Friday, November 01, 2013

Day 1 - Turning an Idea into a Book

Click to read the workshops

Turning an Idea into a Book

From Idea To Finished Book

Leave a question or comment for the panel.
1. Leslie J. Sherrod

2. Alice Wootson

3. Nathasha Brooks
4. Angel de Amor

5. Sherelle Green
6. Dorcas Graham


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LaShaunda said...

How do you know when an idea is big enough to turn into a book?

Leslie J. Sherrod said...

Good morning, all, excited to be here and looking forward to checking in throughout the day! There are no right or wrong ways to get started with a book. As long as you tell yourself you are working on a first draft, you are free to experiment and do not have to get caught up worrying over details. Some of my novels have started with just the idea of a character or a quick mental image of a scene. Ideas for stories can vary and the source of these ideas can be different from story to story, even for the same author.

Angel said...

Good morning, to add to what Leslie stated. To give an example the current novel I'm working on I knew who the hero would be and his storyline but the heroine was not clear to me. I started the book and than everything fell into place. So if you have one piece of the story outline it and the rest will come.

Sherelle Green said...

Hello everyone!

I agree with Leslie J. Sherrod, there is no right or wring way to start a book. Sometimes, an event or random person I meet while out shopping may spark an idea for a book. You never know where an idea may take you. The key is to use that idea to develop an intriguing storyline. Use that idea as your muse.

I'm a huge fan of outlines or random sessions in which I write my idea at the top of the page and then write down all the words, phrases, character names, or courses of events that I think may work well with my idea. From there, I will try and compose an entire outline. Sometimes, I get stuck and can't think of anything past my initial idea. If that happens, I usually try and write a few paragraphs of the story or create a solid hero or heroine description around my idea. Then the thoughts start flowing. Before you know it, that small idea has turned into a 20+ chapter book.

When an idea sparks, no matter how big or small, you have to trust in your craft, jot down the idea and see where your pen or keyboard may take you!

Sherelle Green

Lakeyshuh Carolina said...

Is there a way the you can format your book into an eBook yourself for free or do you have to pay someone to do it?

Leslie Sherrod said...

Hi Lakeyshuh,

I do not know a great deal about ebook formating, but I have been successful with uploading a story onto Amazon's Kindle by myself. There are some other websites out there as well that allow you to upload ebooks. That being said, depending on what you are trying to accomplish, and your comfort level with doing so, you can most certainly create ebooks without paying someone else to do it.

LovingNate said...

Is anyone else having a problem seeing From ideal to finished book?

Barbara said...

How many characters is too many in a book. The book I will be a full novel

Dee said...

Yes,the link for Idea to Finished Book is not working at the moment.

Dee said...

Barbara there's really no set limit on how many characters you can have. But keep in mind if you're having trouble keeping them straight as you are reading/writing your novel your reader will probably have trouble too. And remember every character should in some way progress the story.

Teresa B said...

This is so true. I am a reviewer and have read books that have so many characters and back stories it is hard to keep things straight. I find myself going back through the book to keep up.

Alice Wootson said...

Every character must have a purpose. No just using them to fill pages and to help you reach your required page number. Also, each time a character appears in a scene it should be to move the story forward.

Alice Wootson said...

To add to my article. There are no guarantees that your idea will develop into a novel. Try it. Write down your idea. Then list possible scenes to support your story idea. Sometimes you start with a general idea. The idea for "Escape to Love" came during a mob trial here in Philadelphia. "Trust in Me" stemmed from the last pardon issued by president Clinton. It's not the young lady's story, but the idea of her pardon that triggered my story.

Dee said...

Alice, I agree. Not all ideas will turn into a book. In fact, most probably won't. But it's always a good idea to keep a running journal of sorts to jot them down. Some you may use much later down the road and others may be merged with another idea. My novel, "In Three Days" actually came from a short story that I wrote years prior.

Teresa B said...

When adding locations meaning cities, street names, businesses, and places, should authors use actual cities, street names, businesses, and places? Or should shouldthey create them? Will it go against copyrighting or trademarks?

Dee said...

Teresa, I use major street names but sparingly. With businesses you have to be careful especially if something unfavorable is taking place in/around that business. I would suggest taking the business you know, give it the same type of character or ambiance and change the name somewhat. If you're just making a general reference, "we met at Starbucks" it should be fine.

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