One of my strengths that I can stress really works for me is setting deadlines. Having an idea in mind when things SHOULD occur helps keep me on track. On top of deadlines I set goals. It is important to note this does not include brainstorming or generating ideas. I am working under the assumption that the creative lightening-bolt has struck you already and you have an idea you want to run with.
Here are some deadlines I set:
1) Do outline/character profiles (I have a list of book ideas I want to do, you may need to do brainstorming before this)
2) Opening scene (the’hook’)
3) Half way point (here I go back to my outline and decide if I still want to go forward as is, or if another alternative ending is better suited)
5) Request/pay for cover and editing.
6) Here is where I prep for the book going out: summaries, short/long, back of book. Send them out to other people to read (3-10). (Friends, family, people you trust won’t try to sell it behind your back!)
Goals/Extraneous book details:
1) Estimated book length
2) What is the underlying story I want to tell? What is the overall purpose? Know this before I start.
3) Set a publish date. (This is amazing useful, studies have shown that setting goals like this, even at conception, is a great motivator for MOST people).
4) Who is my audience? Before I even start a book I decide the genre and who is my target audience. Then I go out and try to say hello. This is a process I am still developing and discovered I should have started a lot earlier. As in 3 years earlier.
5) Keep a notebook by your bed with a pen. I found that I have really great ideas as I am falling asleep but lose some of them by morning (or at least parts of them). I started keeping a pen and notepad by my bed. I don’t lose much of them anymore.
6) DON’T get discouraged. I have awful lulls sometimes. I can write a book in 6 months to a year depending on length but sometimes I go a few days or even a week without writing a word. Then I am back at it like a demon after virgin souls; with fire in my eyes.
7) Remind yourself why you started this awful thing that is causing so much stress. If you have purpose, everything seems easier.
These are my fun little tidbits of wisdom. In accordance with goal number 2 (set publish date), every year on my husband’ and my original anniversary, I will be publishing a book. December 3rd of every year kindle will be graced with a new novel; just because I am a romantic. This year Captive (Title still pending), release date December 3, 2014.
Read about it here: Captive.