Essays, Misc

How Do You Begin A New Book Project?: Discussion

As I was finishing up a small section of the last book in my trilogy, I was thinking about how hard it is to start writing a new book. Even though I’ve got ideas and am anxious to see this project completed, it’s difficult to fill page after page with words. Especially since I’ve forgotten how much I enjoy writing short fiction. πŸ™‚

Because I’m not a big planner, when it comes to writing books, I often start by writing scenes. Small sections of key story points which I will organize and develop later. My initial goal in doing this is to get the story out without getting bogged down by details. I don’t worry about word count or finishing entire chapters. It’s more important for me to capture the mood, themes and characters and figure out how to move one story point to the next.

This got me thinking: How do other writers begin their novels? How do they organize, plan and write their books? What’s their primary goal when they sit down to begin a project? I want to know! Please share your thoughts and experiences. πŸ™‚

10 thoughts on “How Do You Begin A New Book Project?: Discussion

  1. So, my initial reaction was :just sit down and write. But that doesn’t always work. Most of the time it does, but then I write myself into a box, and I have to stop. Mind mapping is what does it for me. I’m not sure how I ever figured out a story. The day I found a mind-mapping software was truly a revolutionary day for me being able to move forward in my writing life!


  2. Dyane, the truth is I have absolutely no plan. I think about a novel project and a character, and I start writing. I know it’s a piss poor approach but I feel comfy that way. I’ve recently started notecards which seem to help with the short stories but my novels are…gah, who knows where.



    1. Piss poor works for me! I love writing that way. Though I discovered that when writing a series, I have to be more organized so I have resorted to more planning and note-taking (though I do it resentfully! Lol)


  3. I like to kind of meditate over the story. I give myself a few days to a few weeks, and if the idea of the story keeps coming back to me, I give it more thought. Start planning out a novel, writing out a few scenes, maybe, that kind of stuff. That usually helps me decide if the story is worthy enough for me to invest the time of making it into an actual novel.


    1. I like that you meditate on things (which is something I can relate to) and that you give the ideas time to see if they resonate with you by coming back to mind over time. Do you spend a lot of time planning your stories or do you sort of write as things come to you? Or both?


  4. I’m getting ready to start my second book, so this has also been on my mind. For me, starting a new project involves spending some time reading up on factual stuff for details that I think will go into the book. Then I’ll probably spend a brief amount of time outlining. I did this with my first book, just to keep me from wandering too much, but I didn’t really follow the outline very much. I consider book one pantsed, for the most part. The outline is there to remind me which way is forward, so I don’t spend all my time going sideways, but things didn’t happen the way I had outlined the first time around (will be interesting to see how it happens the second time). Sounds like an exercise in futility when worded like that, but there you go. As for goals, I don’t really have any other than a daily word-count. I just write, and generally let the story go where it wants. It’s much for fun for me, that way.


    1. Not an exercise in futility at all! Outlines are great for reminding us of where to go and how to get there but there should always be wiggle room for those moments of inspiration. Even if they take us on tangents. It is a lot more fun to write like that, IMO. πŸ™‚


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