Write a book with me

Write a book with me

A Buck and a Quarter, Part One

The reason this website was created was to help aspiring writers to finally start that book they have been thinking about and putting off for years.  I know how difficult it is to start something that seems so big and unattainable, so I had an idea.  I have just started writing a new book, and I am going to write and publish the entire book right here on this website.

You are probably wondering why I would do this.  Yes, I realize that anyone could steal my idea and publish the book as theirs, but I really don’t care.  I don’t write books to get rich, or to make my mark on the literary world.  I write because I enjoy it.  So, I am going to start at the very beginning and show you the process that I use.  Hopefully, your book will be next!

One thing to remember…  You may not like the story, but that’s irrelevant.  I just want to show you the basic process I use, so you can have a starting place for your book.  I am by no means an expert, but I have written and published two novels and seven books.  I just want to share my experience with you.

In the beginning…

When I first thought about writing this book, I wanted to do something that came easily to me.  If I write a book about surgery, I have to research being a surgeon, and that’s a lot of work.  I wanted to write a fiction story, about someone who did someone else wrong.  So, I decided on a kind of detective story, where a large company stepped on the little guy.

Now, keep in mind that all of this so far is just a beginning thought.  If I decide in writing that I am heading in the wrong direction, that’s ok…  It’s my book.  Nothing is set in stone.  By the time I finish the first chapter, I might have changed the whole plot.

Since I am a 22-year Navy veteran, I decided to use other veterans for my main characters.  I know my way around the military, so this would be a good start.  Now I need a location.  I went to submarine school in Connecticut, and I loved that area.  I decided to use Mystic Seaport for the origin of my story.  So now I have a basic idea of what I am doing.

The Main Characters

As I said, I needed good characters that I could easily relate to, so this is what I came up with.  I needed a starting place, so I created a bar in Mystic.  It needed to be a different kind of bar, so I created one with a history.  I wanted a pub with a ghost story behind it because ghost stories are fun.  I decided on a story of a ship’s captain who was made to walk the plank.  So here is what I have so far…

Russell “Russ” Denning (49)– Owns the Knotty Skipper Pub in Mystic, Ct. Retired Navy, Federal Marshal 11 years.  Lives in one of the two rooms above his pub.

So far so good.  Now I need some family and background for Russ, so…

Agnes Denning (72)– Rusty’s mom, lives in the family home a few miles away in Stonington.

Angela Denning Warren (33) – Rusty’s kid sister.  Runs the kitchen at the Knotty Skipper, lives with mom in the family home.  A smart lady usually helps the guys figure out how to do things.  Angela is divorced and has two kids: Rachael (14) and Nathan (13).  Their father bailed on them a couple years back and mom took her old name again.  Russ fills in when a dad figure is needed.

Supporting characters

OK, now I have a start.  I also wanted to incorporate other branches of the service, and I also needed other characters to give my story flavor, so here is the Knotty Skipper crew:

Samuel “Danny Boy” Williams (52) – a Huge man, 6’7”, 350 lbs.  Got the nickname Danny Boy by dressing up as a huge leprechaun one St. Patrick’s Day long ago.  A nice guy that loves to scare people.  Retire Marine, enlisted, Master Sgt., 27 years.

Ernest “Ernie” Hobbs (41) – Nice guy, quiet, very smart.  Spent 16 years in the Air Force, was medically discharged after an accident.  Very nice looking, ladies’ man.

William “Bill” Morris (48) – Retired Navy mechanic, can fix anything.  He and his wife, Jillian “Jill” Morris (40) – eat dinner at the Knotty Skipper three or four times a week.

Now I wanted someone to give the bar atmosphere… perhaps an old sailing man who sits quietly at the bar waiting for someone to show interest in his sea stories.

General Allister Toms (81) – Retired Army General, hits on Russ’ mom.  Quiet guy, but when you ask him a question, you are in for a story!

My thought process…

As you can probably tell, one of my main interests is an atmosphere.  I like sea stories and legends coupled with fun places that almost anyone would like to visit.  All my characters are based loosely on real people whom I know or have known in the past.  The bar itself comes from my many trips to the United Kingdom, and all the stories the old seaman would tell while drinking their pints.

Now that I have my basic starting point, I need to work on my plot.  I am not exactly sure of how it will go yet, so tonight I will be giving it some thought for the next article.  There is one thing I have figured out, and that’s the title. “A Buck and a Quarter.”  I am not 100% sure how that title will work into the story, but I kind of like it.  As I said, nothing is in stone.  I will use this title for this series of articles.

