A couple of people have asked about how I write a book, how you organize so much material, so here goes. This is a general outline.
Generally I already have written things – on this blog, on my Patreon, elsewhere — on various topics. I look through those, sometimes printing out pages and so try to figure out what will be substantial enough for a chapter.
Once I have those chosen – (currently, the chapter list looks a lot like my question list, previously posted) – I figure out what the intro to the subject is, the key stories (because stories) and write those. Then I expand outward in both directions – more intro and concluding sections until I have something that “feels like” a complete chapter.
Somewhere in here, too, I start to think about word count (100k is the goal) or the # of chapters (5-8? not sure yet) and start dividing material up in that way. For both previous books, I had a word count I needed to meet daily… which I should be doingfor this one like maybe yesterday.
I may work on these all at once, depending on what’s inspiring me, or I may work on them one at a time. That’s up to my brain, and I find it’s useful to let it lead instead o trying to force it to do anything.
Eventually some topics get folded into others & others appear. Over & over I print the material and look at it as if it’s already a book, looking to see what order might make the most sense, and finally, I write opening & closing paragraphs to lead from one into the other.
For She’s Not, my editor went back and forth on whether or not the 2nd & 3rd chapters should be switched about a dozen times and now I’m not sure which was which.
Right now, with this one, I’m mostly asking myself “so what’s happened since 2006?” On a variety of topics (marriage, sex, transition, etc) & just answering the question.
Come join me on Patreon where I’ll be talking more about process, and if you can, help me buy that printer now that you know how badly it’s needed.