Thank you to The Book Diva’s Reads for having me on today!
Since I’ve just starting working on the outline for my third release, I thought it would be fun to talk a little bit about the first steps of my writing process.
I’m sure many of you are writers or perhaps you have wanted to pen your own novel, but just haven’t known exactly how to get started.
Many times, the idea is the easy part. For me, it’s usually out of the blue when the images of new characters and a vague sense of their circumstances pop in my head. I spend quite a bit of time thinking about and developing the characters and their stories in my mind.
But how to get it on paper?
Once I have a mental grasp on my story line, an outline becomes essential. I have a thick, spiral notebook for each book (and of course a pencil – we can’t be afraid to erase and revise).
First of all, I start with my characters and their traits: What do they look like? What are their mannerisms, attributes, temperaments? Why are the characters important to each other? Now is also the time to think about the setting and how it affects my characters.
Next, I work on the outline. I know there are successful writers out there who work completely without an outline and allow their characters to take them where they want to go, but for most of us, we need direction. It doesn’t have to be set in stone, but a basic guide for where we want our story to go.
Think about your introduction, rising action, climax, and resolution. Jot a few sentences down about each. What happens during each of them?
Then take those and expand. Here you can begin to break your story up into chapters. If your plot is time specific, be sure to also write a time-line so the passage of time over your chapters is clear to your reader. If you want to get really detailed, you can write a mini-outline for each chapter. Personally, I write just a few paragraphs to outline each chapter: What happens in the chapter (beginning, middle, and end), what do my characters feel, and what needs to be said? I also leave space to go back and jot things down later on as thoughts, ideas, and dialogue come to me.
With a plot and characters in place, I now have somewhere to start.
My outlines aren’t perfect and changes are always made, but they are essential to keeping me organized and on track.
Thanks again to Vivian for having me on The Book Diva’s Reads today! It’s been an honor. Don’t forget to enter for your chance to win an eBook copy of Pulled.
Amy Lichtenhan is the debut author of Pulled, a contemporary romance released by TWCS Publishing House on February 24, 2011.
Melanie Winters and Daniel Montgomery shared a love most only dream of; a love they believed bonded them together for life. When their world is shattered by the tragic loss of their daughter, overwhelming grief and misguided guilt distorts the truth, and their relationship ends in uncertainty and unanswered questions.
For nine years, they drift through life, each unable to forget the one who holds the strings to their heart. In an attempt to escape the pain of her past, Melanie finds herself trapped in a loveless marriage, while Daniel loses himself in a career that means nothing without Melanie by his side.
Now, when their lives again intersect, neither can deny the connection they felt so long ago.
But will the power that drew them together be enough to heal the wounds from their past, and will they have the courage to overcome the insecurities and fears that threaten to keep them apart?
Pulled is a story of attraction and separation, of destiny and duty, of a love so strong it refuses to give up even when all others have.
Since she was a girl, Amy Lichtenhan found the reasons people are drawn together fascinating, and she utilizes her own experiences and observations to explore fate, destiny, and serendipity in her debut novel, Pulled.
Amy’s second book, Take This Regret, is set for release July 28, 2011
There are some mistakes we make that we will regret for the rest of our lives. For Christian, it was the day he betrayed Elizabeth.
Christian Davison has a plan for his life. He is determined to become an attorney and to one day take his place as partner in his father’s law firm. Nothing will stand in his way, not even Elizabeth Ayers and their unborn child.
After Christian cuts her from his life, Elizabeth spends the next five years struggling to provide for her daughter and willing to sacrifice anything to give her child a safe, comfortable life.
For five years, Christian has regretted the day he walked away from his family and will do anything to win them back just as Elizabeth will do anything to protect her daughter from the certain heartache she believes Christian will bring upon them.
When Christian wrestles his way into their lives, Elizabeth is faced with asking herself if it is possible to forgive someone when they’ve committed the unforgiveable and if it is possible to find a love after it has been buried in years of hate. Or are there some wounds that go so deep they can never heal?
They say everyone deserves a second chance.
To read more about Amy Lichtenhan visit: www.AmyLichtenhan.com