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Write That Book!

Apr 18, 2008
You're inspired by an idea for a book and decide to sit down and start writing. You take your laptop to a quiet comfortable spot in your home and open up your document. Then, you stare at the screen. Ideas race through your head but where do you start? What do you call it? Panic grips you as you think about all of the details you're missing. Relax. Been there, done that. Only now I've written five books with a sixth in the works.

First, focus on your content and plot. What is it you want to get across to your readers? What is the basic theme of your inspiration? Make a list if you have more than one then prioritize them. You may find you have one overlaying theme and the rest are subsets of that.

Now that you've started a list, let's talk about characters. Who are they and how do they relate to one another? Each character needs a mini-bio to give him/her depth, but don't get bogged down in the details. As you write your story your characters should develop, bringing out the important details of their past at key moments in your book.

Where is your story located? Are you familiar with the area or is it somewhere you've never visited but seen on a travel show on TV? If it's somewhere you spent a lot of time, how long ago was it? Places can change quickly so make sure your information is up-to-date. Use the Internet to research the locations in your book, even the ones you are familiar with. You may find something new and interesting about places you thought you knew well. Books that take place in the future must also have some basis for their setting and plot.

Another technique is to visualize what it is you're going to write about. Sometimes you have to develop a picture in your mind, filling in details little by little. Write it all down, everything you see. Describe the setting. Is it indoor, outdoors, who is present? Write down anything that is relevant and contributes to the mood of your story.

Start writing. Make sure you use your grammar and spelling checker. When you come to a point where you feel like stopping, read over what you have written. Read it as if you were reading it for the first time. Expand the descriptions where you feel necessary or edit out unnecessary information. Maybe you've included things that you want to bring into the story later. Put them on your list.

For every book I have written I have at least one list. Most of the time I have more than one supporting document: a list of the plot, subplots, events, etc.; a list of characters with short bios; a list of places with descriptions. I also use maps on the Internet and other applicable websites. Finally, I make a timeline. Telling you about timelines is another whole subject. Please watch for my article about storytelling timelines.

For those who are inspired to write, the bottom line is to be organized and try to be as factual as you can even if you are writing fiction. Sometimes it helps to read your story out loud so you can audibly hear it instead of in your head, the way you think you wrote it. So, now just sit down and write that book!
About the Author
Peggy Somers is a passionate romantic who lives in a lovely coastal community north of San Diego. She always dreamed of writing books and took several writing courses in college. Her years at two prominent San Francisco Bay Area universities included studying drama, dance, music, economics and math. And her travel adventures to China, Hong Kong, Europe, Australia and New Zealand provided inspiration for her writing. Visit Romance Novels .
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