Is there a right or wrong way to write a book? I don’t think so. Do you use an outline? Do you write scenes as they come to you and then put them all together in the end? Do you start with an idea and then just write? I stick to the latter.
I get an idea and then think about it for a few days. Usually, I know the main conflict and what I want the ending to be. In general. But it’s not a very structured process. I let my characters speak to me. Does that work for me? So far, it does. And this is what I’ve found: a good book is almost like good sex. Work with me here.
First, you and the author (your partner) ease into things by introducing yourselves to one another. Foreplay. Even if you have, umm, worked together before, you still want to have that introductory period where you feel out each other’s needs and get to know what you both want at that very moment. You’re getting to know the characters and feeling out what’s going on.
Things are smooth now and you get into a rhythm. Then, there is that moment when you feel like your happy place is beginning to start and things get interesting. Now things start to get really fun where you work with your body and your partner to get ‘er done. The moment is easing toward you; the plot thickens and tensions begin to rise. You fight it because you want to make it last as long as you can. This is where the conflict is bursting with, “Oh, no! Such-and-such is happening! This is great!” You almost feel afraid that the phone will ring or your visiting aunt will burst through the door and make you lose your oh-so happy feeling.
Now it’s building. Building. The conflict is so much that your brain yearns for a resolution. And then, the sweet climax of the story breaks over you and you like, “Oh my gawd! Did that just happen? Oh yeah. It’s happening.”
And now your body, I mean your brain, is so full of what just happen, you cruise down from Mr. Happy Place and breathe a sigh of relief. If you’re lucky, you may even have a partner, an author I mean, that teases you and brings you to the place of, “Oh no he didn’t!”, again But that’s ok. If said author can make it happen without sounding cheesy, then you are golden.
Now everything is calm. You’ve gotten to know characters. You’ve built that tension. Your favorite characters have survived. And now things are good. Everyone has grown in some way. They’ve learned that either they suck and need a better teacher, or that all they’ve gone through has made them better; brought them to a happier place. Everyone is happy.
You may even reread that there book again. And again. And… you get me.
Right now, I’m reading CJ Ellisson’s latest book, Death’s Servant. I love all of her books and each of them has given me that feeling. One day, when I’m ready to make it last, I’ll reread Stephen King’s It. It is the best book I have ever read, but it can rival The Bible in pages.
How does your favorite book make you feel? Better yet, if you’re an author, how do you feel when you write? Do you feel like you’re moving toward a place of satisfaction that only the completion of writing a book can bring? That’s how I feel when I write. And boy-oh-boy, I love that feeling.