Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Beginning to write a book

Even More Conversation about Beginning to Write a Book . . .


Beginning to write a book This conversation began on August 22nd, continued on August 24th, and persisted on August 26th

For those new to this blog, the conversation continues from post to post, when there’s at least one comment…

There was a comment on the August 26th post…

However, also for those new to this blog, that last post was published on the wrong day…

Blog conversation posts are supposed to happen on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays…

If you check the dates for this year, 2018, the post on the 22nd was on a Wednesday and the one on the 24th was on a Friday; but, the post on the 26th was on a Sunday…

So, final reveal for you new folks — I committed a Huge Goof and published that last post a day ahead of time; yet, I’ve recovered my sanity and am publishing this one on a Wednesday :-)

Whew

…you may want to take those date links up there and check all the readers’ comments on the other posts of this conversation…

Let’s continue the discussion with the comment from the 26th by using a bit of that reader’s comment from the 24th, since the reader, an author and publisher from Germany, spelled this out:

“The beginning of the pre-beginning is usually a strong emotion like anger or a ‘discovery’. Discoveries might be potentially insignificant like the relative sizes of trees; or, in one case the name of a street. I make a mental note and keep my eyes open in case other ideas start sticking to the first idea. This may happen soon or take a year or two. Then one day the accumulated ideas have gained weight and signal to me that they want to be written down. I try to ignore the urge. Instead, I allow the idea cluster to develop strands. At the right time, I sit down and write it all down.”

Here’s that reader’s comment from the last post in this discussion:

“I want to address your question whether I have begun more than one book. In the very first stage of book conception, when ideas take root and slowly gather other ideas, there are sometimes more than one growing idea cluster. Sometimes they merge – losing some of their strands – sometimes one simply vanishes. Some vanished ideas return later, either in their old form; or, in another form…

“I have never yet worked on more than one fully developed book idea and I’m not sure – given my way of working – if I would be able to handle two books at the same time.”

I find this author’s method’s intriguing; but, not something I could ever accomplish…

There was an author from Australia, who commented after the post on the 24th…

Again, a method of beginning to write a book that fascinates me; but, is something I couldn’t do…

I did touch on my way of beginning my novel back at the beginning of this discussion, on the 22nd…

However, if you go to the post on the 24th, the author from the United Kingdom described a way of beginning that I could probably do; but, would rather not… :-)

I began this whole discussion with these words:

“This new conversation could be wide-ranging since all authors are unique, even if they work hard to copy one another; though, the effort to copy the style of a good author could eventually lead to one’s own trustworthy voice…

“Also, each person is capable of devising some extremely unique ways of beginning—there really are no magic step-by-step methods to book writing (though, some excellent authors have given some fertile hints at possible preludes to certain beginnings…).”

So…

Would you like to share your way of beginning to write a book and help this conversation continue…?

And, if you’ve never begun a book, would you care to share what you imagine should have to happen to get you going…?

See you Friday; though, tomorrow we’ll have a very cool re-blog…
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Still More Conversation about Beginning to Write a Book . . .


mind map Our discussion about beginning to write a book began on August 22nd and continued on August 24th.

In the first post we had two authors comment—one from Germany, one from the United Kingdom.

And, in the last post, we had a comment from an author in Australia:

My first ideas for a book usually centre around an image or images. If I can’t see the image that represents some kind of metaphor I want to use in the premise for the book then I can’t envisage the book. As I collect images, perhaps on paper or in a mind map, I also begin to think of events that these images could be in. The images are then listed with a colour next to them ( say a red circle or a green cross or star ) then those colour codes are also placed next to the events. an event which has a lot of coloured symbols is obviously one that has rich meaning for the work at hand. Once I have a list of images and events and metaphors that are closely interlinked like a colourful spider web, I begin to get excited because then I know that the world I am trying to create has a dense meaning. I have tried to explain this to another writer many years ago and they could not follow this … so it may seem obtuse :-) Perhaps it’s hard for a writer to describe how they begin!

No doubt it can be hard for a writer to describe how they begin; but, I feel this author did a sterling job of sketching out her method.

Still, I do wonder how many folks could adequately “see” what the method does—the image up there may help… a little(that mind map at the top of this post is not from the author who wrote today’s comment…)

I know this author and I do understand her, especially when she mentions mind maps…

Plus, if I may, I’ll clarify that the colors she associates with her connected collection of images is also on her mind maps, visual coding.

My take on her use of images is that it’s something she naturally accomplishes; and, it feeds her writing mind—personally, I go way out in my mind on many planes of abstraction; then, I let the words flow out to create my images.

Thank goodness authors are so unique—it gives us such marvelously creative books :-)

And, I’m hoping a few readers who’ve never written a book will imagine how they’d begin; and, share that imagination…

Plus, here are a few prompts for others’ comments:

What are the unique circumstances of your book’s beginnings…?

Why did you begin a book…?

Why do you want to begin a book…?

Have you begun more than one book…?

How have the different books’ beginnings begun…?

Reminder: it only takes one comment on this post to keep the conversation going…

[NOTE: I wrote and published this post a day ahead of time—it should have been published tomorrow…
Conversations happen here, normally, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays…
So, as I blush… I close with a “See ya on Wednesday”; but, there will be valuable re-blogs until then………]
If anyone should comment on this post, the comment will appear in Wednesday’s post…
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If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…
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For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
OR >>> Send me a free Voice Message

More Conversation about Beginning to Write a Book . . .


