My first two books were non-fiction and fell into the category of “how-to” books. The first was a beginner’s bridge book, which taught the basics of bridge. It was based on the way I teach bridge to students in my class. It has a natural flow so I just had to describe each step in my teaching process. The second book was a cookbook. Hundreds of cookbooks have been written so the format is readily available; food name, ingredients, followed by the sequence of steps to make the dish. Each recipe is a chapter by itself, all following the same format.
With my mystery novel, I had to change the entire way I approached my writing. A story usually has a central character and that character has to live in the mind of the reader. It is very important to not only create a picture of that character, but also make sure the reader can identify with how this character feels and thinks. The next big challenge is to identify the supporting characters and fit them all together, leading through the story individually and as a unit.
The first chapter and the last were the hardest; it is here where to begin and where to end. I wrote and rewrote the first sentence and the first chapter many times. It has to get the attention of the reader. The last chapter (the ending) has to tie everything together. Once you have those two pieces complete, it is just a matter of moving through the story using the characters as the catalysts.
What challenges were you able to overcome as you developed your writing skills? I would love to read your thoughts in the comment section below! Also, please grab a copy of my book, The Mosquito Bites, and follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.
Author, The Mosquito Bites