Want to finish your first book?

Can’t finish that book you’ve been writing? Or just don’t know where to start?FirstDraftin30Days

The resource I used to complete my first first draft was Karen Wiesner‘s First Draft in 30 Days. It took me about 90 days, but I did it! The book is a road-map, if you will, of how to write your first draft. What consumed time for me was research and plot questions. I’ve now learned that I’ll research after the first draft is complete because sometimes I change my mind. Then I lose that research time. But everyone is different, so whatever works for you. But this book allowed me to write THE END for the first time.

So when Karen states “write an outline” for each scene, that’s what she means. The more detailed your writing in this stage, the longer this draft will take. Write how the characters start at the beginning of the scene and then how they end up at the conclusion of the scene.

PlotAndStructureThe only thing that “got me” was the book did not discuss plot. Of course, the point of the book is to get your novel written, Karen could not go over everything in one book! So I ended up using the three act method that James Scott Bell describes in his Plot and Structure book.

Plot and Structure is an awesome book that details the mechanics of structuring your plot. A must-have for all novelists. See the table of contents on Amazon.

There is another book that appears similar to Karen’s entitled Book in a Month, but I’ve not seen this one and Karen’s was out when I needed the help. Karen has written a follow up book, From First Draft to Finished Novel. I completed two novels prior to this books publishing, but the concept sounds great for a first-time author! And you can see the table of contents on Amazon.

GettingIntoCharacterThe final piece of the puzzle for me has been tension. Brandilyn Collins has a book entitled Getting into Character. This book is another must-have. Brandilyn talks about action objectives within plotting. Building the story scene by scene, based on what the character wants in each scene—then introducing conflict to get in the way of fulfilling that desire. In every scene.

If you’ve used these resources, drop a line to let me know what you think!


2 Responses to “Want to finish your first book?”

  1. I haven’t used those…thanks for the tips, though. Those look great as writing resources.

    If anyone is looking for a great getting published resource, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Getting Published is great…really. lol

    Great post, Heidi!

  2. Heidi, thanks for including my book Getting into Character in your post. I’m glad you’ve found the book helpful. Blessings,

    ~ Brandilyn

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