This discussion about beginning to write a book began August 22nd; and, you may want to read the post at that linked date to catch up… 

For those who don’t like to take links, here’s how I introduced the discussion:

“This…conversation could be wide-ranging…

“…each person is capable of devising some extremely unique ways of beginning—there really are no magic step-by-step methods to book writing…

“…of course the beginning-to-write depends on what’s to be written—poetry, fiction, non-fiction, metafiction—each category full of endlessly unique opportunities which all could demand particularly singular beginning efforts…

“…the actual beginning of beginning to write a book can be many things:

— capturing the concept of the book

— organizing the ideas of the book

— realizing the fullness of the book’s theme(s)

— admitting to yourself that a book is waiting to be written

— finalizing the sometimes painful process of realizing you actually should write a book

And, there are very special circumstances when a book seems to refuse to let itself be begun…”

So, since it only takes one comment on any conversation post to continue the discussion, I was glad to see two comments for this one…

The first response was from an author/publisher in Germany:

“The beginning of the pre-beginning is usually a strong emotion like anger or a ‘discovery’. Discoveries might be potentially insignificant like the relative sizes of trees; or, in one case the name of a street. I make a mental note and keep my eyes open in case other ideas start sticking to the first idea. This may happen soon or take a year or two. Then one day the accumulated ideas have gained weight and signal to me that they want to be written down. I try to ignore the urge. Instead, I allow the idea cluster to develop strands. At the right time, I sit down and write it all down.

“There have been stillbirths and false starts. One false start had to wait for a year before I could rewrite it into (what I think, at least) my most important book to date.”

I was expecting methods of beginning to write a book to be different than mine; but, this one surprised me by being something I could never imagine doing myself—gathering ideas for over a year; then, adding idea-strands to the cluster—it seems impossible to me to hold all that in a mind without writing anything down… :-)

Though, this author must have a quite remarkable mind…

The second comment came from an author in the United Kingdom:

“My books usually start with a person or a situation. They are the ones that get finished. Perhaps more interesting are the ones that come to a halt. One stopped because I was trying to write like Stephen King and felt it was a pale imitation. Another stopped because i found the story less interesting than I had hoped and didn’t have any idea how to spice it up. I was writing about someone with a love of houses but couldn’t convey the delight they had when looking over property for sale. I needed to go round some but didn’t really have an excuse. I didn’t want to lie or waste an agent’s time!

“The ones that get finished usually make a point, like how we treat the disabled or how to beware of scammers, even how to cope with redundancy! When I’m writing with a purpose the story gets completed.

“I’m not writing one at present – waiting for inspiration.”

Much about this author’s beginnings makes sense to me; yet, much of the detail is very different from my approaches…

If you’d like to know a bit about my approaches, check out the first post in this discussion

So, to hopefully encourage you to add a comment to this part of our conversation, I’ll list the questions I asked in the first part of it:

Have you had a book’s beginning happen to you…?

What could you imagine as the process of beginning to write a book…?

Are there some ultra-special factors in your wanting to begin a book…?

What are the unique circumstances of your book’s beginnings…?

How long does it take for a book to begin…?

How do you think the beginning a book should begin…?

Why did you begin a book…?

Why do you want to begin a book…?

Yes, I’m strange enough to think that the why-of-the-beginning is part of the beginning…

Have you begun more than one book…?

How have the different books’ beginnings begun…?

And, to add just one more:

If you’ve never written a book, how would you Imagine beginning the process………?
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If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…
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For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
OR >>> Send me a free Voice Message

Blog Conversation about Beginning to Write a Book . . .


Our last conversation—favorite books and authors—ended on August 20th, due to a lack of comments; but, the discussion we did have was interesting… Beginning to write a book

This new conversation could be wide-ranging since all authors are unique, even if they work hard to copy one another; though, the effort to copy the style of a good author could eventually lead to one’s own trustworthy voice…

Also, each person is capable of devising some extremely unique ways of beginning—there really are no magic step-by-step methods to book writing (though, some excellent authors have given some fertile hints at possible preludes to certain beginnings…).

And, of course the beginning-to-write depends on what’s to be written—poetry, fiction, non-fiction, metafiction—each category full of endlessly unique opportunities which all could demand particularly singular beginning efforts…

I began writing my first poetry book every time I composed one of the poems, then again when I worked to organize the order they should appear in…

I began writing my novel three times, with two stillbirths and the third beginning that continued to write itself…

My book of Strange Fantasies began as one fantasy a week, in the posts of this blog; as did my 95 tales of the Story Bazaar which is only a “book” because it’s waiting to be organized as its own entity…

I’m beginning to write my second poetry book by reading many of my favorite author’s books; though, beginnings of the beginning have found their way onto a page, waiting to see if they need to change…

But, my writing aside, the actual beginning of beginning to write a book can be many things:

— capturing the concept of the book

— organizing the ideas of the book

— realizing the fullness of the book’s theme(s)

— admitting to yourself that a book is waiting to be written

— finalizing the sometimes painful process of realizing you actually should write a book

And, there are very special circumstances when a book seems to refuse to let itself be begun…

Yet, I realize that these ideas I’m spinning out may not capture any particular writer’s manner of beginning to write a book…

Have you had a book’s beginning happen to you…?

What could you imagine as the process of beginning to write a book…?

Are there some ultra-special factors in your wanting to begin a book…?

What are the unique circumstances of your book’s beginnings…?

How long does it take for a book to begin…?

How do you think the beginning a book should begin…?

Why did you begin a book…?

Why do you want to begin a book…?

Yes, I’m strange enough to think that the why-of-the-beginning is part of the beginning…

Have you begun more than one book…?

How have the different books’ beginnings begun…?

O.K., gotta stop playing around with the various forms of begin :-)

And, don’t forget, all it takes is one comment to keep this conversation going………
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If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
OR >>> Send me a free Voice Message