Writing the Book, Part One: The Idea

Hey guys! Today's post is the first in a series that I've titled, "Writing the Book." (I know, the title is soo creative).
Anyway, today I wanted to talk about the most important piece in the book-writing process: the idea.
It doesn't matter how you got it. Maybe you were watching TV or a movie when it sprung into your head. Maybe you were bored in class and daydreaming like crazy. Maybe you saw something out the car window that sparked a series of thoughts in your head. However you got it, you have it: the idea.
It's there, and it's big, and you're mind is constantly scrambling to understand the awesomeness of this idea. It needs to be a book right now!
...So, what do you do?
I'll tell you.

1. Write. Down. EVERYTHING. If your idea is good enough to be a book, then you need to sit down and write or type absolutely everything you know about this idea. Write down character names, words, phrases, dialogue, settings, etc--basically take the contents of your mind that are swarming around this story idea, and empty them onto a page. This is your start.

2. Ask questions. If you're going to write a book, getting an idea and then immediately starting chapter one is a one-way ticket to a dead end where you'll more than likely get stuck, scrap the idea, and move on to the next one that pops into your head. No, if you're going to develop a book, then you need to take this grand idea in your mind and expand it. Ask yourself questions, and not just the normal questions like, "What's my main character's name?" and "What is my book's setting like?" I'm talking about questions that make you think. For example, if your idea is a story about an orphaned girl who steals people's identities in order to survive, ask yourself questions that will stretch your creative mind. What if the girl could steal identities because she was a shapeshifter? What if the story takes place in a world where identity theft is the highest crime possible? What is the reason behind that? Etcetera, etcetera. Write these questions down as you go, let your mind wander, and give yourself time. Soon enough, you'll find yourself with a buttload of awesome ideas.

3. Organize! So now you have a developed idea. Great! All you have to do now is organize it somehow. Now, this part really depends on your personal preferences. Some people take this step as an opportunity to craft an outline. Others just make a list of possible scenes, plot twists, etc. My favorite thing to do is write scenes from the middle or end of the book that I've envisioned in my head as I developed my idea. Usually, writing these scenes allows me to get a pretty good idea of how the whole story will go from beginning to end, like a messy outline in my head.

4. Write! You've got your idea. You've developed it, you've written an outline or a handful of scenes, and you're ready to kick this book into action. So do it! Jump in and start writing. All you have to do is rearrange the letters of the alphabet to make some words and sentences to fill some pages. It's that easy, and that hard.

On Thursday (hopefully) I'll move onto the next important part of writing a book: the beginning. Dun, dun, duuuuun! :)

"Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men." Colossians 3:23