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Greenwolf103
06-09-2008, 08:44 PM
I am having a hard time figuring out how to put a new book project together. (Organiing it, writing it and layout.)

I know what kind of book it will be. But I just don't know how to put it together. It's not your average "take-it-from-me" kind of book. Actually, it's one of those "how WE did it" books. You know, like a roundtable discussion with a bunch of writers, editors and publishers. Maybe it would work as an "anthology" type of book? But I don't want to do an anthology! No way.

At first I thought I would write each chapter like it was an article. But then it'd get tiresome introducing EVERYONE the same way again and again and again in each chapter.

Then I thought I'd just interview each person indivifually and use their interview as it's own section in each chapter. But that's a little....limited.

So, now I can't figure out how to put it all together. Or even a proposal for it! The book is about a THEME with writing. But it's about how a bunch of writers got through this particular thing. All kinds of writers: aspiring, published, famous and not-so-famous. Freelancers. Authors. Poets. Editors. Copywriters. Publishers. That much I do know. But not how to put it all together into one book...

Advice?

scope
06-10-2008, 02:49 AM
At first I thought I would write each chapter like it was an article. But then
So, now I can't figure out how to put it all together. Or even a proposal for it! The book is about a THEME with writing. But it's about how a bunch of writers got through this particular thing. All kinds of writers: aspiring, published, famous and not-so-famous. Freelancers. Authors. Poets. Editors. Copywriters. Publishers. That much I do know. But not how to put it all together into one book...

Advice?[/quote]


Obviously, you need a story line with purpose that includes a beginning, middle, end, and connecting passages. You want to immediately draw the reader in and keep him there. You apparently have many, many characters, and that can be good or bad. Have you thoroughly fleshed out each character? There's a whole lot more you have to do, but for me, one of the first things you should do is clarify your above paragraph. Others may understand it, but I don't. Please make it simple.

Greenwolf103
06-10-2008, 03:41 AM
This is a nonfiction book, especially for writers. I am interviewing writers, authors, editors and publishers for it.

HeronW
06-10-2008, 04:49 AM
How about assocoation by topic or by chronology in doing stuff?
You don't need to rehash background for every speaker since what's important is the message not the messenger. You can keep it simple: 'Frank, an agent' etc.

scope
06-10-2008, 07:15 AM
This is a nonfiction book, especially for writers. I am interviewing writers, authors, editors and publishers for it.

Of course you don't have to tell us what you proposed book will be about, and if that's your decision you'll get no argument from me. It's your idea and you can, and will, do with it as you deem right. However, speaking for myself, I can't give any advice or feedback based upon only knowing that it's a nonfiction book, especially for writers. Using that premise my imagination could run wild, perhaps to no avail.

cpickett
06-10-2008, 08:44 PM
From what you've told us so far regarding the topic, I think I get what you're trying to do. If I'm way off, then yes we'll need a bit more info.

You have a central topic like dealing with writer's block (purely a guess)
You're going to interview 50 writers who will give their solutions and that is the primary content of the book.

Even though you say it's not an anthology, it sort of is. So far, it sounds like a collection of interviews. Nothing inherently wrong with that (considering Chicken Soup), but you're right, if not done just right, it can get repetitive/boring.

One thought I have is to do all of your interviews and then look for ways to cluster main points. Maybe some of the advice could be grouped together in chapters. In my example, maybe you'd have, "take a break", "pushing on", and "call in an expert" and the stories/quotes would then be included within other information you add.

If you went this route, you probably still want to introduce each participant so you can include a section of brief bios maybe at the end of the book, or even in the middle like some autobiographies do with photos.

Does this help?

June Casagrande
06-12-2008, 09:35 AM
In my humble opinion, this is perhaps 75% of what nonfiction authors get paid for: organizing and presenting information. Also in my humble opinion, IT'S HARD. And others' advice seldom helps (me).

Sometimes trial and error works best. Don't know how to write it? Then just write it. You may soon see how NOT to.

Sometimes for me it's just a matter of sort of steeping in the project long enough -- reading about it, writing about it, going through notes or interviews -- and then the best way to organize the information sometimes becomes clear.

Also, very important: Remember that you CAN break out of molds and defy convention. (My books deliver grammar lessons via stories about pudding, the Rose Parade and my childhood obsession with "Planet of the Apes.")

Riddle me this: If you we were all in the same room and you were telling us about it instead of writing it, how would you deal with the repetitiveness concern. Would you just start by saying: Okay, here's the deal. I'll first introduce the players then we'll get into their specific stories in turn?

I mean, maybe the information is already clearly organized in your head and you just need to give voice to it (disregarding any little voices that say that's now how it *should* be done).

Then again, maybe I'm wrong.

Either way, I feel your pain and I wish you luck!

Greenwolf103
06-13-2008, 06:51 PM
June, thank you. :) For the most part, the repetitiveness of re-introducing everyone in each chapter is the thing I'm worried about. But Heron'
s suggestion is solid. I think if I introduce them as "an agent with X Literary Services" (etc.) then just with their last names in following chapters, it might work. Maybe....

Cheryl, I like your idea, but I don't know if I'm "getting" it completely. Can you please provide an example?

Thanks so much for all of the advice and suggestions. :)

tombookpub
06-16-2008, 06:52 AM
Have you considered hiring a book doctor/consultant to discuss your plans. For a few hours of time, you'd get some constructive advice I'm sure. It may save you dozens of hours down the road.