Wednesday, March 26, 2014

How to Write a Book - In 10 Easy Steps

Last week, one our readers asked us to expand on the writing process, from concept to completion and marketing of. I've spent some time thinking about. 

From the original idea (like the one rolling around in my head about the brothers at odds over the woman who is willing to kill them both), to research (studying the concept of a woman hit-man in the 19th century), to plotting (figuring out the major plot points of the book), to the first draft (pure writing evil in itself), to the edits (happy days!), to the submission to agent (no pressure), to the proposals sent to publishers (equally no pressure), to a contract, a marketing plan, and other pending deadlines.

In reality, there's a deeper truth behind the writer process.
And here's where I'll expose all writers in 10 easy steps:
1. Wake up after a late writing or an early morning writing jaunt

This is truth people. Waking up is simple. It starts by a long moan of agony, the repetitive slamming of your palm against your iPhone alarm clock, and falling off the bed as you try to catch your phone before it slams into the nightstand and cracks it screen. Yep. We're awake now.

2. Brew Coffee, then drink
It's no secret that coffee is the drink of writers. Like whiskey to an Irishman, or Coke to an American, or Poweraid to an athlete. Without coffee, no book is written, or at least written well.

3. Ignore all housework
This includes laundry, cleaning bathrooms, and sometimes showering.

4. Wear your lucky shoes--or find your muse
Your muse is that something that inspires your creative juices. For some it's their pet, others it's chocolate, for myself, it's red shoes. Or red. Red makes me happy. It's the color of blood. I write historical suspense. Deal.

5. Find a picture of your hero...and stare for a long time
You need to know your hero. Connect with their eyes. You will feel what your heroine feels. Then hopefully you have someone scheduled to check in on you so they can wake you up from your hard swoon.

6. Find your personality
Spend hours uncovering your character's inner personality--starting with comparisons to mythic models like Zeus or Hercules or Thor. You know them. The wimpy types.

7. Shrewdly consider the fact that now is the time for more coffee
If you've only had 3 cups you're well below the functional level. Drink up, baby.

8. Have a chocolate break
 ... and take some time to read the creative genius of other authors and realize how horrible your writing is and question why your agent ever signed you in the first place

9. Call one of your besties
You know the one. She works from home (very hard btw) and never sleeps, knows everything and is great at keeping you from committing literary suicide.

10. Waste time loading selfies on Facebook 
Because we all need time to ourselves right? 

And that my friends, is how you write a book. That is all the behind the scenes, real life events that occur...from conception to completion, in 10 easy steps.


Jaime Wright - 

Spirited and gritty turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :) - Represented by: Books & Such Literary Agency

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  1. What? Except for the coffee, get out of my head! :D

    1. Tea...preferably Earl Grey, hot, and brewed extra strong. :)

  2. I love being in your head, Erica ;)

  3. Hmmm, maybe I need to force some coffee down so I can write some good books.....

    1. Uh oh. I think I should've added tea and hot cocoa to that list!!! :/ YOU DO write good books!! :)

    2. Melissa, you are superwoman. Only you can mother many small children and write excellent books without coffee :) Wait, do you consume ANY caffeine?

    3. Ha, I have an occasional Mountain Dew, but not during writing times, since they're like at 2 am, caffeine is not a good idea if I want to get any sleep before the kids wake. :)

    4. Melissa, we should just move next door to each other (Laurie too) and collaborate at all hours of the day/night as we write. And I'll make sure to drink enuf coffee for the three of us ;)

  4. Jaime, you have alienated a very powerful group of writers -- the non-coffee drinkers! YOU JUST SAID MY STORY ISN'T WELL-WRITTEN BECAUSE I DON'T DRINK COFFEE!

    But then you went and redeemed yourself with the best compliment ever. So flattered. I love being one of your writing besties even if you discriminate based on caffeine vessel!

    1. my foot is already jammed down my throat with Erica and Melissa :). Glad i redeemed myself with you! EEK

    2. Also you posted a picture of Owen!

    3. You DID use him as your model then!! :)

  5. I enjoy other beverages also - Laurie, Erica, and Melissa - so completely understand!! I'm for whatever vices it takes to turn out those wonderful books (within reason, of course - LOL), including you - Jaime!!

    1. I wish I could say water was my vice lol

  6. Now I know why it took so long to write that first book…I had it all down except the red shoes! Who knew?

    1. Now, now, note I said "find your muse" ;) Doesn't HAVE to be red shoes. Although I will say, they are inspiring :)


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