How to write a book in a year – chapter one

Tip one

I’m going straight in to this one plan but don’t plan, I really need to do this and I will let you know how it pans out. I have found I get so bogged down with the planning stage that I never start actually writing a book, when I started to write this time, I came up with a basic concept and just wrote until I couldn’t write any longer. It was utter rubbish, mainly the ramblings of a mad woman, with so many plot holes it could be classed as a rabbit warren, however it was writing and there was a story, with a bit of fiddling it will become something much better.

So far I have managed to write a total 25,000 words, (which is a big deal for me) and do you know what I found this time from not planning? I actually wrote a good story, and yes as I said it isn’t anywhere near as good as it could be but it’s a story! I’m storytelling and the raw words of the first draft are actually original and interesting. I sound like I blowing my own trumpet a lot, maybe I should stop that before I get ideas of grandeur.

My journey to writing those words without planning has actually been a lot of fun, I enjoy the story I’m telling most of the time. Sometimes I only manage to fart all of 300 words in an hour and end up with a headache in the process; sometimes I could blindfold myself and write 3,000 words in an hour and then go for a vigorous run. This new way of writing has really worked for me.

My previous way was to meticulously plan every toilet trip and meal my characters had to the point where I knew them better than my husband or best friend, it works up until the point where I decide I’m almost ready to write, then I realise that in real life people just aren’t that predictable and the story all of a sudden seems very unrealistic and I go back to planning for another month. The book I planned out this way, is still not being written by the way if you were wondering. I still haven’t decided if my main character should be a woman or a man, or if they should have a normal name or some high fantasy unpronounceable name, which I did initially before realising how stupid it sounded, (it was Ghilhaledran, oh dear). I have half given up writing that book, after trying to write it for around ten years, following the snowflake method, which should be called the fractal method (which it pretty much is) as it is never ending, although you know, it might work for you? Writing is like learning, everybody does it differently, so don’t listen to what one author says you must do, it might not always work for you, it doesn’t make you a bad writing, it just means you are a different type of writer to them.

Tip two

Spreading yourself thinly is a fantastically stupid skill, that I happen to exceed at, for example last year I decided to write a book (more accurately November 2016). I wanted to write it in a year… so here I am still bookless. My problem was that I spread myself so thin, working full time, with no childcare, while insisting on taking an extra university course, writing a blog, writing a book, writing short stories, balancing my social life and my marriage. Looking at it now, I probably am still doing these things, just a little bit. Now I still do some of these things however I have cut back my hours and my daughter is in nursery (only two days a week), I am not doing a university course (nor will I be doing again as I am officially focusing on the fact that I want a career as an author) The thing is not going to work isn’t a possibility, as I’m not a rolling in money, and I very much have the philosophy of holding onto the next branch fully before you let go of the last.

After writing this I realise maybe, a little bit I do sometimes spread myself a little bit too thin, and as an unorganised person everything sort of turns into chaos. So I will try and follow my own tip a little bit more than I do at the moment.

Extra motivational tip

Don’t tell people what your story is about! It makes you less likely to write it! Why bother writing it if you out there telling the story to everyone you meet? I t just drains you motivation if you give an in depth explanation to people, I know we are all really proud of coming up with a story especially when you figure out a plot twist or figure out how to fix that plot hole, but keep it to yourself, I don’t want to know about it! I want to read it when I read your book, and yes, I can hear you screaming at the screen “How will I know its good Kate!?” Well have a little faith in yourself! If you’re enjoying writing it people will enjoy reading it. I do share my general concept with people, some people, and when I have finished writing I will know if they like the first draft.

So I am going to make this a series to document my journey and tips I pick up (as I read a lot of writing tips and generally read a lot of books)
If you would be so kind as to subscribe to my email list (its hidden at the bottom of the page because I’m awful at self-promotion and am currently waiting for my lovely brother in law to redesign my website) I would greatly appreciate it, I will eventually treat you to some nice freebies once I am properly set up. Pssst Also my Facebook, as I’m awful at that too!

Thank you so much for reading I hope I’m being helpful.
Kate x

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Paolo B. says:

    Very good tips! Planning and writing it’s hard to strike a balance for sure but I agree err to writing more. Then you can always edit after 👍🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is what I’ve found normally I just go round and round in circles with a plan! X

      Liked by 1 person

  2. msb.life says:

    This is such a cool idea! I came over from your guest post on RN Soul, and it’s amazing that you are doing this as well as being a full-time nurse! These tips are really interesting, as I have always been told to plan out everything, but maybe taking this approach could be an interesting experiment. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are welcome thankyou for coming over! Yes I’m enjoying just writing with no goal or plan it’s actually produced some of the best writing I have ever done! Xxx

      Liked by 1 person

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