Wednesday, 19 August 2015

The Shape of Books to Come

After all the high of publishing book two I am in the process of finishing off the first draft of my next book. Funnily enough it is number three in the DI Shona McKenzie Mysteries. This has got me thinking of how we, as authors, shape our books. How do they come about. Well I can only speak for myself but this is how it goes for me.

To start with it is a bit like God in Genesis. Nothing exists. Not even a thought of what this could be about. Panic may set in. Then a few gentle tendrils of thoughts start to wind around the authors brain. These seem almost formless, like spectres, but slowly start to take shape and become more solid. After days, weeks or months there are enough of these to form a solid lump, like the clay in the image  above.

In writing the first draft the author makes this shapeless lump grow larger every day. It also starts to take on a loose shape. Something which is roughly recognisable and yet isn't.

Then comes the hard work. The part which makes the finished manuscript the beautiful finally displayed product at the end. This is the editing. The writer goes over and over the manuscript and the book becomes more recognisable each time. Finally the finished product will emerge and is ready to be baked (printed)  and put on display.

Whilst I am writing one book I often find myself thinking about ideas for the next book. I jot these down and by the time I come to write the book I have enough there to build on. I also have ideas for another series and am jotting things down about the next protagonist. My mind never seems to stop. 

This may seem simplistic but it is true. The feeling of forming, shaping and moulding a manuscript into a fully formed book is like no other. It is exciting at the start, it is hard work in the middle, and a mixture of relief and pure joy at the end. Being a writer is a heady experience. It is not all highs, but the moments of excitement and joy far outstrip the ones where you don't think you can write another word. I, and I am sure most other writers, think it is the best job in the world. 

Another writing blog my Bookaholic friends. However, I am reading an excellent book by Lin Anderson at the moment. I will be back soon with a review. Until then keep reading and writing.