What are the steps to writing?
Last week we discuss the first step to creating your masterpiece, or the great American Novel, or a how-to book on beer brewing.
The first is to start, or even just stand up and know, in your black little soul, that you are going to do this.
Figuring out exactly how to go about it. I know, you wanted this last week – what are the five easy steps to guarantee a best selling novel?
Unless you are the favorite child of the senior book editor for Random House, there are no five easy steps and no guarantees.
But there are ways to start so you can build a book, and take satisfaction in the process.
Initial step: If you don’t like the work, nothing will work for you.
Step 1 – Stand up and wobble a bit – think of yourself as a writer.
Step 2- Read everything in the genre in which you’d like to write – actually this is on going, and if you love your genre, every book, every lecture, every book store visit will be a joy. If you are only writing in this genre because you think it will make money, you life will become hell on wheels. Stop it.
If you love to read romance novels, then go ahead and write them.
But if you’d rather write fantasy – write it. Don’t chase the market, write what you love best, it will show.
Step 3 – Outline your idea for your book.
Step 3.5 Failing that, consider your main character – who is he or she, what do they want?
Step 4 – what gets in the way of your main character? What prevents him or her from getting their heart’s desire?
Step 5 – repeat step four.
Plot is just one damn thing after another. Story is the way your character overcomes all those damn obstacles. Together, they make up your novel.
It’s not a complete list, but it is a way to start.