Beginning the Writing Process

16 Jun


I just started a new novel, “Shadows Over a Hangman’s Noose”

I just started a new novella, “The Billy the Kid Chronicles: Breathing Fire on a Cold Winter’s Day”

I love the beginning of the process.


“I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process.” Vincent Van Gogh

That quote by Van Gogh may be a little too close to the truth for me.

But God help me, I understand it and love it.

The novel is the third in the “Shadows” series of mysteries.  The novella is the fifth in the “Billy the Kid Chronicles”  In other words, I know these characters well and for me it’s like having dinner with old friends and catching up on old times.

They all talked to me this morning, told me where they wanted to go and then gave me the keys to the literary car, and I am so looking forward to the road trip.


Go online and do a Google search for “how to write a novel.”  You’ll find quite a few tips on the “proper” way to go about it, and so I offer up my tip as well……ignore all the tips and do it your own way!

The longer I am a writer the more I realize there is no one way to write a novel.  Some people outline.  I can’t stand that restraint.  Some people know the entire story when they start.  I have no clue.  Some edit as they go along.  I finish the first draft and don’t do any editing until the third draft.  My way works for me but most likely would not work for others, and their way would definitely not work for me.

The best tip I can give is to just write.  The story will emerge in its own time as the characters allow it to happen.  You can’t force a story.  You can’t will it to happen.

You may never write a novel and that’s fine as well.  It may be true that there is a bestseller in every writer, but not every writer can write a bestseller.  That truth you can take to the bank.


My disgust with the forums at the writer’s site HubPages is well-known and well-documented.  I see no reason for me to stop by a place where nasty trolls linger waiting for their chance to attack the unsuspecting.

But not all writers’ forums are like that.

Someone asked me the other day in my Mailbag series if I could steer them towards a good writing forum, so I gave them a couple suggestions.  Here’s the thing about forums: you are under no obligation to stay in them if you find them disgusting or rude or just not helpful.  Bounce around the various forums until you find one that works for you.  There are some good ones out there but you’ll have to find the one that matches your needs.


Another shout out to John Hansen and his new site The Creative Exiles.  If you are a creative writer, prose or poetry, then take a few minutes and check out this great new site.


To Mike Friedman and his extraordinary book The Carriage Driver.  If you haven’t read it you are shortchanging yourself.


That’s it for today…short and sweet!

The new novella is up and available in paperback and Kindle…”The Billy the Kid Chronicles: Home is a Dangerous Place

Have a great week of living!  Embrace life… often…sing often…hug and kiss more often…and in your spare time…..



“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

18 Responses to “Beginning the Writing Process”

  1. Janine Huldie June 16, 2016 at 7:14 pm #

    Love, love, love your advice to write and just couldn’t agree more. Happy Thursday now, Bill!! 😉

    • Billybuc June 16, 2016 at 8:20 pm #

      Aww, thanks Janine, and congratulations on the first of many graduation events.

      • Janine Huldie June 16, 2016 at 8:21 pm #

        Aw, thank you Bill and still can’t believe Kindergarten is over for her. Time is seriously flying!

  2. 1authorcygnetbrown June 16, 2016 at 8:48 pm #

    I agree, Bill. Each writer’s style should be as individual as that writer’s voice. I think it does help to read about how other authors do things, try them, keep what works and toss what doesn’t.(It is sort of like what I do when I garden too.)

    • Billybuc June 17, 2016 at 2:26 pm #

      Thanks for your thoughts, Donna. Of course we should read how others do it….just don’t take it as the gospel.

      • 1authorcygnetbrown June 17, 2016 at 7:19 pm #


  3. lawrencehebb June 16, 2016 at 8:53 pm #

    Really enjoyed this, and I’m so glad there’s no ‘one way’ to write the novel. Fory second I’ll try something slightly different.

    • Billybuc June 17, 2016 at 2:41 pm #

      Lawrence, you’re going pretty well without any help, so carry on with what you are doing, my friend, and thanks for stopping by.

  4. Audrey Howitt June 18, 2016 at 12:19 am #

    It is always a pleasure to stop by here Bill–I need to get cracking on reading this summer–are you on Amazon?

    • Billybuc June 18, 2016 at 11:45 pm #

      I am on Amazon, Audrey, and I thank you…enjoy your vacation.

  5. phoenix2327 June 18, 2016 at 9:54 am #

    I completely agree about creative writing. You create your own story, your own characters, and your own setting. It makes sense that you create your own way of writing it. I’ve tried every tip and guideline going and they just don’t work well for me. I just gotta do what I gotta do.

    Have a great weekend. Hope you’ve got sunshine. It’s been overcast a drizzly here for nearly a week now.

    • Billybuc June 18, 2016 at 11:46 pm #

      Zulma, we have the same weather, but they are promising sunshine all next week. We shall see! Thank you and Happy Weekend to you.

  6. Melanie June 18, 2016 at 3:36 pm #

    Couldn’t agree with you more on the forums… I also found them to be a bit nasty at times, so I stopped going there altogether. Great writing advice as always. Hope you’re having a great weekend! (It’s FREEZING here, but I’m not complaining 😉 )

    • Billybuc June 18, 2016 at 11:48 pm #

      Wet weather, Mel, but a promise of warmer soon. I need it. I’m getting tired of damp and chilly. I actually wore shoes today. LOL

  7. Cynthia June 20, 2016 at 5:48 pm #

    Always enjoy your posts, Big Bro. I noticed that part about the drafts. Haha…I’ll let you in on a little secret: I’m experimenting. The first draft was a “correct as I go” and get a feel for the whole thing. The second was a read through, adding notes of what I’d like to change. Just started the third draft today, adding details and rewriting chunks as necessary to accommodate the notes I made and to make all the character arcs and story arcs agree. The fourth draft will be a read-through again, with minor corrections as necessary.
    Next time, though, I think I want to do a read-through on the first draft, adding notes and then do a content edit for the 2nd and 3rd drafts. The 4th will remain a final read-through. Of course, I want to do the best I can and publish the best material I can, but…my aim is for lots of Kindle publishing. I’ve wanted to do that for a long while. Even if that means I make pennies for awhile. I have a day job (that…I already know I won’t stay in beyond this year…I want to finish what I’ve started but it’s just too…draining and too much) so I can write here and there. Hehe.
    Hope you’ve had a good week! Hugs.

    • Billybuc June 21, 2016 at 1:55 pm #

      Lil Sis, I always enjoy reading about other writers and how they go about their craft. Thanks for sharing yours. If it works for you then do it…that’s my motto in life as well…as long as no one else is hurt by it….

      Anyway, so it took me so long to get here. Have a superb Tuesday and hugs back atcha.

  8. Shauna L Bowling July 14, 2016 at 6:01 pm #

    I’m pleased to hear you’re working on a third Shadows novel, Bill. I asked if you were in the comment section of one of your hubs earlier today. I finally got around to reading Shadows Over Innocence and polished it off in two days. I couldn’t put it down!

    • Billybuc July 14, 2016 at 6:06 pm #

      Sha, that’s the nicest thing a reader could tell an author, they couldn’t put it down..thank you so much.

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