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Part One of 10 Steps to Writing a Remarkable Novel. Written by Julie Breedlove, Marketing Manager

What’s your legacy? It’s no secret we have a limited amount of time on this Earth. Immortality has been pondered for centuries, probably since the first self-realized being woke up. Living forever remains impossible, but I’d like to share a real secret: there is a way to endure beyond your lifespan. I’m not talking about ghosts or dreams, I’m talking about your spirit, your creations, and your stories living endlessly in a published book. If you’re contemplating writing a book, but don’t know where to begin, here is the process in ten steps. I’ll be posting this in two parts, so check back next Sunday for steps 6 through 10. You should know these steps are only the beginning . . . but it’s a lively start for a long shelf life.

  1. Get Inspired. Find a spark or a fleck of an idea that would make an interesting story. Like a firefly, cup it, but don’t crush it. Or chase it . . . let it lead you to a magical place, panting and buzzed off the energy of something completely new. (Shout out to Bob Munzing’s Beyond the Firefly Field)
  2. Find Your Purpose. Decide why you want to tell this story and who would be interested in reading it. Yeah, that sounds business-y, but it’s truly necessary. Take some time here to be sure it really speaks to you, and that it might offer others something too.
  3. Build a Foundation. Whether assembling a cake, a house, a business, a family, or an Ikea bookshelf, the basic structure is essential. Usually, there aren’t easy-to-follow instructions for everything, so take your time configuring and designing the structure. Even when improving your own body, you can’t shape your muscles unless your skeleton is solid and interconnected and your mind is committed to a goal.
  4. Get Creative. I’m not talking about the “popsicle sticks and construction paper” creative. I’m talking imaginative detail. Don’t just tell your story. Paint it. Show it. Live it. Believe it. Write everything. Good, bad, sparkly, and gross. Allow yourself to become fanatical, irrational, ignoring “grammaticals”, and abandoning “tactical.” This part comes from your inner instinct that can seem foreign if it’s not something you tap into regularly. It might not always make sense. It’s okay . . . go with it. See where you take yourself. Get deep into your creative space and let it ooze, pour, squirt, flow, bleed. Whether it’s like shaking a stubborn ketchup bottle or swooping to catch all the dressing that pours out faster than you thought it would, let it out. All of it. Then, when you think the tap is dry, grab your mining tools and go back for more. This is the part that matters the most for setting your story apart from others. The creativity. It makes your story good. Yours. Worthy.
  5. Take a Break. Lick the spatula. Give your words, your heart on paper, time to marinate or ripen. This step isn’t much talked about, but it’s vital. Maybe it’s a secret I’m letting you in on right now. The writing changes here; it comes alive. There is a morphing that happens after it leaves your head, your heart, your fingertips.  It takes its own shape outside of your body and like a young red wine, it can taste a bit nervous at first. Let it breathe. This isn’t the time to coddle or overanalyze it. Don’t forget about either. Just give it space.

Steps 6 through 10 can be found here. If you’ve already walked yourself through writing a manuscript and want to submit your work for consideration, go here to learn more about BQB and why we might be right for you and your baby, I mean book. Otherwise, go find that spark.

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