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i am just thinking about writing a book about my life and the true love i once lost but have now been reunited with. I just basically need to know where to start.

Answer
Hello Billie:

You have made a wise choice - "write what you know." No one knows your story like you do; no one else could possibly write it.

If the emphasis is to be on your love relationship with someone, there are bound to be incidents which either strenghened the relationship or weakened it. Get a pack of 3x5 cards and on each one write a few words about one of those incidents - just enough to remind you of what happened. (You don't have to use them all). Don't number them and don't worry about the order; you'll likely be changing them later.

Your next task is to decide on some kind of progression: do you want to tell the story chronologically in time or in some other order? Lay the cards on the floor and arrange them in a way that pleases you. Don't think about why you like a certain arrangement better than another, just lay them out in a progression you like. Trust your instincts on this.

Once you have a pattern you like, number your cards (in pencil). You are now ready to make an outline. Fill this in with other material as it occurs to you. If making an outline doesn't appeal to you, you can just start writing, following the cards. Keep on until you finish all the cards. Now you have a first draft.

With your first draft in hand, start adding the other material you want to include: the bits about your life, the decisions you made and why, and how they affected you. Keep going till you get to the end. Now you have a 2nd draft. At that point, get someone who knows something about writing to look it over. There are many writers' groups at groups.yahoo.com and on MSN - that's a good place to test your work.

I hope this has helped. If it has, a nice rating would be greatly appreciated. I am proud of my record over 200 questions!

And good luck with your writing!

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Susan Rand

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I can answer questions about the elements of fiction and non-fiction writing: how to get started, writing techniques, re-writing, etc. I will NOT write for you, do critiques except from my website at http://pygmypress.com, or give you ideas. I will not answer home-or-schoolwork questions in any category. If English is your second language, please say so, and I will make an exception. Please submit no more than one or two questions at once, as I tend to go into detail in my answers.

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I wrote my first book in 1957 and have been writing and studying writing since. I have a BA in Written Communications, and have taught writing both privately and through adult education for 15 years. Have also edited (fiction books) for an online publisher and edited/wrote more than 100 articles for a teen sex education site. Currently writing web content and mentoring beginning writers.

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BA degree in Written Communication

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