Hello all my book loving friends! I hope that everyone is doing okay during the crazy times that we are living in right now. Be safe. Be healthy. Don’t forget your mask and remember to wash those hands! Today is a guest post ‘How I Write a Book by Jeremiah Ukponrefe’ who is a new author that has his debut novel, Hive, coming out in January 2021.
How I write a book
Writing a book is hard. It requires sacrifice, setbacks, and tediousness; it takes handling most of the emotional spectrum in the pursuit of a project that you can only hope people will like. The process varies greatly from person to person.
My process began with an idea. A few years ago I was writing screenplays, but had a few book ideas tossing within my head. The one that I choose was a singular image. A cinematic scene where my main cast were being pursued by enemies. They use an Emp to get out of their situation only to discover that one of their allies is actually an android themselves. It was a fun twist, one that did not make the cut in the novel that bloomed from the idea.
Before writing a single page the first thing that I came up with was the characters. Their desires, weaknesses, personalities were written in a document, but were fleshed out during the writing process. Their enemies, conflicts, and the world surrounding them shared the same fate.
My plot was crafted using Randy Ingermason’s snow flake method. The overarching plot is written with four sentences. Each sentence then gets turned into a paragraph, and each paragraph turns into a page. Giving me a four page idea of how events will unfold.
While I am writing I discover the flaws within my novel, place them into a separate document which builds while I make progress. At the same time I will write down plot beats, character ideas, and symbolism that I want to implement into the next drafts.
When I first started writing I would rewrite each chapter immediately after it was completed, even though most of it would have ended up unused, as only small sections were transferable to subsequent versions of Hive, making the process a waste of time. By my third draft I stopped doing it.
Which each iteration that passed. I add, and cut. Character arcs spring to new directions, antagonists crawl their way into the story, and fresh symbolism arrived in my pages. Much of which was not imagined in my initial plotting.
Once completed I would print out the entire book, creating a physical manifestation of the novel. While reading it I would highlight various points of dialogue that I really enjoy and place the blurbs in another document (There are a lot of word documents involved). Then I rewrote the book again applying everything I had set aside into the new draft.
The art of completing my book was very simple. At the time I had a word count of 2000 words of a day, regardless of conditions. This resulted in occasionally having to contribute to my novel at unconventional places riddled with distractions. A terrible environment, but necessary.
Once five drafts were completed I got an editor. With their fresh eyes they were able to point out flaws that I was not aware of before hand. It was a pain to return to a novel which I thought was nearly finished, but it was worth it in the end.
After editing came proofreading, and formatting. In each of these steps I made some kind of mistake. At the time the failures always feel like a big deal, but eventually I got past it.
My book cover process was the easiest part, and was one of the more satisfying moments. My first idea was that my quartet of a main cast would be overlooking a significant landmark in the distance. My idea quickly changed when it was revealed to me that my request was a tad bit too complicated. This continued a tirade of trading notes, and after a few email exchanges my cover underwent an evolution
With everything winding down I eventfully had to write a synopsis. It’s difficult condense thousands of words which is supposed grab a readers attention giving enough to hook people, while at the same time not spoil too much.
The synopsis was then put onto Amazon where after ordering a proof copy I realized my book was too large, and I did not like the text that I had chosen. Another mistake,and more formatting was required.
Currently I am in the marketing phase, I have the same feeling in this moment as when I started writing. Having very little idea as to what I am doing except for a vague road map of effective steps others had taken, mixed in with my own ideas. The first step was making was a website ( www.jeremiahu.com if your interested). The next was beginning an email list, the third was making social media accounts, and what I doing now is attracting followers to all three of those things.
Each step of writing a book is hard, but I am proud of it. Hive will be released in January 2021, and I am very excited to release the next one.
Jeremiah Ukponrefe is a Vancouver based author and stand up comedian. He has written articles for The Runner, and The Reel Anna. His debut novel Hive is releasing January 2021. As a comedian his style is a mixture of clever observations with a subversive darkness, all performed under a veil of innocence. He has performed in the Comedy Ring,Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy , and Yuk Yuks. He is really hoping this comedy thing works out.
Pre-order on Amazon*!
*Affiliate Link. Please consider using this link to pre-order. It doesn’t add any cost to your purchase and helps support my blog