People often ask us how we come up with the ideas for our books. The idea part is the easy part of writing. It’s the fun part, at least for us. The rest of it can be difficult. Creating a plausible plot, creating characters and staying true to them through the story but aware enough to know that they have to grow just as people do, creating believable situations (yes, even in fantasy it has to be somewhat believable), and creating a world and history for it. There is so much more. We like to call it hammering out the details. Those are all the hard parts of writing. The parts that take time and effort. Details.
Whereas we sit down and write without an outline so that the story can still surprise us, we still have to keep all of the details straight which means extensive note taking of when, why, and where something happened. We even have to take notes on our characters for hair color, eye color, personality traits/ticks, etc. That’s were the awesome program OneNote has helped tremendously. We used to have spiral notebooks with all this information in it and it would take forever to find something we’re looking for because we forgot something. With OneNote, it has made it so much easier. We can organize our thoughts and world/character details easily.
And for each writer, the process for creativity is different. What works for me doesn’t necessarily work for my husband. What works for some well-known authors who have shared glimpses into their writing styles and habits works for them and others. I’ve tried some of their suggestions and processes. They didn’t work for me the way it did for them. I have taken some of what I learned from them and reworked it to suit my needs. As a writer, you are always learning new ways for creativity. Sometimes those new ways inhibit the process and sometimes they help. The advice we give to any writer is: You do you. Don’t worry about what works for Steven King, George R.R. Martin, J.K. Rowling, Jim Butcher, James Patterson, and so many more. Worry about what works for you and only you. Writing is an extremely personal process.