99 Cent Novellas

I was recently asked about writing process so since I’m in early stages of working on a new project, I wanted to talk a little bit more about how I approach a new work.

Finding Inspiration

Every story begins as a basic idea. They come from a lot of different places. A conversation with a friend, a scene in a movie, a scene in a book I’m reading, song lyrics. Even a moment during my morning prayers. And yes, sometimes my mind just wanders off by itself like a dog following a new scent. I keep a list of all these random tidbits in an app on my phone and I leave journals and pens around my house, in my bag, on my desk. There’s always one at the ready to collect a random thought.

Thought Dump

When one of my ideas starts sparking more ideas, I take it and work up a thought dump. A thought dump is where I take all those nagging ideas and put them down on paper. Could be anything from the world where the story takes place, details about characters, general plot points. Anything and everything. There’s no rhyme or reason to this. It’s normally a disorganized mess. I’ll put it together in a cohesive form in the next phase.

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Outlining

This is where I get organized and start structuring the story. I know some writers prefer to work without an outline but I find it helpful. This is, more often than not, where I find most of my plot holes and inconsistencies in my stories. When I’m outlining, I also develop character profiles in a spreadsheet. I use it as a quick reference while I’m writing, to make sure I get the details of my characters right. My outlines also serve as a roadmap of the content of each chapter. By this point, I’m also making decisions on target word counts for each chapter and how long I want the project to be.

Writing

This phase should be pretty self-explanatory. I try to get a least 1,500 words written every day, when I’m really in writing mode. But I’m okay with taking a day off here and there. And of course, when the words are really flowing, I don’t like to stop working.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed this peak behind the scenes into how I formulate my projects. Have a question? Drop it in the comments!

Next week, I’ll be sharing more about my upcoming 99 cent novella double feature, coming this spring. To get updates on my projects, reviews of what I’m currently reading, and more straight to your inbox, please become a subscriber.

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