I do my fair share of events, which encompass everything from book signings to me teaching creative writing. The question I’m asked most often is how one goes about writing a book. Therefore, for the first time ever I present photographic evidence of my writing process:
The larger white lined page is a timeline for the fourth Parthalan book, Golem…and it goes on for five more pages. The colored circles each represent a different character and the illegible scrawl comprises the main conflict in each chapter. Add to this the three smaller notebooks (full of character details and outlines) and the barest corner of my planner (to ensure I don’t miss any deadlines), and one thing becomes apparent: in order to write a book, you need to do a lot of writing that will never make it into the book.
The moral of the story is that writers need to write lots and lots and LOTS of words before they generate the magic 80k or so that end up as a finished novel. There are no shortcuts, you can’t get “lucky” and have your first uncorrected, typo-ridden draft picked up by a Big Five publisher (at least, none of the first drafts I’ve ever seen would be picked up), and you can’t hire an editor to magically fix plot holes and continuity errors. There is no substitute for sitting in your chair and doing the work yourself.
Is any of this easy? No, it’s not. But after you’ve done the work and beaten every last plot twist and character flaw uppity punctuation mark into submission, you will have done the impossible, and made your imagination real.