How do you do that thing you do so well?

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It’s a common question asked by those who want to write a novel. I hear this all the time on Quora. Where do you begin? How? Where do you get your ideas? Do you plot? Do you ‘wing-it?’ How do you do that thing you do–so well?

Let’s talk about my latest release, SILK ROAD Code Raven 6. It’s a great example of my personal writing process and may help you to get started on yours!

It starts with a word. I asked a friend, fellow author, to give me a country. In this case, it was Kyrgyzstan–a country that had no meaning to me. If you’re familiar with the Code Raven Series, you would know that not only do I love my characters and develop them further with each story, but I also love to take them to different countries around the globe to get into–and out of–trouble!

In my research about Kyrgyzstan, I came across the history of how this country was once a part of the Soviet Union. I already had a rough idea of the Russia/Asia part of the world but didn’t know much about the terrain. If you are anything like me, once you go on the world-wide-web, one search turns into another, and another, and before you know it, you’re off on a tangent for no particular reason. In my case, my interest was piqued by the crime lords who moved in to fill the void of a legitimate government. Corruption of all types runs rampant in this predominately Muslim country.

At this point, I became intrigued by the historical implications of this centuries-old area and the original Silk Road–the trading route moving through Asia from the East to the West.

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Without giving away the plot, let’s just say that I became intrigued by the human condition and in particular how turmoil and greed affect women and children around the globe.

HERE’S MY PROCESS:

  1. Out comes the excel spreadsheet. 
  2. Usually, I reprint the Characters names across the top of the sheet so I don’t mix up attributes, history, or activities, timelines, etc. This is important when writing a series. You would work the same way as you introduce new characters in your novel even if it’s a stand-alone book. I also used this process on my memoir LOVE The Beat Goes On
  3. Chapters numbers down the left side column.
  4. Next column a key phrase to summarize what will happen in that chapter.
  5. The next column will give more detail, possibly a paragraph of key events.
  6. In the planning stages, I might color code the chapters. If it’s fiction and action, I might color code an action event RED, something that moves the plot along in YELLOW, and a relatively soft aspect, emotional, resting chapter might be soft green. This way you can make sure you don’t lose your reader by dropping the pace. Inevitably all my reviewers say this series is ‘fast-paced.’ You want that when writing a mystery. Otherwise, your fans will get bored and put your book down! We want them to read it in “one sitting!”
  7. The chapters continue down the page until the end.

Why a spreadsheet?

I use this concept if I’m writing Action/Adventure/Mystery or Contemporary Romance or Non-fiction like my memoir. Why?

  1. It’s easy to cut-and-paste therefore changing the sequence of events, or slotting in a new chapter!
  2. You can see the entire story in one place. 
  3. The spreadsheet allows you to edit the events along the way inserting, expanding where you find your plot to be weak.

My process is always fluid. I never set a rigid plot.

Sometimes I start with one idea and watch the following events move down the page. The thoughts, ideas I have may never make it to the final story. But here’s the key: one idea leads to another, and another, and another. And my story starts to take shape from that original one word. Example:

Silk Road. Trade. Smuggling. The new Rail service from the coast of China all the way to London, England! Think about the potential here. Imagine all the events that could happen along the way! And that’s how the story moved along. And then I found activities in the Maldives that I decided to connect. And one of my main characters, Zach was summoned to Washington DC by the frightening pleas from a SEAL friend he served with in his Afghanistan/Bin Laden days.

Here’s a couple of teasers so you get a feel for the final story:

A former Navy SEAL gets a terrifying message from his estranged daughter. “I’m desperate! I need your help, Dad. Bring your friends!”

“They stole my baby Daddy! They’ve got my boy!” Will a team of ex-SEALs break US law to exact revenge?

A teenager is abducted in Kyrgyzstan. Has she become one of many kidnapped brides? Or is something far more frightening going on? The corrupt authorities ignore the parents’ pleas for help.

A new Silk Road train stretches from the eastern shores of Yiwu China to London, England. Its precious cargo is not what’s written on the manifest.

