I’m in the middle of writing a very intense book. When I write, especially when it consumes me, I tend to lose track of the details of life. Like, I had to re-wash a load of towels in my washing machine three times before I remembered to put them in the drier. Or, like, I have bought store-bought bread (unheard of for me) twice this week because I keep forgetting that I need to make bread until it’s way too late at night. Or, like, I didn’t realize I needed to clear two-days’ worth of debris off my desk until I didn’t have room to put my water cup. And, sigh, like the fact that today is my turn to blog on Inspy Romance! I probably won’t readily admit that I’m writing this post about 19 hours before it actually posts. (cringe)
So, in the midst of this book I’m writing that is consuming me and I’m trying desperately to stop thinking about it when the school bus gets here at 3:15 in the afternoon (and failing horribly – I always feel sorry for my family during these week-long stretches of consumed writing), I couldn’t think of a blog post to write. So, I shot out to my fans out there what they’d like me to write about. Here was one of the questions:
Do you have the full story already in mind or does it just come along as you write? I am not a writer and I wonder how many authors write – whether the intricately woven details are there before or during writing…?
I love this question, because every single author out there is different, so you can ask it to everyone and get a different answer. Here’s mine:
I know the entire story all at one time. I cannot explain it. One day, my husband and I were brainstorming for series ideas. He said, “It would be cool if you could come up with something about the heavenly virtues. You know, faith, hope, mercy, etc.”
IMMEDIATELY, and I don’t mean that lightly, the ENTIRE series for my Virtues and Valor series came to mind. Immediately. I had the characters, their histories, what they looked like, how they talked, how they moved, what motivated them, and the plots to all seven of their books.
One time, I was looking through the phone book for a last name, and planned to write a series. I found the name “Renkoff”. About six weeks later, I had three books written. (I’ll actually be releasing this series sometime in 2016).
The hard part, for me, is taking this whole.giant.jumble.of.everything.together and unraveling it so that it makes sense and flows for the readers. Because, *I* know what happens and how it happens and how everyone feels while it’s happening and what the room looks like while it’s happening. I see it in my head, hear it in my ears, smell it in my nose, feel it in my heart. It’s all right there.
So, what I do, is take a program I use that allows me to look at “note cards” on a “bulletin board” and very quickly type out the gist of the plot. These are in no way complete, but they are almost in order. I type really fast and just write a summary of everything like I see it.
Then I go into each of those chapters and write, adding action, dialogue, setting, feelings, thoughts, etc., to that bare bones summary that I’ve typed out gets fleshed out and allows the reader to hear, see, smell, feel, and think the things I already know.
It’s one of the reasons I’m able to write so fast, I think. Because it’s all right there. I don’t have to stop and figure it out. I just have to convey it to the reader, and through the grace of God, I have that ability.
One commenter will win a paperback of the ENTIRE Virtues and Valor series, which will include the SURPRISE book #8, Valor’s Vigil, which releases on November 8th!
Can he protect her without risking his own cover, or will he place his own life in danger to keep her safe?