When I decided to write a novel, I knew I wanted the storyline to be centered around a couple in their mid-30s facing a crossroads in their relationship. They would have to make some really hard and potentially life-altering decisions.
I wanted the characters to be real, for the readers to become their allies and friends. There had to be depth and emotion. But I also wanted there to be light-hearted moments and humor.
And I knew one of the two main characters had to be named Clay. Don’t ask why, he just had to be.
So before I actually sat down and started writing, I did research on how to write a book, looking at the basics. Then I spent a few days sketching out an outline while the characters began to form in my head.
By the time I got the outline finished, the two main characters and a few of the other characters had introduced themselves to me and I was ready to write.
I started with the first chapter and wrote it. Then rewrote it and wrote it again. This process went on for about a week when I finally decided to leave the first chapter alone and started writing randomly whatever popped into my head.
This book was written completely out of order. I would sit down and write what would later become chapter 9 then jump back and write chapter 3. Once I had what I would consider the main chapters or driving points of the book written, I started going back to write the inbetween chapters that bridged the gaps and made the story flow.
Then I went back and rewrote every thing again.
I quickly learned that rewriting is essential and every bit as important as the initial writing because that is where the story is fine-tuned. Where the characters gain depth. Where the wordsmith plays.