As a librarian I read a lot. When I worked in publishing I read a lot. As a reviewer for a magazine I read a lot. So I thought, how hard could it be to write a book. I have a notebook that has a ton of ideas in them. Some are just plot ideas. Some are characters. Some are full chapters or scenes. Some are picture books. And some are layouts for graphic novels. So with all of these ideas, I thought, hey this should be no problem to write a story. Well let me tell you it is tough.
Moving the story along, using descriptive wording, having the voices sound realistic, all of these elements are hard to master. I have tried my hand at writing only to face such terrible writers block that I abandon the story all together. These stories soon find a permanent place in a filing cabinet under the heading “Better Luck Next Time.” I have had the opportunity to meet several authors over the years and to hear them speak about the writing process. But it wasn’t until this year that it all really clicked for me.
I was able to have the incredibly talented Wendy Mass come to my school for an author visit. While she was here she spoke about her process, and she even shared with us a form she uses to help her better create a character and develop a plot. I thought, I have an idea, let me see how this form works. Well let me tell you, it worked great. I was able to flush out my main character and several supporting characters. I came up with a plot and I broke down how I wanted each chapter to go to help with the flow of the story. I was going to be able to write now.
Not so fast.
It was great that I had all of this. I felt like these filled in forms was success enough. However, now I actually had to start writing. And that is where it gets tricky. So I just started writing. A little free writing, just to see what might come out of my brain. And low and behold, some good stuff did. Or at least I think it is good. Now am I already on my fourth chapter. It is no where near being the level I would like it to be at, but that is what editing is for. I will have the chance to rework, and rewrite as much as I need to.
I thought writing a book would be easy. Just put some words on a paper and make a story out of it. I can tell a story no problem, writing one should be just as easy. Well I have learned that writing a story is difficult and not everyone succeeds. But if you keep at it, you will have a product that you can be proud of. So keep a look out, my goal is to see this published at some point (eBook or print form). I hope to have the first draft done in the next week or so. Fingers crossed. I will keep you posted on my progress.
Happy reading and happy writing.
PS I am currently in the middle of the book IF I STAY. I hope to have it done by Friday for my review day.