If i were to write a book it would have a southern setting and definitely be a New Adult and a paranormal romance. It would probably take place in a college in New Orleans and perhaps deal with ghosts and voodoo... or some other southern folklore. This part of my imaginary book is so easy to choose. The part that is hard (and the reason i'm not actually writing this book) is taking the story beyond that! I have a TOTAL lack of creativity.... I have issues trying to figure out what happens or how to write my ideas in a manner that flows. I once tried writing a 1st chapter to this book but it came out very flat and boring sounding. Also, it seemed so unrealistic that i though it sounded sort of silly. I guess years of writing academic and research papers have affected me. lol. Anywho, I wanted to go over my writing style and discuss how it can be translated to a book!
First thing i do when i have a writing project ahead of me is to brainstorm! I get a piece of paper and write down an exhausted list of everything i know i want added to the paper. I just write it all fast and in no particular order. Things I Include (for my research/academic papers) are (1) quotes from papers i know i wanted to cite, (2) web urls i know have info i can included, (3) results, test, interviews I've done and (4) rough outline of the sections i want to include. If you were writing a book however, some things you could write down included (1) scene, quotes, and jokes you know you want included, (2) the setting and environment things you want to add, (3) personality traits you want your characters to have, (4) your purpose/inspirations for the book, (5) rough outline and maybe your preliminary ideas for the flow of the story as well as the ending, if you already know that.
Once i have all my initial ideas down, i moved them away so i cant see them and i try to forget them! I create a keyword list for all elements of my project and start researching! For a book, in this step, i would start researching cities and locations to use as well as different jokes, poems, quotes or whatever else will be in the story. I would go through a list of keywords such as "New Orleans Folklore" or "New Orleans Colleges" or "History of Voodoo in New Orleans". Once I start finding things of interest i would bookmark the webpage and write down any parts I "KNOW" i want to use.
The next thing i do is define and summarize all my different finds and start making "stacks" or relevant info. For example, i look at my first section of my outline and make a group of resource from my finds that correspond to that topic. I also decide, according to the material i find, what exactly will be in that section. In a book, this is a great time to define your characters and scenes further. I would create a full biography for each character and a full history of the place where the story will take place. Once that is done, take a look at your outline and see if you you can further develop each section of the outline. At this point, i would rewrite my outline and divide into chapters. I would designate a purpose for each chapter as well as decided where to place the major plot points.
The next thing i do is just write! I don't worry too much about finishing a section or anything, i mainly just try to get down all my ideas for each section. I usually write a little bit, then come back a few days later and write a little bit more until i have enough for it to be considered a rough draft. For a book, its pretty much the same, just write down as much as you can for each chapter and call it a rough draft. Take a little break and come back to write a little more. Once you have a large chunk of each chapter written, you should be proud of yourself because the hardest part is over!
Next thing i do is compare all my written notes to my paper to be sure i included all my MUST haves! Same in a book! If something is missing, find a place to add it.
Once this is done, i scour through my bookmarked research to find anything else i might want to add. In a book, it is crucial not to leave any holes or to leave things unresolved. So try to think about ways to finish out any parts that don't seem quite good enough.
The next thing i do is to re-read my whole paper. This is important to be sure everything is as it should be. Sometimes i get excited about what i'm writing and write fast...but when rereading i realize that it didn't come out the way i wanted it to. If you see spots like that in your book, rewrite them! I would reread my book a few times a continue to revise until it sounded complete.
The next thing i do is persuade my boyfriend to read it! Well actually, he loves anything science and medicine so he usually likes to read my papers. With a book, you'll need to enlist some beta readers. They will tell you a lot like: if an event is confusing, if a character/scene is inconsistent, if the flow is bad, if the writing isn't good enough, if the world building is bland, or if they disagree with a plot point. Once you get there feedback you can adjust and revise as you see fit. At this point i would send it to a different set of beta readers so that you can get even more opinions.
Last thing i do is submit it to a online super checker. They check for spelling, grammar, word choice and almost all kind of other stuff! For a book, you'll need a good editor and proofreader. They will further critique your story and offer changes they see appropriate. Once it's all said and done, a proofreaders or two will need to go over your full book with a fine tooth comb to abolish any typos or errors.