writing

Recognize the Early Warning Signs of a New Book Inside You

I submitted my latest effort to a publisher, sure he’d love it as much as I. After all, I’d been fine-tuning it for four years, editing and re-editing. (To give you some perspective, this was when I was wide-eyed and innocent as an author). His reply: He’d be interested if:

  • I add new characters
  • changed the setting
  • changed the plot

Is that all? Being new to this writing thing, I contemplated his requests. The human mind is amazing. Give it a problem and it works on it, behind the scenes, while you’re eating dinner, socializing with friends. It just grinds away until it comes up with a solution. Personally, I think man has the only brain that does that and that’s one of the features that makes us human and every other animal not.

But I digress. Before I knew it, a new book was taking shape in my mind.

  • I started noticing unique characteristics about people around me, stuff I just had to include in my book
  • As I watched life move around me, I became aware of motivations, themes–plots. How would I attack that Destroyer if I had to? How would I hack a computer that no one else could?
  • What did a college campus look and feel like? What smells were unique to the Navy?

A year later, I was done. I morphed from a paleo-historic adventure to a techno-thriller set in modern times. It turned out to be not a rewrite, but a new book. Surprisingly, it followed the same theme: How does man solve problems?

Here’s my suggestion: Be aware of those Early Warning Signs. Pay attention. Write them down. You have a story to tell.

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One thought on “Recognize the Early Warning Signs of a New Book Inside You

  1. Pingback: 10 Hits and Misses for 2011 « Jacqui Murray's WordDreams…

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