A Little Background

The book is out to the beta readers. My critique group is two chapters away from finishing the book. And I find myself in an odd place – NOT working on the book for a change!

After more than two years of slaving away on this book night after night, it feels weird to be taking a break.

My brain is still working, though, and lately I’ve been churning up a lot of ideas for Book # 2. I have a trilogy planned, and now that Book # 1 is at a resting stage, I find myself thinking ahead, daydreaming about what will happen in the next book.

I’m starting to sit down and get some of these ideas on paper, using my outlining class material and workbook to organize my thoughts.

The first time I set out to write a book, I wandered blindly through a few chapters, writing and re-writing and editing over and over, but never really making any progress past the first few chapters. Once I took the outlining class and got myself organized, the book flowed much quicker.

This time, I plan to do it differently. Start with the outline, flesh out the ideas, and then begin writing the first draft.

I thought you might like a peek into the process of what it takes to write a book, or at least MY process. Every writer is different, and each one has a unique process that brings him or her from idea to finished product.

Here are the steps that worked for me – beginning with a “map.”

This wasn’t actually part of the outlining class, but it came from a book I read called “The Writer’s Compass” by Nancy Ellen Dodd. I’m a visual learner and thinker, so the idea of “mapping” out your story made sense to me.

Here is a picture of my “story map,” which is still hanging on the closet door of my home office.

story-map

You probably can’t see it very well, and even if you could, it probably wouldn’t make a lot of sense. The point is that it divides your story into sections, and in each section, certain things need to happen to take the characters — and thereby the reader — through the story.

This is what got me started, but in my next post, I’ll talk more about what I learned in the outlining class.

As always, I covet your prayers for the book, that God will take it wherever He chooses, and that it will touch the lives He intends for it to impact. And pray for me, that I would continue to be faithful and obedient to do what He’s called me to do.

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