How do I write a book?

Second Chance v2With The Second Chance Shoe Shop out on 8 April, I’m already on to writing my next book. As 40,000 words turn into 50,000 words, I find this the lowest point of writing a first draft.

I aim for 80,000 words with a first draft, usually growing to 90,000 on second draft. But 40,000 words is too close to half way to get the racing towards the end feeling.

At 45,000 words I am half way with 45,000 words to go. 60,000 words is near to three quarters of the way through. Once past 40,000 words, I have done more words than I have to left to do. Once I get to 60,000, there are only 30,000 words left to write. Psychological babble? Yes, but it works for me. Because that ten thousand in the middle feels like I’m pulling teeth.

When it comes to writing a book, I’m a planner and a plotter. I know for some writers this takes away the creative element but for me it is vital to me getting it down. Yet I use the plan loosely. If by writing one scene, I get an idea for another scene that isn’t part of my plan, I write it. This usually leads me on to the next and the next and fills in some of the gaps quite nicely.

There are times however, when I get to a bullet point, something that I need to happen then and I realise that I’m nowhere near it in terms of timeline and setting it up. But I have to write it. If, why I’m writing it, ideas don’t come along, I leave it for the second draft. I’m at that place now, going from 40,000 to 50,000 words.

IMG_0733Today I will need good discipline to sit down and do it. Today I will need Dexter, the office dog, to watch over me, supervise me when I run off to make another cup of coffee to postpone the agony of getting another 500 words down on that word count.

I will need ‘bum glue’ – I’m certain of that. But who said this writing lark is always fun? For me, the fun begins again at 60,000. Once the initial rush of the beginning has gone and the middle muddle starts to fade away with the self doubt, this is the time when I think that this actually might turn into another book. It will need a lot of work after this first draft but that’s what second drafts are all about. And third, and fourth and…



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