People often ask why I started writing and I say to get the stories out of my head. Some say they’d like to write a book, but I say if you’re not wracked with labor pains, there are easier ways to express yourself. Being a writer is a solitary, eccentric, and often compulsive path that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
Actually never. For me the start of the book is the opening scene in which the characters first appear, then step-by-step take over the story. For me, plot is what happens while my characters interact.
I don’t start out to write a book about grace or forgiveness or acceptance of God’s will or faith or love. I start with a character in a predicament. As the story develops, as the character struggles toward his or her goals, is set back and suffers, that is where the theme begins to emerge. I honestly don’t know which theme will predominate in a story until the characters start making choices, for good or ill. The truths are there, but only become known as the story forms.
The writer’s mind is never still. Everything becomes a story, everyone a character. Read everything you can, learn and develop your craft. Good writing can be taught, but writers are born and commissioned. If that’s you, do it.