each book, I start with a one line idea. That then gets developed into a very basic outline of where I want the story to go. As I write, I'll jot notes of what I need to mention in later chapters. I only have two "maps" so far. One is the basic layout of the detectives' unit suit so I remember to have them walk left to Jake's office and not right - that would run them into a wall by previous descriptions. I also have a map of the area where Jake has his cabin so I keep all of his neighbors and such straight.
Some people who read probably won't catch minor mistakes in settings or dates, but some will. Even if no one ever did, I can't help buy being so OCD about having every fact straight so I keep notes and maps.
It depends on how prepared I am before I start writing it. If I have characters, setting and a rough plot already created, then I can usually write the draft from start to finish. Afterwards I will then go back and do rewrites and add in sub plots. If I don't have that stuff already created, then my writing is very sporadic. I might write the ending first, or a few scenes in the middle, then piece it together later. Though when that happens, I usually cycle around to my first method and just write a new draft with the pieces of the fragmented one being used as an outline.
Depends. My first novel...I just started writing. Then I let it sit for a couple of years before editing. My poetry is divided into categories. One of my poetry projects I am going through different forms and trying to add a poem that fits each version. Another novel I am working on I tried to do a rough outline. Another one I started with character development. Basically - I do whatever I feel is most beneficial.
It starts with an idea, I was reading "The Continental Op" By Dashiel Hammett when a small element of one of the stories hit me as interesting. I played with the idea in my head for about month. Then I sat down and started writing. I make notes on just about anything And I refer to them as I go. I research on the internet as I want to add realism, but it is fiction and it is my story. When I have written the whole story, I go back and fix typos, grammar, and any other errors. Then I hand it off to some one or two to read. Then I go back and reread and rewrite again. My latest took me three months, but I recently finished it and am now publishing it, and that is another subject.
Author of Jonas Watcher: The Case of the Running Bag at
Web site: http://www.renaissanceplayer.com
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