How to write a book

Happy 2017!

I've been off the grid for a while, but I'm back and have rejoined the Round Robin Blog Fest for the New Year! This month's theme is:
Everybody wants to write a book, but most do not. Writing is hard work. What gets you started and what helps you get through a complete story?

While I was tossing around how to answer this, I found a great Stephen King line in his book "On Writing":  "My earliest memory is of imagining I was someone else." I grew up on an acreage in rural Alberta, Canada. I biked, I hiked, I picked berries. I was an introvert with little else to do but read and daydream. In those daydreams, I was a detective, a movie star, a princess, but most of the time I was a singer. More precisely, a rock star.

Forty some years later, I've written about rock stars (in a book never published) and about detectives in my Wild Blue Mystery series. I've lived my life vicariously through various characters. I've even published several books, which was one of my biggest dreams come true. Too bad I can't be interviewed on the Oprah Show anymore though. Dream #2.

Writing is hard work!

I get started on a story when something or someone appeals to me. Usually, my stories start with a "what if." What if I go to work and there's a dead body on the floor? (See Can't Keep A Brunette Down) What if someone were stalking me? (See The Mystery Lady)

What helps me get through a complete story are things like attending my local writing group meetings as well as interactions in daily life and having a few hours of quiet time each week to actually write! I love to have time to go for a walk and let my imagination flow. In my writing group, we use prompts and free write for fifteen to twenty minutes at a time. As a result of these blocks of time to write and let the words flow, I've created all six of my published novels.

Support is a huge part of being a writer. Sometimes to complete a novel, it helps to have a friend or writing group to keep you motivated or use as a sounding board to discuss ideas. You also need great friends and family who respect your writing time. Lastly, you also need a lot of quiet time to think and create!

Speaking of which, time to get back to work on Book #7!
Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to blog hop around to meet some of my writing friends!


  1. Diane, I told myself stories for years before it occurred to me to actually write them down. Clearly a failure of imagination on my part. Thanks for your post.

  2. All of my story ideas originate from the question "what if." It's a powerful question. :)


  3. So very true - one of the values of reading is that you can go places and see things you'd never get to do in person. But in writing it, you get to DO things and BE people that your physical self will never achieve. It's an awesome journey.

  4. I'm also an introvert who likes to walk for ideas (which is why I'm probably out of them lately--not walking), and I agree support is essential.

  5. You are so right about the support. I couldn't do what I do without my writing group and writing pals. Love your dream #2. Would have liked that, myself.

  6. Diane, I've always thought "rock star" was an excellent description for an asteroid. I can just see you whizzing through the solar system, having fun.

  7. H Diane, from another Albertan.
    I enjoyed your post and that writing is hard work.

  8. I know I would never have pushed to be published if it had not been for my writing group. That support is invaluable and I've always found that when you get stuck, if you throw it out there to your author friends, you get prompts and suggestions that enables you to continue. I never wanted to be a rock star, but I did want to be an author. Now that dream has come true, my next dream is to go to Bali!


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