Writing your first Book

I came across these notes I jotted down after finishing my first book. I thought maybe they could help someone just getting started  or working on their first book. ;-)I have always considered this first book of mine as a Samantha’s Learning Romance Writing 101 Class. Of course I am the instructor and the only student, which makes for an interesting class. 😉

First I had to work on getting my characters to talk like normal people. I finally decided to write nothing but pages of conversation for two weeks. No scenes, no descriptions, just two people talking back and forth. I quickly learned that I have an annoying habit of starting every sentence with so, ok or well. By just concentrating on the dialogue I was able to figure out how to make my characters talk more natural.

But now how to make those characters talk and walk around at the same time. This sounds easy in theory but I swear I almost lost my sanity trying to make it work on paper. I blame an old English teacher who had taught me, when I was too young to know any better, that you had to use commas and words like retorted and replied when you were dealing with people and conversation. How on earth could I make Katlin three dimensional if she spent all her time retorting and replying?

The solution came to me one night. I can have my characters do things and then in a completely separate sentence have a piece of conversation. Example: Katlin grabbed the keys off the table. “Anything in particular you want to do today?” I know it seems so simple and I have read sentences like that a thousands times in books, but I had never really stopped to consider how it was done until I tried to do it myself.

Ok, now my characters can walk around, but that means I have to put them somewhere. Which means I have to build a scene with descriptions. Descriptions that are not simplistic, but instead woven together. I can’t just write – she walked into a green room. The rug was brown. There was a plant in the corner of the room. I have to admit it took a huge amount of gray matter trying to describe places and making my characters move gracefully within those locations.

What’s next? Pacing. I can’t have all the exciting parts happen in the beginning and spend the rest of the story having the characters just walk around being bored out of their minds, even if they are being bored in my beautifully woven descriptive scenes. I have to figure out how to sprinkle in excitement, and then have the characters go back to pro quo for a while before I spice things up again.

What about making my characters more three-dimensional? I mean Katlin can tell everyone she is nervous in her conversation. But wouldn’t it be more interesting if I could make her show what she was feeling. If Katlin is nervous I can make her tap her pencil on the desk. How about making her interact more with her environment. Instead of coming out and just saying Katlin’s desk is wood I can have her run her hand over the smooth wood surface.

What am I working on this week? Being coy. Rather then reveal too much about my story all at once, I have to figure out how to play coy and reveal bits and pieces throughout the story. If I tell the reader everything up front, why are they going to keep reading?

Once I figured out the whole coy thing I have to work on trying to get some of my insights about people and the world into my story. Yep this is Romance 101 class. My second Book will be Romance 102. I wonder what I am going to learn in that class. 😉 – Samantha Storm

Note: I finished the second book and just completed the third book, which is titled – Murder, Mayhem and Misletoe. MMM will be coming out this December from New Concepts Publishing 😉

Samantha Storm – http://www.samanthastorm.com/
Eye of the Storm – Available Now!  http://www.newconceptspublishing.com/eyeofthestorm.htm
Murder, Mayhem & Mistletoe – coming soon NCP
Find webdesign tips – http://brave-the-storm.blogspot.com/
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3 responses to “Writing your first Book

  1. At least you had Romance 101…I flunked with my first book. I wrote it without the help of anyone and didn’t have a clue. I dug it out from under the bed and submitted it earlier this year to Amber Quill after painstaking revisions. I’m not sure when it’s going to be released.

    Brit

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  2. My first book was the worst! Brit, I’m not even about to dig mine out, because I know when I see a hopeless case. I wrote the thing before I heard of Romance Writer’s of America. I’m going to think of it as a learning tool and nothing more. Every mistake you can make, I did it in that book.

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  3. Well, I will leave the writing to you guys and I will read what you write. lol

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