Monday, June 13, 2011

Write the Book that is Awesome!

"There is no charge for awesomeness."
                                                             Po, Kung Fu Panda

Last week I talked about writing a book, even if it sucks. Today we're going to start the week off by talking about writing a book that is awesome.

Not just a decent novel. Not just a good novel. No, my friends, we're going to be writing awesome novels over here.

Today, we're going to talk about how (this is where my inner sarcasm wants to just type 'write an awesome book' :D).

What makes something awesome will vary from person to person. I happen to think zombie elves with pet dragons are awesome, but you might not. You also might think elements specific to the book you're writing right now are awesome, like the country you've made up, or the new form of magic you're using. 

This is why it's important to keep a running tally of awesomeness. Some people might what to keep a list, and others might want an entire folder on their computer, dedicated to the awesomeness of their book. You can add anything to this running list or folder. It can be quotes that remind you of the book, pictures that move you, a blog post from someone that helped work out some plot kinks, anything. 

I also like to add what I hope the book will be. Not just a vague "really great book" but something specific. "A heart-wrenching, gut-moving, brain-twisting thriller about zombie space elves with dragons."

Finally, I like to keep notes on what I need to work on with this book. Each book you write will give you different problems. Maybe the POV rotates and you're not used to that. Maybe the plot is super layered and complex. Maybe the MC is a zombie elf, and you're not sure how to show an zombified elf's emotions properly. What ever the issue is, I like to add that to the "Make it Awesome" list/folder. It reminds me what possible problems I'll need to look out for. 

A lot of these suggestions sound pretty simple, and they are. That's the beauty of making a book awesome. It's easier to work towards a place you've defined. Simply by sitting down and thinking about what will make this book awesome, you're a step of the way there. 

So any suggestions? What do you do to make your book awesome?


  1. I start by asking myself what I would like to read. Then I go look for that book. When I don't find it, I write it.

  2. I am lame, I've written four responses to this, chewed on my fingernails and decided I sound like a twit when I write comments.

    So, I'm not trying to sound like a twit, but my method boils done to this:

    I just write.

    (see, that sounds like an arrogant twit just wrote that, *sigh*)

    But there's a caveat: I don't write until the idea of the book is too big to fit in my head any longer. When I dream about my idea, I know I'm close. When I lay in bed at night and I can't sleep because I'm running opening lines through my head, I know it's time to start.

    So yeah, write, awesome later, but for me, writing is how I keep my sanity (well the shreds I have left anyway).

  3. Joe: that's a good one! I forgot about that!

    Rena: :D You don't sound like a twit, sweetie. Honest. And I see what you're saying. You let that creative energy build up inside you until you have to pour it out onto the page. That's also a valid approach to awesome.

  4. YES to the notes. I have a bad habit of wanting to go back and fix things, but the things I want to fix are always in need of fixing and so I rewrite chapter one a million times and never get to chapter two.

    So now I buy a 3-pack of steno pads and while I'm drafting, jot down whatever I think needs fixing. I usually go through all three steno pads. And typically what I think needs fixing really doesn't.

    And Rena? You're sooooo not a twit. Mwah!