Hello my dear readers, as you probably know if you follow my posts, I have finished my third published book (which will be out officially on the 31st!) and you might be wondering what I'm going to do now. Well, if you read the previous post, you'll know I'm marketing, but that's just one step in moving on from finishing a book. All writers have more than one idea in their heads at the same time, so the big question we most often ask ourselves once when have finished a project is: Now What? Today I'm going to give you a few tips to help figure this out.
If you're like me and have a lineup of stories you want to get through, than it can be both easy and very hard to figure out what to work on next. For instance, I have two books I really want to write at the moment, one I'm already starting to promote through Anthony Maxwell's facebook page. I've written about the same amount for both of them and have piles of research books sitting by my desk, but I am yet undecided as to which is really going to take off. Sometimes you have to give stories a little shove.
Research is a great way to get into the feel of a book, especially if you're a writer of historical fiction. I am always coming up with new ideas reading history books--there are just so many interesting stories and cultural elements to spark the Muse. Also reading other novels like yours or watching movies, etc. is a good way to get into the feel of what you will be writing. No, you do not plan to copy the other author's work; inspiration is a good thing!!! Read the things that inspire you!
If you're a very lucky person, you might even be able to plan a trip to the local of your book setting. This is always very inspiring. I never get this chance, but that's my fault for having to write about places Over the Pond. And it's also a sad fact that you can't just hop back into, say, Victorian England whenever you want to.
Getting to know your characters is a wonderful way to get started on a book, that way you can get a feel for them and figure out who you would most like to work with at the time. Some characters will be more willing to talk to you as well. A good way to do this is fill out character sketches, write some short scenes or even interviews with them either between you and them or other characters. You can also start a facebook page like I did for Anthony, my upcoming hero, under the fictional character category. Then you can start promotion of your book and get to know your hero/villain/sidekick or whoever better! Keeping a diary for your character is also fun and helpful. This is especially good for a villain of a mystery novel. Maybe try keeping a diary for him for a whole week and then do the same for another character until you get to know them enough to start the book.
Also, it never hurts to have a few good brainstorming sessions with your fellow writers. This always helps me above all else. Go to your writer's group, Goodreads (or if you even want to talk to me, I'll listen, just drop me an email, haha ;). There are so many things two or three people can think of together that you never would have thought of on your own. Again, (as I'm sure I said before) I think it is important that writer's do not write alone.
If you have any tips of how you get started working on a new project, share in the comments! And don't forget to come by soon for the release announcement of "On a Foreign Field" and all that will entail =)