Starting to write is like baking a cake

On the face of it when to start writing a new project is simple, when you feel like it. But in reality that is so far from the truth it can actually be scary.

For me, a writer needs to have been obsessing about the book for some time, they will have a notebook full of ideas and notes for the salient parts of the book, maybe a list of characters and most likely, if not essential, started to type up notes. These notes will have grown from a page or so, to a few pages and then maybe twenty pages and you can’t stop. It keeps on coming and you find yourself becoming more and more embroiled in the plot. Greater ideas come for other parts of the book and other ideas are coming so thick and fast that you can’t keep up.

Only then will it be time to make sense of all of these notes and the writer will have started a MIND MAP to see how all of these related and unrelated ideas fit into the bigger picture, the plot and storyline.

It is quite likely that the writer will have woken up early, very early some mornings and found themselves typing notes at 4am and are still there at 8am banging away on the keyboard.

That is the time when the writer is ready to start the first chapter, prologue or however they start their book, not before. Like baking a cake, you need all of the ingredients on the worktop before you start, otherwise you will be missing some vital ingredient and the cake will not taste good at all. In fact, it will probably not rise to the occasion and need to be thrown away and re-started, this time, when everything is ready.

Not only does a writer need all of the ingredients, they need to have the recipe to follow, otherwise it will all turn out pear shaped.

So writers needs to keep fresh ingredients, have an up to date recipe and be sure that they have all of that they need to hand before they embark on the long haul of writing their book.

Check out my new book The handbook of TOP TIPS To Manage Your Writing, now available on Kindle and soon to be a paperback on createspace.


About purpleandrew

Andrew, recently diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome is a 54 year old former geologist always had short hair, suited & booted for work. That all changed when the credit crunch hit. Now a complimentary therapist, hospital radio presenter, and writer. Andrew writes crime thrillers, Young Adult, and fantasy books as well as blogging about writing and other stuff that he feels strongly about.
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3 Responses to Starting to write is like baking a cake

  1. Gary Bell says:

    I agree that the book wanting to be written needs to be an obsession. It’s always going to be playing on in your mind as to what’s going to happen, what could happen and where the story, or series, can go.

    I’m not 100% sure that all of the ingredients need to be there completely. Specifically I am on about the characters. Do you need to know everything about your characters at the start, and how the story affects them, or is letting them evolve in your mind and on paper as the story progresses something which should happen?

    I’ve only just started writing, so I’m not sure with this, but one of my main characters who I had thought of initially as being quite secretive with details about him remaining unknown quickly turned out to have a wife and two kids. Should I have known that before pen hit paper, or is this type of revelation normal in the writing world?

    • purpleandrew says:

      Ah, good point Gary,
      that is a question where you have to trust that as the writing develops, the storyline and characters evolve with time.
      I agree that it would be pretty dull for the writer to know everything before they start, but they need to know enough to get a proper start and allow the book to evolve as you write

      • Gary Bell says:

        Thanks for the response. It’s good to know that I might not be doing something totally strange and stupid right at the start of my writing career

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