When two young children are abducted in the middle of the night from Raven’s sanctuary in the Maldives, Luci, Luke, and the Raven Group will stop at nothing to get them back.

Are all these horrific events linked?

If I’ve peaked your interest and you want a great read, written in the style of Lee Childs, David Baldacci, or Clive Cussler, get your copy on Amazon: Silk Road

 

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New Pre-order $.99 cents! Crazy, I know!

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A former Navy SEAL gets a terrifying message from his estranged daughter in Washington, DC. “I’m desperate! I need your help, Dad. Bring your friends!”

A teenager is forcefully taken in Kyrgyzstan. Has she become one of many kidnapped brides? Or is something far more frightening going on? The corrupt authorities ignore the parents’ pleas for help.

When two young children are abducted in the middle of the night from Raven’s sanctuary in the Maldives, Luci, Luke, and the Raven Group will stop at nothing to get them back.

Are all these events connected?

BUY THIS NEW RELEASE ON AMAZON

SILK ROAD Kindle/e-book Link 

SILK ROAD Paperback Link

 

ABOUT LYNDA FILLER and the writing of Silk Road. 

Writing a novel is like dating and relationships. You start in wonder and amazement at the magnificent gift (a book idea!) life has given you. The first weeks are exciting (plotting), sometimes frustrating as you try to blend personalities (character development), likes, and dislikes. As you continue, something beautiful (the real story) begins to emerge. Yes, there are surprises (plot twists!!) that drive you crazy or in my case, give me a shiver at the sheer magic of the process! And inevitable little quirks (new, unexpected characters pop up!!)

Life is a journey with many twists and turns. And so is this process that authors go through when we write. I’ve got a vivid imagination and I love to tell stories. I write Mystery, Adventure, Action, Contemporary Fiction and Romance, and I’ve also written a memoir.

Code Raven is my magnificent obsession. The Code Raven Series is based on the lives of a few unforgettable individuals who have served their country with bravery and honor and have lost their lives because of their unwavering beliefs. I chose to honor them by creating acts of incredible selflessness, patriotism, and heart-pounding action in my stories. If YOU are listening from wherever Warriors end up in the after-life, I hope you are enjoying the antics of Luci, Raven, Zach, George, RB, Maggs, Lorena, and now Himanish.

We killed a lot of bad guys in this series. We’ve hunted down terrorists in the Middle East, dealt a blow to ISIS, and the Drug Cartels in Mexico and South America, stopped the abduction of a beauty queen, prevented cyber-heists from China, dropped bodies off 50-story-towers in Shanghai, rescued a kidnapped British-Arab female journalist in Dubai and prevented deadly usage of WMD designed in the USA. We even solved the world-wide refugee crisis in Displaced.

Every time I add to this series, I believe it’s the best Code Raven story ever! But this one is truly special. And as in personal relationships, we always say “But THIS time, this ONE, is the best! 

I love to interact with my readers. We banter regularly on Facebook. I have an Author page but the Facebook personal page is where you get the real scoop! I also hang out on Twitter. And BookBub will keep you posted on New Releases. You never know what I’ll post over there! And I’d love you to follow me here. I will send you my newsletter, if you sign up, and a few freebies will make their way to your inbox.

Thanks for stopping by! If this is your first Code Raven book, it can be read alone. I added a glossary with an overview of the main characters just for you!

 

Here’s what readers have to say about the Code Raven Series.

If you like Lee Child, David Baldacci, and James Patterson, you will enjoy this wild ride with billionaire patriot, Luke Raven, and the Raven Series.

“Get In, Sit Down, and Read like there is no tomorrow. You will not be sorry.” E. Wojdyla

“What an action-packed page-turner! XPOSED is a suspenseful thriller that leaves you wanting more. It was fast-paced, and anxiety filled book!” Amazon Reviewer

“I am absolutely loving these books, I’m worn out because I feel like I’m working as hard as they are to save the US. Luke Raven is got to be one of my favorite lead characters ever, and actually, I’m loving all of them. I’m feeling a little bad for Zach and hope that something happens in the next book to make him smile a bit more.” Kirschersmiles

“I’m hooked on this series and can’t wait to see what will happen next. I love the strong heroes and heroines that help make our world safe. If you like thrillers and spy books this is the series for you!” S. Barnaby

 

Wow! Thank you​!

