Thursday, June 20, 2019

How Do You Write a Book by Sally Shupe

Are you strapped for time? See no way clear to write a few hundred words, much less a whole book? Does the thought of sitting down and writing just a few words seem daunting beyond belief?

My niece is getting married in a few weeks and I helped with the bridal shower. From carrying the supplies in, to setting everything up, to taking everything down and carrying it back out to the car, there were so many tasks to complete in a short amount of time. I learned quickly to delegate, break the tasks down into manageable parts. All the heavy cases of Coke, Mt. Dew, water, were much easier to carry when you only carried them a short distance and handed them off to someone else, instead of having to carry them the whole way inside and then to the back of the room.

How does this relate to writing? I’m glad you asked! If you write better during a certain part of the day, guard that spot and write. Do you write better knowing how many words you’ve written per day? Keep a tab of how many words you’ve written and reach your goal each day. If writing in scenes makes more sense to you, write and finish scenes each time you sit down to write. Just make sure you sit down and write.

You don’t have to pen a whole book at one time. Writing a book is an enormous task. Break it up into manageable parts. Need to do some research for your book? Do the research. Need to know what the market would be for your book, or how old the characters should be for the publisher you are targeting, or not quite sure how to tie in that pesky cat down the street to your story? Take time to do the research. And sit down and write. Which is the most important part, because if you don’t write, you have no story. Just like the old joke How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. so you write a book. One word at a time. You can do this!

If you’re planning to run a marathon, each time you run, your end goal is in mind. I’m doing this kind of training on this day so at a later point, I can run 26.2 miles. The same with a book. You have your end goal in mind each day you get up early, or stay up late, or squeeze time in to get that completed manuscript that you then have to edit. Each word, sentence, paragraph, scene, chapter gets you closer to your goal. Having your end goal in mind gives you perspective for each part that you need to complete before it all comes together.

God didn’t do it all in one day. So, you don’t either. If a few words at a time work for you, do that. If you prefer writing by scenes, do that. Whatever process works for you, do that. But do it consistently. Write consistently. Just do it. And before you know it, you’ll have that finished book that you always wanted. Go for it!

Sally Shupe lives in southwest Virginia with her husband, two grown kids-a daughter still at home and a son nearby, and a whole bunch of pets: five dogs, three cats, a rabbit, and birds at the birdfeeder (and the mandatory snowman when the snow cooperates). She writes contemporary Christian romance, with two completed manuscripts and three more in progress. They are part of a series located in small town Virginia.

When Sally’s not writing or working full-time, she is a freelance editor for several authors who write fiction and nonfiction; students working on dissertation papers; a copy editor for Desert Breeze; a content editor for Prism (became part of Pelican); performs beta reading for various authors; publishes book reviews on her blog and with Valley Business FRONT’s monthly magazine; is a member of ACFW and a PRO member of RWA; loves genealogy, running, and crocheting.

Sally uses her love of words to write about God’s amazing love.

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