And now the Cover…

Yes, I know…  who does the cover first?  I do.  Creating the cover first makes the book real.  I like making a basic cover, but if I decided to change it as I go, no worries.  Now if you are wondering how I made the cover, I just used cut out images and my cell phone camera on my hardwood floor.  I know it’s a bit cheesy, but I can make it look more professional later.  Right now, it a rough draft cover.

And that’s it so far.  We have a place, a cast, and a cover.  It may not seem like much, but now my mind is working in a thousand different directions.  Even if I scrap everything I have done so far, I have started the process, and that’s all I need right now.  My mind, like your mind, will come up with more than enough ideas to get us rolling.

A great start!

Look for the next article where I will pick up right here where I left off.  If you are getting ideas about how to start your book, go for it. In the next article, we will make a basic outline for our story, so we can divide it into rough chapters.  If this article has inspired you at all, or if you just have a comment, please leave it below.  Thanks for dropping by…

    ~ Read “A Buck and a Quarter, Part Two” ~

 

 

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27 thoughts on “Write a book with me

  1. This is an interesting idea! I haven’t seen many other sites where the book has been written WITH the audience; it’s almost like how a TV series is released episode by episode. I think another great way to get started with writing a novel is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which is coming up right now! It’s a whole month you can just dedicate yourself to writing and really getting stuck in. Are you going to be taking part this year?

    1. Danny, yes I am!  I have no idea how I will get my website, my book and my NaNoWriMo book all done next month, but I will give it a go.  Thanks for checking out my article, and have a great day.

      Clay

  2. I’m an aspiring author myself. I’ve written my first short story of 82 chapters and 96,000 word count. I was thinking of making a blog like yours but didn’t do it. After seeing this, I felt that I might really try. Well, anyway, it’s nice to read your thought process and on how you made a cover. I made one using canva. It was quite attractive using panda bears as cover characters for my love story. It’s nice to know someone, first timer like me, starting up writing out of fun.

    More power to your writing. I’ll bookmark your blog to see your novel coming to life.

  3. This is very interesting to know your method of writing a book especially how you choose your main characters and support characters.Its like you already picture how the story going to be.
    I’ll will dropped by when you finished your next article.

  4. Great Post! I think that it is incredible that you are writing a book, and even more so that you are walking us through the process! I don’t know of many people who would do that. I often wondered about writing a book and I think this is a great excuse to try it out.

    I know it might be a bit off topic, but I like the story telling from the Dare Devil series. The most outstanding thing to me is that there is a great amount of care taken to develop the “supporting characters”. It doesn’t only follow the antagonist. This makes the whole story much more enthralling.

    It is the same reason I enjoy anime stories. The people who appear to be bad also have stories and reasons they are the way they are. That is one thing I would include in my story. What do you think?

    1. Hello, Renton… I see what you are saying.  The supporting characters can (and do) carry the story as much as the lead character does.  With a character like Dare Devil, the aura surrounding the character is so deep and mysterious, its like a story in itself.  It takes a lot of research and talent to successfully portray characters like him.

      I was never a fan of anime, but then again I never really gave it a chance.  I think it would do me good to check it out again.  If you are right, then I don’t want to miss out!  Thanks for visiting…

      Clay

  5. I enjoy reading books, but writing a book? It has appeared in my mind, and busy life has got my mind instead. Sometimes I would get excited and cannot fall asleep when I have an idea in my mind, I am sure I would be the same if I finally decide to write one. I am looking forward to your next article for the steps to write a book! you might have just ignite my passion to write my very first book ( think for the cover and characters for my book)

    1. Emily, from the way you describe yourself, I would say your body is urging you to write!  One thing that most people don’t realize is that nothing is set in stone.  If they don’t like something in the beginning of their book, they can always go and change it.  

      I can’t wait to see your book cover!  Happy writing…

      Clay

  6. Simply perfect idea to write book as a blog posts, i almost hooked right now 🙂 I really like idea. I was wondering about the very beginning of your thought process? How do you know what comes easily to you? And even if you take more easy path, it still has some characters that are with some other occupations. How much history facts should you know or similar books have to read to be comfortable?  

    1. Hi, Raivis… I always start with easy.  In my life I have been a military man, a Navy police officer, a chef, a husband and a father.  By starting out with characters that I can relate to, my book always starts off strong.  As I go, sometimes I double back and change characters  altogether.  

