Earlier this month we talked about Getting Started on Your Book. Questions addressed included:
Why are you writing this book at this time?
Who is your audience?
What is your topic?
What will your perspective be?
Are you drawn to fiction or non-fiction?
Once these questions are answered it is time to see how much material you have ready to go and what areas you need to research.
An easy way to start is to do a brain dump of every idea you have on your topic, using 3×5 cards or sticky notes. Don’t worry about what goes together at this point – just get it all out of your head and on a piece of paper.
If you work better on a computer, a mind map program is good to work with at this stage because you can use different types of lines to indicate relationships between/among your various ideas.
The next step is to start grouping your ideas. Identify various points or themes and move your cards to the best theme.
Create a list of your themes.
Go back to your earlier work and decide how many of them belong in this book. Remember, no one has said you can only write one book on your topic.
Take your remaining themes and put them in a tentative order for writing.
Go back to your various notes and see if you have enough information. If not, make a note to do additional research. If there is more info than you need, do some pruning. Pruning is a good thing – plants grow stronger when the suckers are removed.
I know this seems like I am asking a lot of you before you even write your first paragraph of your book. However, this prep work will make the writing itself much easier. This is one of the places where Janet Evanovich’s tenacity comes into play.
Feeling frustrated? Have too much or not enough information to know what to do first? Want some help? Let me partner with you as your Book Enchantress and we can quickly get you on your way.