 

#1 Best Seller

 

I love seeing the Code Raven series at #1 XPOSED in Amazon FREE International Mystery and Crime. And it’s all thanks to you!

XPOSED 

After seizing hundreds of million dollars from an illegal arms-for-drugs deal between a rogue CIA faction, and a South American cartel, Luci retires from clandestine operations and hides out in Central America with her four-year-old daughter. Until she receives the message: Get out now!

XPOSED is a wild action-adventure novella that uncovers a dark and dangerous world of high-level intrigue, passion, power, and greed.

A suspense thriller of high-level intrigue, passion, power, and greed.

If you haven’t yet downloaded your free copy, do it now before the promo is over. Here’s what reviewers are saying:

on August 9, 2018
XPOSED: Code Raven 1 by Lynda Filler

5 Stars

I am absolutely loving these books, I’m worn out because I feel like I’m working as hard as they are to save the US. Luke Raven is got to be one of my favorite lead characters ever, and actually, I’m loving all of them. I’m feeling a little bad for Zach and hope that something happens in the next book to make him smile a bit more.

This was fast paced and there were new characters brought in to the mix but the way they are brought in is just awesome. I just can’t believe how invested I am in this story and these people after 2 very short books. So much happens and in looking back I am totally impressed with how this author does this and makes me feel like I read a full novel when both so far have been under 100 pages.

I can not wait to dive into the next…

Awesome!!!

on August 7, 2018
What a mind Ms. Filler has as the Raven Group takes on a new ‘associate’ in the form of Samaar, code name Luci. Badass lady all around! In this first adventure, the VERY high tech Raven team have just rescued Luci and her 4 YO daughter, Alice, from sure death by a South American Cartel. She, along with several others of the team, are thrust into Paris, to Shanghai and a quick stop in Sedona, AZ. Top secret vehicles on land, sea and in the air. WHOO HOO! What a ride!
on July 31, 2018
XPOSED: Code Raven 1 by Lynda Filler is the first book in the series and boy does it pack a
punch. It is a quick and easy read that has you intrigued till the end with all the action and alpha men and women who protect the world from the evil, the greed, the power, the scum. Each and every character has their own reasons for what they do but they all have one thing in common and that is rid the world from those who take and kill without a second thought. Lynda has written a story that you will not be able to let go of. The mystery and suspense have you so enthralled that you will block out everything around you and focused on the story. Can’t wait to see what happens in Abducted.
ENJOY!
xposed

Writing fanfiction is against the law. Should fanfiction authors be held to account for their copyright violations?

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I visited Quora tonight to answer this question. I think my answer will surprise the readers and should generate plenty of comments in the next 24 hours. Especially since 99.9% will disagree with me.

Here it is!

Now I have an entirely different response to this question. The premise of the question is debatable according to the agreements I signed with Amazon and JET author Russell Blake.

In 2015 Amazon Kindle Worlds went into contract with RB of the USA Today Best Selling series JET, to produce and pay the original author a portion of the proceeds for fan fiction. I was one of the first authors invited to write into his world. He and I were both paid for every novella that was sold in his “JET World.” It turned out to be a great opportunity for me. I piggy-backed off his exciting character and created my own world around his main heroine.

This year KW was dissolved. We have no idea why. All rights to my characters and stories were mine to keep. At first, I panicked, but I was ready to take my ‘world’ out of the closet and create my own lead character who has blended perfectly with my series. Code Raven, the prequel debuted less than two weeks ago and is already in the top 100 of Amazon shorts alongside James Rollins, Lee Childs, Tami Hoag, and Stephen King!

So this success, although not yet in the same class as E L James, is on its way thanks to the foresight of Amazon to jump on the fanfic bandwagon and pay both the author and the fan/writer.

You can pick up a copy on AMAZON for $.99 cents. Thanks!

 

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