So, you finally did it. You sat down and started typing or writing that first sentence, paragraph, page, or maybe even a whole chapter! Maybe you just sat down and typed out your outline, that’s a great start! But, where do you go from here? Well, here’s how it went for me…..
I sat down and typed out a rough outline of how I wanted my book to go, where to start, and where to end. From there, I started typing. It wasn’t too hard since my book is a memoir. I had all of the memories, it was just a matter of putting those memories down on paper and making it interesting for the reader. That’s A LOT harder than it sounds. I contacted a few big-time authors, with New York Times Best Sellers, that were willing to give me some sound advice. The piece of advice I heard the most was: “Don’t tell the reader your story….SHOW the reader your story.”
HUH? What does THAT even mean? I’ve read plenty of books, in my life, so I don’t know why this confused me so much….maybe because I’m blonde. I kept thinking, “I am showing them, aren’t I?” I would read back what I wrote and realize that it wasn’t painting a picture for my audience. Okay, I think I’m starting to get it. Easy peasy! But….it’s not as easy as it sounds. I would erase a sentence and try to “show” the audience my memory. My husband would read it and say, “nope, you’re not showing me.” UGH! I was getting frustrated. It’s like I couldn’t figure it out. What’s more frustrating is that I’ve read plenty of books that do this so why can’t I?
My frustration led me to a meet up, where a bunch of authors and wanna-be authors got together, read each other’s pieces, and then critiqued those pieces. I started doing this on a weekly basis, at a local college. It was very eye-opening for me. I met a lot of great people who were fantastic writers. I thought it would be hard to hear the things they had to say about my rough draft but I found it very enlightening and helpful. I kept going to this meet up for a little over a month.
I thought I had my book where I wanted it so I submitted it into the DoD (Department of Defense) since my book has a lot of war stories in it (A process that deserves its own blog post). This is it! I finished writing my book in less than a year and I’ll be ready to publish it soon! Let’s not get too cocky, Heidi……you have a long road ahead of you and you don’t even know it.