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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Where do books come from? Delilah K. Stephans

Way back when I was just a reader and want to be author – about a year ago – I always wondered where writers came up with their stories. I read every book I could get my hands on about writing a novel. Then my imagination took over. I began imagining my favorite authors locked away with stacks of 3X5 cards; gluing pictures to them of hairstyles, clothes, furniture, filling them with notes on the characters likes/dislikes, education, family life, and description, and naturally each chapter had its own note card.

I’d started many projects and always lost interest halfway in and abandoned it. I just knew if I could get organized like those fabulous writers I’d idolized – I could finish something. April 15, 2008 I sat down and started typing – I didn’t expect to finish it but I did. I couldn’t stop the words from flying out of my fingers. I wasn’t going to submit it, but a friend informed me if I didn’t she was going to kick my butt. So I did, assuring myself it would be rejected. It wasn’t! I was actually offered a contract on the story!

I started taking classes online to improve my writing and learned the most amazing thing! That while there are authors who do the outline/3X5 cards/excessive research, there are authors who are “pantsers” or the description I like best they “write in the mist”. Like me they sit down and start writing, they have a general idea – who the heroine is, who the hero is, what the basic premise is and then they sit down and see where the story takes them. I learned that neither style is better or worse than the other – it’s just the way a writer writes.

So where do books come from? Both plotters and pantsers agree on one thing – a book comes from the heart and soul of the author. They come from a snippet of overheard conversation. They come from a song or a movie. They come in dreams, visions, and by simply asking what if.

Thanks Tami and Stephanie for inviting me to guest blog here.

1 comment:

lastnerve said...

Hey there Delilah :)

Loved the post. I soooooo want to write one day and am like you were, where do I begin? Reading your post I will be trying to sit down and just let it flow. Who knows, the worst that can happen is it never gets published.