As I write my next book, I tend to run into the same difficulties every so often. In this blog I’m going to share two difficulties with you. The first is a problem all writers face on a constant basis—distractions.
Writers agree: the number one reason your book probably isn’t getting written is due to your demanding job. Or your kids. Or maybe it’s because of your arch nemesis, the internet. Our biggest responsibility as writers is to keep the distractions away—that means you, YouTube—and to schedule our precious writing time around our hectic life. Work twelve hour night shifts seven days a week? Too bad. Get up an extra hour early, and write for one hour. You have to discipline yourself. That’s just the harsh reality of the job.
The second writing difficulty I face currently is a lack of organization.
Allow me to explain.
I’ve been working on my current work-in-progress for the past several years. At first I didn’t have the intention of turning it into a book—it came from a story that already existed, one that I expanded and made my own, sort of like a fanfiction. I adopted one of the lesser characters and created a background story for him. Transformed him so much he became a different character altogether, with almost no resemblance to the original. That character, and his life, became the basis and inspiration for my next book.
Over the years I’ve written actual fanfictions about this character, and wrote countless scenes, random and out of order in his life’s timeline. Now, I have hundreds…hundreds of pages of notes and scenes. Now, I have to piece everything together, in order, and create a detailed outline for my book. For my last book with Kellan Publishing, The Lerewood, I made a very loose outline. I promised that for my next book, I would create an outline that would have much more detail, and I would edit it just as much as I would my actual book. But with the amount of material I have, my next ‘book’ will probably end up being a series of at least three, maybe four books. You can imagine how overwhelmed I feel.
I’ve tried organizing the scenes into folders of which ‘book’ they’ll be in (one, two, three or four), but other than that, I don’t know what else to do to organize everything I have. I also realize that there are gaps in the story I’ve created so far—pieces missing that I have to figure out. Someone suggested I create a mind map, and I’ve done something similar with my main ideas, but it didn’t help much. I do like to have a visual of everything in one spot, though.
If you’re a writer and you have some advice for me on how to best organize my ideas, leave a comment below! If not, wish me luck!
~ Andrea Churchill
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