Structuring a new book doesn’t have to be stressful!
I thought it would be a good time to write a blog about learning the writing craft. I took some classes in college, but even though I loved to write, I never thought I would be where I am today from self-publishing.
I’ve been trying to study creative writing since 2017, but have been busy with Broken Candle Book Designs and other obstacles that put that part of my learning process on the back burner.
Also, I’m participating in NaNoWriMo this November, and I’ve been trying to keep up with my daily goals before that.
Before I get started here is a hint of what I’m writing for NaNoWriMo.
A woman inherits a house and finds some creepy and peculiar dolls in a garden.
That’s all you get, for now… 😉
1. Novel preparation. When I get an idea into my head, I usually bring up a blank page and outline and/or plan what I want the book to have inside it. I plan a beginning, a middle, and an end. I start searching for my character’s names and label them protagonist, antagonist, hero, heroine, etc. I know who will die and who will live at the end of the book. I know what supernatural myth I’ll use for my plot.
I mostly use fictional towns in my stories because the town or city is a huge part of the plot and if I can create my own little piece of land, it’s easier for me to picture it in my head.
2. Structuring the plot. Once I’m finished with the characters and what their motivations are, I turn to my plot and write out where I want the story to go. For example, I use KM Weiland’s structuring for the first, second, third act, which is set up, conflict, resolution.
3. The twist. I love shocking twists. I will confess the twists that are in my books are totally not planned. They will usually come to me as I’m setting up the resolution. Sometimes they come to me at the beginning of the story, sometimes it’s not until the end. I wait for the inspiration to happen on my twists. I don’t plan it. I wait for it.
4. Themes. There is always a theme to my stories. It might be as simple as my message in Mirror In The Forest: Be careful what you wish for or the message of a family suffering in Margo’s Lullaby because of mass shootings. I try to keep politics out of my books, but sometimes those little political nuances slip their way inside and I decided later if I want to keep it. Although I don’t have a problem with other authors using their art to create a political platform, sometimes they tend to go overboard, and that turns me off to the story, so I keep mine limited because if it doesn’t move the story forward then it shouldn’t be there.
5. The Point Of View. Every single novel and every single fictional story I’ve ever written has been two POVs, the hero, and the heroine. The latest novel I’m writing will be no different and in Mirror In The Forest, I threw in some other POVs to keep the story going. There is a decision I have to make when deciding on POVs whether I want to make my plot present or past tense. I tend to favor past tense since a lot of my plots are based on memories of times past. I like to give my characters their motivations through memories without stalling the story, so the reader understands why they are fighting for what they want.
This is a general plan for when I’m outlining each of my novels. There are lots of ways to plan out your next book, and I’m the type that I need structure, not only in my personal life but my writing life as well.
Feel free to tell me about your writing process. We can all learn from each other.
Don’t forget, I have a new release! The Soul Healer is out now!
A Reverend’s call for help. A demon hunter forced out of retirement. An evil beyond imagination.