I love it when people come to me asking for advice as they’d like to write a book, but they don’t quite know where to start. Some people want to write their life stories, while others have a book they are desperately wanting to get down on paper.
Last weekend my husband and I went to London and stayed in a Travel Lodge. While we were eating dinner, a waitress came over chatting to us about wanting to write her life story. She’d no idea I wrote, for my daughter was the focus of our conversation, for that weekend her play write (which had been short-listed at London’s National Theatre) was performed by an gifted actress. It was a remarkable achievement for the nine finalists. This was a proud mummy moment! 🙂
I remember writing my first book. It was a big thing for me. My education wasn’t exactly brilliant and I always compare my high school to St. Trinians (no exaggeration). It was rough. I never thought I was clever enough to write the words within the covers of a book. Never in a month of Sundays…
Until one day, I had a dream – it was as clear as day and it was almost as if someone was telling me a story. It was so intense and perfectly complete, it became my first book ‘A Wish for Marcus’ – a story for parents to share with their children to discuss the role of step parents and how they can love a child as if they were biologically theirs. The picture above took a week to complete, as I only worked on the pictures when my three children went to sleep.
Six months later, I completed it. This was the first book, I’d ever written and it gave me the confidence to write a trilogy next. But where so you start?
I suggest you start wherever you want to? Is there a right or wrong way to write a book? No. Perhaps you know the ending but need to think of the beginning. The good thing about word documents is you don’t have to write one particular chapter at a time, but write the one that grabs you at that moment. You can always go back and add extra details as the book unfolds.
I don’t tend to plot my books, as it takes away the magic for me. I get excited when my characters take on a life of their own and do something unexpected which may be more exciting that I could ever plan for.
At the moment I have four books on the go and part of me wishes that I didn’t have to work 50 hours a week so I could type happily away all day on my stories. School holidays are an opportunity to complete books. I love them – but they go so quickly. Happy writing folks! x