Every time I start a book, I have to do certain things. I see social media posts about what snacks an author has to have, where they have to write, which pet keeps them company, whether they plot or pants but what about when they open the computer and the blank document is staring them in the face. What then? I’m not sure about others—despite my curiosity I haven’t actually asked others.
I have my own list of things I HAVE to do before I can start the book and thought, for something different, I’d share. No particular order, but let me just say, I’m not starting a book without these.
I’m a pantser, mostly. I have an idea of the theme, vibe, direction, who the characters are but I don’t have a PLAN. But I have a FEELING. And I absolutely need a quote (typically found via Pinterest) to capture that feeling before I begin.
- Working title
I’ve tried a couple times to work around this but it honestly throws me off every time I open the document. Lots of times, I’m fully expecting the publisher to change the title, but if I don’t have something to start with? Not happening.
Much to my husband’s dismay, nothing happens in my house without music, including my writing. Our home is basically a country-style Disney sing-a-long-musical.
- First line
They (I don’t know who they are) say “give yourself permission to suck”. That’s fine. The rest of my manuscript can be overhauled and likely will be. But I can’t go anywhere without a first line. I will spend longer on trying to achieve the first line than I have on whole chapters.
- Page organization
This is a weird one for someone who starts without a plan. Once I have my title and quote on a page, I’m setting up my font, indents, spacing, and adding page numbers. Every. Single. Time.
So? Do you have any hard habits or routines?
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Megan Carter’s spent the past five years nannying for a pint-size boss—the adorable Charlie—while also navigating her full-size boss, his somewhat grouchy, way-too-methodical dad, Adam. Now that she’s finally moving on, helping Adam find her replacement should be easy…except he doesn’t want another nanny. He wants a wife.
Adam’s been burned by love in the past, so of course he believes finding someone who can be a partner in raising his son is all that matters. Too bad the woman helping him search is the biggest believer in love at first sight and happily-ever-after he’s ever met.
Even as Adam’s funny, charming, and—who would have thought it?—super-hot side starts to come out, Megan knows that without love, a family would never be complete. But convincing Adam of that might be harder than she thought.
Jody Holford lives in British Columbia with her family. She’s a huge fan of Rainbow Rowell, Nora Roberts, Carly Phillips, Rachel Gibson, Sophia Kinsella, and Emily Giffen. She’s unintentionally funny and rarely on time for anything. She writes multiple genres but her favourite is romance.