Right now I am starting a new book. I have the go ahead from the Powers in New York, and I’m itching to start writing again. I haven’t written a word since the first part of April when I turned my last book in–well other than the proposal for the next one and the blog entries here and on my other blog, Knit the Stash. Oh, and the content for my new website. So perhaps I have been writing, just not on a book.
But anyhoo, I thought I would share the process with you and if you are just starting a book or have thought about starting one, we could have a write-along.
My process of writing a book works for me (usually) and, like many other writers, is filled with the little rituals and trials and benchmarks that move me from Page 1 to The End. In a nutshell, I’m going to walk you though the prep work (which I’ll start talking about today), the notebook, the pre-writing I like to do, extra research, working out our writing schedule (or as we call it in our house, THE PLAN), the actual writing, revisions, and then the celebration when it is done in December. Yes, December. So if you are game, let’s get started.
I actually like starting a new book. I have this entire ritual about getting a book going. First and foremost, I get a composition notebook out and ready. I started using lined composition notebooks a few books back and I love them. I used to keep all my notes on notecards, but discovered that I like having the notebook for my WIP because it is easier to carry around than a bunch of loose 4×6 cards. With all your notes in one place, you always know where to look for that idea you had for Chapter 7.
So that is your first assignment. Get a composition notebook. You can find these at Staples or even your local RiteAid or Target. Grab one, and all you have to do for now is put a working title on the front (Mine is When A Star Falls), then write your name and email on the inside cover.
Inside this book will go every bit of notes, research, character ideas, names, pre-writing, plotting, scene notes, dialogue bits, revision notes, and anything else that you need to remember about your story or characters. So make friends with your composition book. It will be your new BFF for the next few months. Inside those pristine pages will go your scattered thoughts, moments of brilliance, and if you are like me, highligher and lots of red pen as I scratch out things that aren’t working and begin brainstorming for a new ideas. But all that anxiety can wait for the future, say like September, when our Deadline starts looming in the near horizon. Right now the book is new and shiny and perfect. And don’t let anyone point out that is because you haven’t written a single word.
Whew! After all that work, all this anticipation of the words to come, I think I need a latte. Besides, I need to get geared up for making The Notebook.
So what is your working title? How do you like to start planning your writing project?