…Is a question many people ask, writers or not. Plus, I'm sure every writer worth their blog has posted something along these lines, but if this helps anyone out there, then its worth it to me.
I was drinking (a lot) the other night with a writer friend and he was curious about my process because he is only half way into his first book, whereas I have a couple collecting dust.
Getting the idea is pretty easy because everyone can come up with a cool storyline. I told my friend that what works for me is after you know what your story is about you need to create characters that you believe to be real.
And then it’s as simple as this; the world gets created as your character does what they need to do. Ex: he needs to borrow money from a loan shark, then you create that loan shark and his environment. There’s a chapter.
The world gets bigger and more complicated and before you know it, these characters are deciding things for themselves and taking the story in a direction you would have never known. If your characters are well developed and deep, then how can they be predictable?
As long as you don’t lose sight of your final goal, you can stay on track. Imagine a line that represents your story from start to finish. Don’t let your tangents run too far off of the line. Always work your way back to that line and you won’t get lost.
The alcohol probably didn’t help me explain it, but this is what works for me and I’m sure every writer has their own process. Good luck to millions of writers who read this.