How To Build A Book …by Susan Lute
Books read: one
Currently reading: Two
New words written: 0
Pages revised: 47
Cold read: one (I’m about half way through)
Dinner meeting to discuss upcoming anthology
Worked with E-Book Formatting Fairies to format novelette for Smashwords
Published on Smashwords: A Girl Named Jane. Yay! A milestone
Made a publishing schedule for the rest of 2012
Determined the nuts and bolts of publishing a novel from finishing fist draft to launch
Developed a spreadsheet to track publishing steps
Scheduled blog tour for The Return Of Benjamin Quincy (starts June 4 – mark your calendars)
Third interview for possible day job
Accepted job offer! Cheers!
Discovered the perfect place for a writer’s retreat while on walk with author Darla Luke
Took Annabelle through the robowash (my truck)
Conclusion: Not enough writing or revising done. Need to kick that piece into high gear.
This is the life of today’s writer. Whether you’re traditionally pubbed, e-pubbed, or indie, this is what being a published author looks like. It’s a demanding career where writing the story is only the beginning.
So I wanted to talk about how to build a book. There are lots of resources out there to help, but here are a few raw nuts and bolts. Stories get started in generally two different ways. The writer has an plot idea, or a character won’t let go. These kernels nag and nag until the writer puts pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard.
The author’s approach can happen in two ways. Some write plot first, then fill in with character. Others come at a story from character first, then figure out the plot as they go along. This would be me. I love a deeply defined character; can’t resist the discovery of who they are, what they want, and what obstacles they have to climb over to get to the one thing that is going to turn their lives completely upside down.
A good story has a story arc. The best stories have several – the external plot, each major character, and in my case, the romance arc. Each one has to have a beginning, middle, and end to keep the reader turning pages (right?).
In addition, and this is what really makes the story… each novel is made up of multiple scenes. Each scene has an arc, a beginning, middle, and end; goal, conflict (what’s the problem?), then disaster – the worst thing that can happen, or a moment when the involved main character reacts to the previous scene and dilemma with a decision that will propel the story forward.
My next dragon book is about one of the brothers, whose dragon has been taken from him. In the next Rosewood book, I want to write a reverse makeover story. I’m completely fascinated by how my characters will rise above their deepest, sometimes darkest problems to be the heroes and heroines of their own story. The bare bones of a plot arise from the characters, and then it’s off to the races.
It’s time to make tea, so what are you reading? And do you read for plot or for characters?
Posted on April 29, 2012, in General and tagged A Girl Named Jane, Annabelle, book launch, E-Book Formatting Fairies, finishing first draft, How to build a book, International Digital Awards Contest, Jane's Long March Home, milestone, new job, reading, See Jane Publish, Smashwords, Susan Lute, the business of writing, the life of today's writer, The London Affair, The Return Of Benjamin Quincy, writing, writing business. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.