Have you ever wondered how an author comes up with a book idea? Perhaps how he or she determines the plot? How about the characters, the setting, the theme?
These elements of a book come about in any number of ways. For instance, I have read many famous authors insist on writing a certain number of pages each day. Others insist on writing laying down, standing up, walking, or in the bathtub! Some authors determine a theme first and then develop the characters and plot afterwards. Some authors see a character first, and then develop a story around them. Is there a best way? I have no way of knowing. I only know what works best for me.
I do know authors have a tendency of utilizing little tidbits of their own past as fodder for their stories. In my book, Worth Your Salt, I wrote about a dishwasher in a truck stop and a short-order cook named Fermin. I could write about these characters faithfully because I worked with Fermin in a truck stop in Texas in the early 1970s. In my book, Deserve the Dream, I wrote about a young boy who could ride full grown bulls at a young age. I know this because I went to the American Junior Rodeo Association’s National Finals at the Scurry County Coliseum in July of 1984 and saw a young boy ride an incredible bull as if it was nothing. In my book, A Willing Woman, I wrote about a man offering people the chance to earn $1,000,000.00 in four hours at his mansion. I wrote this book because early in my life I was surrounded by millionaires who were all trying to help people earn millions of dollars quickly. In my next book, called, It’s Coming… I read an article in a magazine that so astonished me it caused me to spend over a year in research. When I was finished, I had to write the story which you will likely never be able to forget! I know I won’t! Therefore, if you are inclined to write a novel, use pieces of your life to lend credibility to your story.
I will say this to those aspiring writers out there, if you have it in your mind to write a book, do yourself a favor. Read. Read a lot. The best writers are the best readers. Pay attention to how authors tell a story. See the characters in your mind. Feel the emotions they feel. Remember, your reader cannot envision your characters, or feel their emotional state, unless you the writer feel it first.
I’m going to admit something to you that a lot of male writers are not willing to admit. When I am writing a story which I know will have an emotional impact on the reader, I do not try to hold back my tears during the writing. I am there! Nobody can see me cry (because I’m not actually there, right?) so, I can cry buckets. When I do this, the reader, You, will have the same feeling I had while I was writing the story. So, do yourself a huge favor and dive into the story. Don’t try to control your emotions. Run with them. The book will be all it can be, and you’ll be delighted you did.
If I have touched you in some way while reading any of my books, please, please, please, PLEASE, come back to this site and tell me about it. I thoroughly enjoy hearing from my readers. Why? Because I take it personal that you chose to read my books. You could have picked a million other authors, but you chose me! You see, I really do write my books for those of you who love them. Further, I will continue to do so. In fact, I asked this one lady who wrote me several times if she would like to be a character in one of my books. You can look for this tiny Hispanic woman in one of my next books—it will be her!
Are you next…?