Recently I have spoken with several people who told me they also wanted to write and asked how to get started. My best advice is just TO START. Write something. Open a directory on your computer and start a Notes page. Think about your plot as you drive to and from work. Jot down character studies, location ideas, plot ideas. Get something – anything – on paper. That’s what editing is for, to make sense of your crazy first draft.
Some writers outline every nuance and plot twist chapter by chapter spending days or weeks getting it just right before they ever write a word. I have written thirty books, and I have never done an outline. I might have an idea for a plot: Girl goes on BDSM cruise with her girlfriend. Across the deck she sees the guy who stood her up for prom fifteen years ago and broke her little teenage heart. That’s it. Write Chapter One and GO. That is the plot for Cassandra’s Revenge, Book 4 of The Golden Dolphin Series. I have to say it’s one of my favorite books. Who among us hasn’t had her little heartbroken at one time or another and wanted some payback. Well, here I got it for all of us.
In Violette’s Vibrato, Book 3 of the Golden Dolphin series, my heroine (First Violin with the NY Philharmonic) was in trouble with a guy in the Russian Mob. The story was coming along well. The Hero and heroine were great together. AND THEN I didn’t know how to finish it off. How the heck was I going to solve the problem? How do you get rid of the Russian mob? It wasn’t any easier in my book than I expect it would be in real life. I thought and thought (this is the part where I wish I’d outlined) and then one morning I woke up early and just knew what to do. My subconscious had worked out a solution. I rushed to jot it down – if I don’t my brilliant ideas drift off into space never to be seen again.
It really doesn’t matter how you approach the project. The outliner spends a ton of time getting ready to write. The pantster just goes for it. Either way, you have to spend the time. I sometimes find that in the middle of a book I don’t know where I’m going or what to do next. Then I have to spend the time figuring it out that the outliner has already invested. Six of one – half a dozen of another. The trick is to JUST DO IT. Find the method that suits you best. Try both and see how it goes. Just get started if it has always been your dream. Turn lemons into lemonade. I lost my job and gained a whole new career. A door closes and a window pops open…and all those clichés. They are clichés for a reason.
Writing is fun. Every day is something new, and I get to share the adventures of all my characters (I love the girls like children, the guys I just love!). My series, The Black Iris Club, starts with Kaylin’s Pursuit, the story of a homicide detective in Fort Lauderdale (my home town) who during the course of an investigation of a serial killer meets and falls in love with the sexy and rich (they always are – who wants real life?) Dom, Jack Dalton Brown. He owns a BDSM club in the penthouse of the building where the body was found. Kaylin goes into the club undercover to root out the serial killer. That’s all I knew when I started. The four books of the series also include: Chloe’s Rescue (human trafficking), Gabriella’s Prosecution (gang violence), and Nicollette’s Defense (PTSD and veteran’s issues).
The one thing you really need is a good story. Without a story, you don’t have a book. If it’s only about sex, the reader (and I include myself in that group because I also read) gets bored and loses interest. If you have a good story, they will want to read the story even if some just glance over the sex.
Another saying is “write the book you want to read.” Well I have done that thirty times and I’m not tired of it yet – so give writing a try if you think you might like it. I hope you will sign up for my Blog, follow me on Twitter at @skyemichaels and check out my fan page on Facebook, Skye Michaels Books. I love to hear from readers, so drop me a line and let me know what you like and what you don’t (not so much the what you don’t – LOL). – Skye Michaels