I recently received a message from a fan asking about my writing process, so I decided to divulge a closely kept secret and reveal the truth behind how I write a book.

Fine, it’s not really a secret, but it sounds cooler that way, right?

Getting started: When I started writing my first novel six years ago, my only goal was to finish a book. I’d been trying to write a book for years, but always got stuck halfway through and gave up. I knew a detailed outline was important–and probably crucial–if I actually wanted to finish the book. So I sat down and typed an 11 page outline. I knew what was going to happen from beginning to end. And guess what? That was the first book I actually finished.

Unfortunately, I  learned there is way more to writing a book than finishing it, and so began my journey to becoming a better writer. I read tons of books on writing that were tremendously helpful. I’ll talk about those in a later post. The best help I received came when I attended a five day seminar taught by author William Bernhardt.

The best advice I can give to newbie writers is this: A detailed, concise, well-plotted outline is the key to a great book. And now, here’s a sneak peek into the process I use to outline a book…

I used this notebook at the writing seminars taught by William Bernhardt. I saved ALL my notes and still use them. I pull my notebook out every time I start a new book. It’s got all my cheat sheets. No peeking!
Fine, here’s a sneak peek inside my super secret notebook. This is THE outline I use before I even attempt to write another book. Yes, I’ve used it for every one of my Fairy World MD books.
I hand write my outlines and then type them. The story line always changes from one draft to the next, and then changes again in the first draft. As long as I stick to the main plot points, I don’t worry too much about it. I also bounce ideas off my husband at this point. He tells me if my ideas are great or lacking. Usually, he gives me the go-ahead, but every now and then I have to go back and revise. I grumble until I realize he’s actually making my books better. Sigh.
And now I’ll hit you with my impressive art skills. Dude, I should have been an artist, right?! No. I’m kidding here, sarcasm intended. But I do like to draw a little. Plus, it helps me think about where I want the story to go.

3 Responses

  1. I saved all my notes from Bill’s seminars as well. They are life savers. Your drawings are awesome! I don’t know that I’ll ever show my own drawings. They aren’t nearly as good.

    1. LOL! Yeah, I like to doodle. My sister is the artist in the fam. I agree about Bill’s notes! I pull them out every time I start another book.