You might not think so at first, but research for your book can be fun when you’re finding out about something you’re interested in. This kind of research isn’t the same as preparing a required project for the classroom. This is information that can inspire an idea for your story or provide deeper knowledge on a subject you already know something about.
I write fantasy fiction, and have always been fascinated by myths and legends, so I was drawn to write a magical adventure about El Dorado. I love magic and sorcerers, so I weave them into my stories too. The important thing is to write about what interests you, something you already are familiar with or have experienced yourself. Those make the best stories.
As you go further along with your research, ideas for characters to play the parts in your story may start coming to mind. Write down what you know about them. Let them tell you their story. It helps to flesh out your characters with personal bits of background information. Where do they live? What kind of lifestyle do they enjoy? What kind of personal traits or characteristics do they have? Make them come alive to you, and they will to your readers.
For example, the lead character in my series Alex Cort Adventures started out basically as me. I love adventure, and so does he. He comes from a background similar to mine, though yours don’t have to. Alex enjoys working on cases linked to myths and legends with eccentric British archaeologist Andrew Seaton, because I can combine my interests in science and archaeology with Alex’s love of adventure. See? It’s easy!
Over the years I’ve studied, and traveled, and met interesting people. Even in your own town or city you will see people who would make excellent (disguised) characters for your story. Be kind, if you use actual people for your inspiration.
The third character in my ensemble (mine are all fictional, born in my vivid imagination) is a young woman with her own kind of magic. Her name is Angel, because she calls herself a witch, and most people don’t equate angels with witches. With Angel I get to add magic and sorcery, dragons and mythical creatures, other dimensions, and quantum physics, and all those things of the metaphysical world that fascinate me.
Just get started! The rest will come to you. Don’t worry it has to be perfect the first time. Your story will grow and change, and so will you.
Thanks for joining me on this journey.
The process of writing a book travels a critical path from the first brilliant idea to the finished product you’re holding in your hands. Even months before that point, the story of your publishing life has begun its own journey. A Shadow Away, my first book of the Alex Cort Adventure series, is scheduled to be released in late spring to early summer 2018, and I will share my experiences with you as I go. There are different paths to be traveled if your book is non-fiction, but early steps are the same for the most part.
When it comes to writing the manuscript, I found out writing the story is the easy part! Publishing is another whole process. One of the most important assets on my road to publishing is my husband and business partner. I call him my business partner because writing a book and publishing it are two very long and separate journeys. I am blessed with a man who enjoys handling the business side of bringing my creative vision to fruition. He says these are my books, but I could never accomplish everything we’ve done without his input, advice and problem-solving skills. That is one of the great benefits of teamwork.
Don’t be put off by what I just said: now you’re thinking you can never do it all by yourself.
If you have someone to help, great! You may possess skills that include a knack for business, and that’s also great. If you don’t have either of these, that’s okay too. A “search” will show you there are plenty of professional people willing to help you. Many, many “how to” books and online sites are available to guide you on every subject. There are branding teams to help create your public image, editors of all kinds (there are five that I know of), publicists, social media experts, even attorneys and financial companies to help you manage all that money you’re going to make!
The most important thing to remember is to have fun. You are doing what you love.
I learned something interesting recently. A post that said if you are working hard at something you hate, that is called “stress.” If you are working hard at something you love, that is “passion.” Kind of makes you think, doesn’t it?
Next time, I’ll share with you how I came up with the characters for my stories. See you next week!
Photo by svklimkin at Morguefile.com
Thank you for joining me and reading my first blog. I’m looking forward to connecting with you and sharing our stories. In the future, I will discuss the process of everything it takes to write a magical adventure series, as well as other topics of interest.
I’d like for you to tell me your stories, too. Let’s start with an animal that means the most to you, like a favorite dog that’s your best friend, or a cat that sits in your lap and keeps you company. Perhaps a bird that is amazingly smart, or even a gerbil or hamster buddy. I’d love for you to tell me about them!
Now for my story about tiny, colorful birds that have always been special to me. A friend told me hummingbirds bring her good luck!
Hummingbirds have been coming into my life for many years. The first was a young bird whose mother built her nest too close to the walkway to my apartment. I could tell he was a boy because he just acted like one. He didn’t have any feathers yet. He was still covered with soft brown down when I first saw him, and I thought he needed help. Something I have learned is that parents keep an eye on their young even after they leave the nest, so it’s best to leave young birds alone. Anyway, in my zeal to help this little one, who would probably have been fine without me, I took him home and put him on a pocket of Kleenex in a small cup.
Every two hours, I mixed honey into some water and fed him with an eyedropper. I took him to work with me, put him in his new nest on top of a cabinet and fed him on schedule. The first days, I’d fill his craw with honey water, but he soon got the hang of it and drank on his own. After a while, he recognized me, and would stand up on his little legs and stretch out his neck for a meal. I held the eyedropper for him to suck out the nectar with his tongue.
He was doing well, and when his iridescent green feathers started coming in, I wondered how I was going to teach him to fly. His story was short, though, because I thought he’d like some sun, and one weekend I left him on the windowsill too long. I thought I was being kind, but I was wrong. His trust in me made the hurt even stronger, but he did teach me to be more careful with other birds and creatures who have come to me for help over the years.
The amazing thing about hummingbirds is they are fearless. If I get too close to their favorite flowers in my garden, they will dive-bomb me, whirring their wings in warning. Sometimes, one will fly right up, face me straight on, and look me in the eye, as though trying to figure out what kind of strange bird I am. Once a hummingbird flew up to greet me, as though it recognized me. I’m sure it was one of the little ones I saved before. Nearly every year, some young one will fly into our glass-covered entryway. When they are trapped against the slanted ceiling, I get out my tall stepladder and climb up to where I can reach them if they come down to my level. The amazing little birds will actually flutter to the lower edge of the glass, perch on the ledge, and wait for me (more or less) to cup them in my hands.
After I make my way down the ladder, I walk with them to the center of our cul de sac and softly warn them to stay away from buildings because they are dangerous. They aren’t afraid of me. They watch me talking to them, and they actually seem to be listening to my words. I feel so close to these trusting little creatures. Their trust warms my heart. When I open my hands, they usually sit for a moment if they’re tired, then take off fast, making a beeline for home.
Someone told me that when a person is curious, consistent, non-threatening, and patient enough, the usual boundaries between species can be erased. I believe this completely and have proven it to myself again and again. Try it, if you like. You will receive much more than you give.