People always ask me where I get my ideas and I tell them honestly, they come from all over the place. I have notes on my iPhone, on scraps of paper, in files and in actual notebooks. Some relate to stories I may not ever get around to writing. On my iPhone right now, I have notes for books 3 and 4 in the series I am currently writing. They are backed up to the Cloud too, because I’m a writer and we’re a paranoid bunch. I have my manuscripts backed up to the cloud (twice) and saved on my hard drive, and then for good measure, saved on an external hard drive too. This all sounds like hard work, right? Well, it is, but I love writing more than I love to do anything else on earth, and if that is how you feel too, then all I can say is, just write!
I start with an idea, maybe it’s just a name, or a sentence.
- I make notes whenever I think of something, so I use Notes on my phone, or sometimes little bits of paper.
- When I’m ready to start writing, I gather ALL of these snippets and ideas and arrange them in chronological order.
- I type up an outline from all these notes, some of which will never make the book.
Then, I write the first draft without editing it at all.
- I follow my outline, adding bits and removing bits as I go along.
- I don’t check my word count at any point, I just write until each part is done.
- I try to write every day, even if it’s only a little, and I set myself a deadline.
- I put the entire manuscript aside for at least a week before I even think about editing.
After a week or two, I start to edit the story and the writing.
- I do a first read through, just to feel the flow of the story, and make notes and corrections.
- I do a second edit, paying full attention to all the details, characters and the timeline.
- I do a third edit for grammar and technical issues and to spot any remaining plot holes.