How do YOU write a book?

I’ve been asked that question.

The answer is complicated, because the person who asked really wanted to know if she could do it. Of course she could, if she wanted to. My usual answer is one I learned from Thomas Kinkaid many years ago: “If there is anything else you can do, then do that.” Art in any form will drain you. A friend says: “Writing is easy. Just open a vein and bleed on the paper.” (Sorry, I’m not sure which of my friends said that first…feel free to enlighten me!)

So, you’re a new writer and you’ve bought this nice shiny writing program. Or maybe you’re an experienced writer trying to figure out why I said it was so cool.

Here’s where to start: how do YOU write a novel? Not how does someone else, not how do you think you should write it, but how do you work best.

Think about your story. What makes it unique? Why do you want to write it? Why are you passionate about it? (WHAT? You’re not? Then go find something else to do.) Take a piece of paper and a pen and sit down with a convenient writing surface. (Yes, you can use your dog’s back if you need to.)

Some people will start with a time-line. Some will start with a character arc. Some (bless them) will start with the back-cover blurb. (SO much easier to start with that than to come up with it later.) Some will start doodling.

Remember, you are NOT thinking about your grocery list or what size your child’s shoes are.

Some will have a scene or a piece of dialog pop into their head. And some people will write “Chapter 1”.

Each of these approaches is valid. I’ve heard of successful writers who use each and every one of them.  The point of this exercise is to help you as a writer to figure out how your thought process works.You may start down one path and then try a different method. That’s okay.

Respect your creative impulses.

To apply this to Liquid Story Binder, look for the feature that matches what you felt like putting on that paper. Timeline? Storyboard? Sequence? How about a mind-map for the doodlers? You can start anywhere in LSB. Just remember: start. Open the software and start writing.

Whatever that process looks for you, stay focused. The road ahead is a long one, and there are dragons and trolls and quagmires on the way. But you will get there in your own time and in your own way.

Being stubborn helps.

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