Previously published on My Book Therapy’s Weekly Spark, Andrea Renee Cox (http://writingtoinspire.blogspot.com) cherishes God, family and writing with a song in heart and a story in mind. This Texan girl enjoys road trip vacations with her family and trying different dessert recipes, looking for “keepers.”
THOUGHTFUL ABOUT . . . RING OF SECRETS
Sometimes another author’s book sparks an idea for a novel of my own. Other times it hatches a plan for a blog article. Still other times there’s a line on the pages that can be applied to other parts of my life besides just writing.
Roseanna White’s Ring of Secrets was no exception.
This novel of espionage in the late 1700s captured my interest from the get-go. What really connected with me, though, was Bennet Lane’s thoughts from chapter three: “Explore, discover, document.” He used these three steps to root out a spy hidden among New York City’s elite aristocratic class.
I use them in my writing.
The first step to writing a novel is to explore. The setting, time period, what people were like in the time chosen for my story—all must be uncovered in order for me to fully understand the time and place and characters of my novel. It’s a fun process that leads from one resource to another to yet another. From books to the internet to music and movies, the places to search and explore are practically endless.
Next comes discovery. This one always surprises me. You never know what neat, off-the-wall tidbits of information you’ll discover while you’re exploring. Little treasure troves of trivia wait to be uncovered and put to good use. These things take my stories to a deeper, more realistic level because the tidbit was a kernel of truth placed artfully within my work of fiction. Every fiction piece has some truth to it, and it’s little wonder when these realities are found during discovery.
Finally, we document everything. This starts with making notes from our resources. It moves into an outline and other brainstorming techniques. Eventually, our documentation flows out into the full-length novel we hope will be published to reach readers’ hands. That’s the day all aspiring authors dream about. Once it happens, the readers sometimes document their thoughts and send them to us via Facebook, Twitter and email.
Maybe writers aren’t the only ones to use Bennet Lane’s “explore, discover, document” method!
What line from your favorite book can be applied to another part of your life beyond reading? How do you use the “explore, discover, document” method?