      Once the writing process starts flowing, it actually becomes easy to keep writing.  I love researching history, and with todays internet in every house, researching a character is easier than ever before.  

      This might not work for everyone, but it does work for me.  Thanks for dropping by, and have a great week!

      Clay

  7. Hi,

    Thanks for this article on The Art of Writing a Book. And I found this aticle full of useful information and ideas that will help me in publishing my first Ebook and will be the start of many Ebooks to follow. I will always check your article to find new ideas and some new format to follow.

  8. I am huge reader of books I love John Grisham and Karen Slaughter amongst others. I think it is a really novel thing your doing putting the process of how you go about writhing a book online. I think it will help a lot of people with their writhing, and story telling and developement of characters etc. I always had an inch to write a book myself. I love your concept of write about you know it makes sense especially if it your first novel

    I suppose you can branch out after a few books once you develope your writhing skills to other subjects that might require more research. But I really do think you would have to like the subject matter first.

    1. That is true, Joseph.  Most people are so afraid or big words like research and manuscripts, and they are so intimidated that they never get started.  Hopefully, we can alleviate some of that.  Thanks for visiting today, and have a great day!

      Clay 

  9. Very interesting!  I like the way you give guidance on your writing process while writing the story at the same time.  And the way you’ve done it makes writing a book so much less daunting.  You’re a good author – easy to read and understand the educational bits but I can “see” your characters in the pub! I quite enjoyed your blog!

    1. Well, thank you, Jenny.  Your post is very encouraging!  I am kind of anxious to see how it all works out.  Thank you for your visit, and please stop by again.  

      Clay

  10. Interesting post!

    Never read anything quite like it. Readers get to see your writing and thought process all in one go. I think this will inspire future writers and can serve as a roadmap for people who also want to start this kind of blog. I like how you are doing it in your own way. I probably would’ve thought about creating the outline first but there’s always a method to the madness that people might not see directly.

    keep it up!

    1. Rogier, I will be the first person to tell you that my way is not how a lot of people would do it.  I will probably never make it to the best seller list either, but that’s alright.  I just want to encourage people to just do it… start that book.  Could you imagine what literary treasures are out there, just waiting to be written?

      Thanks for stopping by today, and have a great week

      Clay

  11. I think this is a wonderful idea for a literary website – to actually show people how the process works, step by step. 

    I’m a musician and songwriter by trade, it’s what I studied and it’s how I’ve made money ever since I qualified. I was creative, so I always loved the idea of writing novels, but quickly realised I didn’t have the English Lit level needed to succeed (although I believed I had the ideas!). 

    This process of showing people how to start, where to start etc is so valuable – I would have loved to have seen something like this in my twenties! 

    I will be following your progress with this book…

    1. Thanks, Chris.  I know there are so many people out there who have a story to tell, but they just can’t seem to take that first step.  I appreciate you reading my article… have a great day.

      Clay

  12. I really like your post!

    I just wrote a book and put it on Kindle, so this is very good timing.

    A lot of people like the way I write. I write how I speak, so if you read my book, it’s like having a conversation with me…

    I have also made 2 movies as executive producers, so I fully understand that the story is everything…

    I would like to be a character in your book!

    Then let’s dramatize it!

    That would be cool!

    Tim

    1. Hi, Tim.  It sounds like you have a lot going on!  Executive Producer is quite an accomplishment.  I appreciate you stopping by and checking out my website.  

      Clay

  13. Thank you for showing us how you write your book 🙂

    This is going to be interesting. I want to write a short story e-book which I find it hard to get started.

    I am sure your information and your writing process will help me get stared with my e-book 🙂

    Thank you.

  14. Hello Writer!

    You have an awesome-easy-to-read article on one of the things I was always interested in challenging myself to do: to write and finish a book! You can say that it’s right up my alley because I always wondered how could I come up with my characters and the places where my story would take place.

    You gave me a clear idea on how to make that possible, so a big thumbs up for that!

    So what happened for you as you wrote and completed your book on your website?

    I’m going to have to bookmark your website, what do you have as far as monetizing your work? It would be gratefully appreciated!

    Jose

    1. Hi Jose, This book has just begun, so I am only as far as the article is.  I will be writing another article next week, so then we will both find out how it goes.  My website uses affiliate links, but other than that, it’s all just writing. 

      Thanks for checking out my website today, and please come by again.  

      Clay

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