Friday, January 28, 2011

Start With A Book Summary

One of the most challenging things for a writer? Getting started writing their book.

Often times a writer may have one main idea for their work, but a hundred ideas on how to write it. So getting to the point of putting pen to paper (or fingertips to keyboard) can often feel overwhelming.

Probably one of the most useful exercises we have found to help authors write those first two chapters of their work is to write a basic summary of their book. Since all writings start with the basics (tense, person, genre, type, form, etc), we've found this basic template to be pretty useful (hey, simple is best):
    [Title] is a [tense][person][genre/type] about [summary]. This work is written to [intention].
Here's an example summary from one of our Author's books, "Over Coffee," by D.a. Thompson:
    "Over Coffee" is a past-tense, first-person narrative-fiction about a coffee-house conversation between the author and a small-town pastor concerning a gay church member who desires to be partnered in the church. This work is written to introduce the reader to a conservative, faith-based dialogue for providing room on the pew in today’s most conservative churches for gay partnered persons.
The point of writing the summary is to establish the construct, form, and structure. It's amazing to see how much easier the task of writing becomes, once these simple elements are laid. Well... easier may be an exageration. There's still the actual book to finish writing. (insert smiley face)

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