So far my writing experience boils down to one finished book and the beginning of a second. Through the course of the eighteen months that it took me to write Blooming Into Life, my writing process evolved. I worked out a lot of the kinks that were slowing me down. I imagine my process will continue to improve as I go, but I feel a lot more equipped as I begin my second novel than I did when I started my first.
I learned that I’m not a planner. When I plan, I shut down. As much as I wanted to create an organized outline, that’s just not who I am or how I work. I have to just let things flow the way they want and clean up the mess that results as I go along. I spend a fair amount of time brainstorming before I ever start writing. Most of this happens when I’m walking, running or driving.
After a fair amount of time thinking about my story and characters, I work on my character sheets. Many times, scenes are created in my character development. To fully understand who they are, I have to write out scenes from their life. Some of these scenes make it into the story and some are just backstory material that is never shown to the reader.
My story begins with an issue that I want to address and then I create the characters that play into that issue. In Blooming Into Life, I wanted to address self-love and acceptance. So I created a character with a broken self-worth. I worked backward to how she became broken and then I worked forward to how she becomes whole again.
I do a quick meditation before every writing session. I imagine my body is filled with light that clears away all negative energy. I imagine light coming in through my head, down into my throat (voice), down my arms into my fingertips, and back to my heart. I end my meditation with a prayer of gratitude to my little writing angels for providing me with clear thoughts with the right words making up great sentences that create a beautiful story.
I sit for a set amount of time every day – usually 3-5 hours in the morning, unplugged from email and social media. Every writing session begins by reading what I worked on the day before. Sometimes I spend days reworking the same material over and over until I read it and find nothing that needs to be more developed. Once I finish a draft, I repeat the process until I'm ready to share it with an editor. I lost track of how many drafts I reworked/rewrote in Blooming Into Life. I'm hopeful that the second time around is more organized with fewer drafts.
Blooming into Life
by Kristie Booker
GENRE: Women’s Fiction
Growing up on a farm in Brockville, Illinois, did not prepare Colleen O’Brien Adler to be the wife of a wealthy entertainment lawyer living in Chicago. It certainly didn’t prepare her to be Dinah Adler’s daughter-in-law. The stay-at-home mother of two has more than she’s ever wanted—a personal stylist, a prestigious country club membership, a multimillion-dollar home—but she finds herself not only struggling with depression and body image but also failing as a parent and fearing for her marriage. Her life is about to change when an invitation to a wellness meeting arrives in her inbox. With some coaxing from personal coach Kory Stone, she commits to a new beginning. But will she be able to overcome the things that are holding her back?
“How many of you are here to lose weight?” Kory asked.
Colleen raised her hand along with every other woman in the room. Noticing how skinny over half the room was, Colleen wondered why they were raising their hand.
“While your goal is weight loss, my goal is to help you find yourself, your true self,” Kory said.
“What if our true self just needs to lose weight?” Beth said.
The women around the table laughed. Kory smiled at her. “I want to help you see beyond your physical body and dig deep into what makes your heart happy.”
Beth’s smile faded as she considered Kory’s words. Colleen had no idea what made her heart happy. She loved the girls and Jay. They made her happy. They also made her exhausted. Besides her bed, a vanilla latte and a bottle of wine, she couldn’t put her finger on anything that truly made her happy.
“The hardest part about finding out what makes you happy is being truthful about what isn’t making you happy,” Kory said. “In order to lose weight and keep it off, you have to commit to working hard to overcome the things that are holding you back.”
Colleen wasn’t sure she could commit to doing whatever work Kory was talking about. Some things in her life were too difficult to overcome.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Kristie Booker is the author of Blooming Into Life, a blogger and a Wellness Coach. She enjoys coaching and inspiring women through her writing as well as in person. Kristie is a wife and mother of two sons. She grew up in rural Illinois, but now lives in Chicago.
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
Kristie will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.