IT’S A NEW DAY! NEW MONTH! NEW YEAR!
What Now? That’s the question before me and maybe it’s the question you’re asking yourself as 2016 slips into existence. After several years (nine-plus to be a little more exact), I published my first major book in 2015 and ever since people have been asking me WHEN the next book is coming out. REALLY? My labor with that one book has exhausted me! And yet—there are several scenarios that are brewing in my innards. So WHAT NOW? Well, because I have at least three (3) BIG IDEAS, I’ve decided to flesh out each one just enough so that I can reach a point-of-no-return on ONE of them and complete it before year’s end. Here are the steps I’ve begun…
1st Week in January…
Monday…Select your clearest book concept.
- Write one sentence that defines the heart of this story—the theme—the BIG IDEA that will grab Readers. Rewrite this sentence as many times as needed to satisfy Then place it in the file folder for this book concept and relax.
- Write 3-5 sentences about the main character and the main supporting What is their ancestral heritage? Family makeup/dynamic? Faith background and current belief? Physical appearance—hair color, eye color, clothing style, etc. BE SPECIFIC and brief. If you have a specific film actor in mind to “play” these characters, google them and add their photo to that description. Then, again, place these in the file folder…and relax.
- Write one paragraph that describes THE main setting. Keep this paragraph short using very specific imagery. Use the thesaurus! PAINT the setting you want a film-maker to design with color, texture and tone. If there is more than one geographic locale, write this paragraph about the main locale. Then add one sentence about other locales. Google photos of these locations will be helpful. Add to page(s), place in the folder…and relax.
- Create the conflict chart. I like to use the peaks-and-valleys graph although recently I’ve used the circle-within-a-circle illustration starting with the 1st conflict at the center of the circle, then adding “rings” for each new conflict point. If you’ve read newspaper reports about these types of conflict (home invasions, natural disasters, wars, murders, etc.) research examples and add the site address and/or photo of the encounter. Keep this day’s efforts focused ONLY on the elements of conflict. Then, again, place this information in your folder…and relax.
- The above diagram doubles as my PLOT graph—with the addition of one written paragraph that offers me ideas about how my main character (and supporters) will act/react to these conflict events—AND—suggests THE END—or at least how I think it will end.
2nd Week in January…REPEAT above elements for the 2nd Book Idea.
3rd Week in January…REPEAT above elements for the 3rd Book Idea.
4th Week in January…REPEAT above elements for the 4th Book Idea.
By February 1st excitement will be flowing in your veins! It may be difficult to select ONE project to complete—however—you must. Author Rick Warren is quoted saying, “When you understand that life is a test, you realize that nothing is insignificant in your life.” This is especially true for the characters we bring to life in THEIR life stories. Happy New Year, my writing friends. May the days and months before you lead to PUBLISHED SUCCESS! ⚓︎
|ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.
Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.