Where to Start
So you want to write a book? You’ve bounced an idea or even ideas around in your head for years? Maybe, just maybe your ideas have even hit paper? But it’s still over whelming. You’re not alone- However, don’t be one of the many that stay in this cycle. Don’t be that person who tells your children or even grandchildren that you had an idea once. Because they will say “Why didn’t you write it?” As I am to you now!
So here is my process from idea to print. I hope it inspires you to write your story, no matter how long it takes. Even if you never publish- just write it.
When I get an idea for a story I think it out in my head first. I think about the main focuses points or any twists- what makes it unique or different. Then staying in my head I work though a rough plot, e.g. how the story will playout.
Idea to paper:
I personally use a word document to work out my plot line, but you may prefer pen and paper or even brain storming on a white board- whichever works for you. I write out each stage into parts, not chapter. Chapters come later. So at this stage the story needs to transfer from my head to paper the way I like or it develops in a different direction- either way is good. However, sometimes the story doesn’t work on paper and ends here.
I then work through the parts into rough chapter ideas. I make basic notes on what I want to happen in the chapter. I don’t spend too much time on this part, for me it’s more about organizing events and working out any time lines. I normally end up writing two or three drafts before I’m ready. But between each draft I let it breath for one day.
Let it breath:
I find by leaving a day or two between drafts it helps the story grow, or get clarity. Basically the saying “Sleep on it” works for me.
If my story makes it to a final plot- its ready to go. Also at this point it’s been between four to six days, and all I’ve done is think about this story and re write plots lines. I should be heavily invested by now, so if I’m not itching to start then the books not worth writing anyway!
My first chapter:
With my final plot finished I’m rearing to go I use my plot to keep me on track. Before each chapter I open my plot draft- Knowing what I want to achieve in the chapter all I need to do is add details and description.
Writing the manuscript:
So now I know what I’m writing I need to plan out when I’m writing. Currently I’m a full time writer but this wants always the case. I used to have a full time Job in London and after that I owned my own company. When I worked in London I would wake up early and sit in a coffee shop next to my work for one hour every day. And when I had my business, I used to get into the office one hour early and write. If you want to write you will, you just need to find the time and then invest the time.
First draft manuscript:
After I finish my first draft I “Let it breath.” I pat myself on the back and get ready to do a read through. I start at the beginning and work back though the manuscript making any changes I feel necessary. Then It is ready for the editor critiques.
The first thing I get my editor to do is a critique around. She points out incontinences, if any- and she points out sections that feel rushed or to draw out. She critiques the characters and their relationships to each other, story pacing and general tone of the book. I make the changes and send it back for another critique. Sometimes I have two rounds of critique’s.
The critiques are finished and the manuscript goes back to the editor for editing and proof reading. This is where the editor will correct grammar and spelling, typos and sentence structuring.
Once I have the final editing finished from my editor I read through the manuscript out loud for typos. You would be surprised what the human brain misses. Us self-published authors do not have the luxury of computer systems that big publishing houses use for checking typos, or the many editors that proof their books- but we do our best.
I’m now ready to print. I send my manuscript to my book maker for book layout, type setting and cover design. I then work with an artist to make a book cover. Once I approve the book art my book designer makes my book! He also creates my eBook files too.
Ready to print:
I can up load them to amazon and other online retailers. With the paper back I can order in bulk from my book maker to sell them myself to stores. And up load to amazon so that I can sell online too.
How to get books & eBooks online:
You will need an ISBN for your book. There are a few ways to do this. But this is a whole new topic in itself. Stay tuned…
I hope this has helped and please do me a favour- write that damn book :) feel free to message and ask me any questions.
Hello, my name is Victoria I am an author. I would like to share with you my opinion & experiences and I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions.