You start with an idea. Where you proceed from there depends on the genre you wish to write. For example, JET: EXPOSED (Kindle Worlds Novella) (JET WORLD Book 1) is a series of Action/Suspense/Thriller novellas (fan fiction) that require lots of plot, the original characters from Russell Blake’s super successful JET series, and my original subplots. So for that type of story, I use a spreadsheet. I need to plot out my story before I write even one word.
This afternoon I was looking for something and came across TextEdit notes on my computer for book 3 of my “in the Sun” series, Book one wasn’t plotted at all Target In The Sun (Carlos & Mia Book 1) but because the fans loved it and wanted to know what happened to the main characters, I needed to come up with a convincing second story. I hadn’t planned on a series. Again, I used a spreadsheet to list my characters, their main qualities, looks, background and then down the page I would write chapter 1, 2, 3 and fill in the ideas. Book two went much faster. And now this is how I’ve started book 3:
“I’ve found her boss.”
“Are you sure?”
“Are you loco? What if he finds out?”
“I said kill her!”
Silence at the other end of the cell phone, and then the connection was broken.
I already had what I thought was chapter one, but I was wrong!! My muse is taking over—and that’s exactly what you want.
My basic literary tools go like this:
- Ideas—you can find them anywhere
- Discipline to write—that comes from your burning desire to be an author
- Structure—you need organization
- Flexibility—you must remember that stories come through us. We don’t own them, our muse comes out to play and can be as annoying as a sibling. Your muse will interrupt you WIP with something totally unexpected. It’s called magic.
- Belief—you must believe that your stories are meant to be written and read. If you don’t have belief, you will give up too soon.
- Determination—if you have #5 then the guts to work through a lousy review and tons of different types of rejection is a literary tool that you will need to have in your toolbox
- Team—you will find that you can’t/don’t want to do everything yourself. So the team that works with you need to understand your vision. Editors, cover artist, advertising groups, your FB fan base and your first readers
- Marketing—in today’s world anyone can write a book. Learn to market. It’s the part I least like and yet it allows me to connect directly with my readers. And sometimes, if you’re lucky, you will have fans like mine who love my work and leave reviews that take my breath away.
My current Work in Progress Lie to Me: an exposé on sex for money
Layla Duncan has an insatiable curiosity about Mexico’s other tourism, men who sell steamy sexual encounters to vacationing women. She infiltrates the organized underworld of male prostitution, interviews several men and writes an exposé of their lives. The lines between Layla’s personal life and professional assignment quickly become blurred, and she finds herself questioning her value system in an exciting yet disturbing way.