Monday, August 19, 2013

So you think you want to write a book . . . Part 4

Okay, you have a place to write and a time set aside for writing. You have practiced your craft and now you are ready to start your book. First you need to choose an idea. If you have had just one idea for awhile then this step will be easy for you. If you have lots of ideas it will be harder because you have to choose only one for your first book. Don’t stress over this too much. If you have lots of ideas – that’s a good thing (you can use the ones you don’t pick now later). If you choose an idea and then can’t seem to develop it – there’s nothing wrong with putting it aside and starting on another one. Unless you do that with one idea after another and never finish a book!

Remember that in the creation of every book/story there might be times when you reach a blank spot (a place where you don’t know exactly what is going to happen). I like to type into this spot “I don’t know what is going to happen here” and then go on. You can always come back and fill it in later. And after you’ve written another chapter or so you’ll probably figure out what needs to go there. So don’t waste time staring at the blank page, struggling to come up with a scene that is alluding you. Just move on and come back to it. Also, while you’re writing Chapter One you might think of a scene that isn’t going to happen until the end of the book. But the details are so clear to you – the dialogue and the setting. So don’t wait to write it until you reach the end of the book. Go ahead and write it while it’s fresh on your mind (even though by the time you get to that scene other elements of the book may force it to change). Then you can slip it into place later.

Often while I’m writing one book I’ll get an idea for another one. ALWAYS write down your idea and any details that come with it. I promise you that you will not be able to remember it all when you finish the current book (at least I never can). Don’t get distracted and start actually working on another book. Just jot down the basic idea and then get back to work. Because writing is work. Sometimes its also fun – but its always work.

Next week I’m going to take an idea (one that I know I will never use and that is probably not even all that good) and show you how I would develop it and turn it into a book.

Double Chocolate Coke Cake

1 cup Coke (caffeine free is fine – not diet)
1/2 cup oil
1 stick butter
3 Tablespoon cocoa
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla


1 stick butter
3 Tablespoon cocoa
6 Tablespoon of whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 3/4 cups confectioner's sugar

In a saucepan, mix Coke, oil, butter and cocoa and bring to a boil. In another bowl, combine the sugar, flour and salt. Pour the boiling Cola mixture over the flour mixture and beat well. Add buttermilk, eggs, soda and vanilla and beat well. Pour mixture into a greased and floured 13 x 9 inch baking pan and bake at 350 degrees or 20 to 25 minutes. Remove pan from oven and cool for about 10 minutes before frosting.

Frosting: In a saucepan, combine the butter, cocoa, and milk. Heat until the butter melts. Beat in the remaining ingredients and spread on the cake. Serve warm or cold (great with vanilla ice cream).

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