Today Lynnette Austin, author of Somebody Like You, shares her thoughts about starting a book.
Okay, let’s admit right up front that writers can be a superstitious bunch. We can also be eccentric. And…we’re proud of it! We have routines we need to follow.
Before I actually start writing a book, it’s been percolating for a while. In fact, by the time I type Chapter One, I have a pretty good idea of what will happen beginning to end. The middle? It’s a little more murky.
As scenes come to me, Il write them out—often in great detail. I type them up, print them, then shuffle them around like a deck of cards, putting them in some sort of logical—but fluid—order. Nothing is set in stone.
Then, I put together my notebook. I love this part! I use a three-ring binder with lots of pockets and plastic sleeves. Sometimes I include photos—of characters, of places, of rooms. I might include maps.
In my latest WIP, Can’t Stop Loving You, the third book in my Maverick Junction series, I’m using a map of the garment district in NYC to keep myself straight. I have a synopsis of the book, a list of characters with any descriptions I already know, terminology specific to this book, anything that might help.
Next come the scenes in order. When I’m ready to sit down and write, these act as a road map. But believe me, detours are allowed and are, in fact, encouraged. Some of the best writing is organic, spur-of-the-moment, story-generated threads.
I also include a calendar for the time during which my story takes place. You need to have seven days in a week, have the weekends and holidays come at the right place, and only one full moon a month. It’s really easy to lose track of this kind of detail when you’re writing.
My binder is my bible. Everything is in there. I don’t have to search through scraps of paper napkins, notepads, and notebooks. Since I’m doing a series now, it’s so easy to stay organized through the books.
My handsome cowboy Cash, whom we meet in Somebody Like You, still has the same adorably ugly dog in Nearest Thing To Heaven and in Can’t Stop Loving You. If I forget his name is Staubach, a quick peek in my binder reminds me.
How do you begin? What do you do before typing that first word of your new WIP?
About Lynnette Austin
My first book was born as I drove across Oklahoma on a trip from Wyoming to Florida, with two eleven-year-old boys and way too much luggage stuffed into the very tiny backseat of a Porsche 944.
Although that book, thankfully, is safely hidden away where no one has to see it, my seventh and eighth books, the last in my Maverick Junction series, will be released this year. I was raised in Pennsylvania’s Allegheny Mountains, moved to New York, then to the Rockies in Wyoming.
Presently my husband and I divide our time between the beaches of Florida and Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. I’m a recovering middle school language arts teacher and am now writing full-time and loving it.
Lynnette is offering a $25 gift card for Amazon or B&N (winner’s choice) as a grand prize at the end of her blog tour.
To enter the grand prize giveaway, visit Pens and Peonies and fill out the entry form: http://pensandpeonies.blogspot.com/2013/04/somebody-like-you-blog-tour.html
Connect with Lynnette: