About Writing, Life and Writing About Life

Book Structure

Now that I have lots of preparation under my belt, it’s time to make some serious progress on this book. So I’m thinking about how it will be structured.
When I wrote Their Cancer – Your Journey, I found it easy to create a structure. Using the analogy of a journey, I had chapters which related to stages on that journey. Then it was easy to brainstorm the topics within each chapter and the subtopics within each topic. This made the writing process much easier as well as I had small defined segments which were usually 3 – 5 paragraphs long and could be written in a short space of time – just as well as with 2 children short spaces of time were all I could muster.
When I first hit on the topic of this book – spiritual development – I thought maybe it would not work the same way. Maybe I would be writing in more of a ‘stream of consciousness’ way, tapping in to inner wisdom as I wrote. I still hope that there will be an element of this approach as I have not written that way and will be intrigued to see what comes out of it. But the process I have gone through so far since The Beginning has left time for some kind of a structure to emerge already. I know that the structure of a book matters – it needs some kind of logical organisation to help the reader, but I had thought that it might emerge later for this book, perhaps during the editing process. Anyway, I guess it is my subconscious that has begun providing the structure so that’s fine too.
The first stage was hitting on the Seven Simple Strategies (which do indeed exist) and I feel that is the second half of the book, but there needs to be a first half (or part, they might not be the same length). This was what I thought was nebulous and would emerge, possibly out of looking at things that have happened in my life, the ups and downs of turning away from organised religion and then being lured almost against my will into spiritual exploration much later. Whilst making odd notes about my thoughts though, what has emerged has been to think about the kinds of challenges that walking a spiritual path in the real world throws up. So far this is based on my experiences, but I think I would like to do some research here about what challenges others have faced. When I was writing about cancer I found doing research easy as there were any number of online forums where I could read about the traumas friends and family were facing. I am wondering if there are similar places online for spiritual matters – I must confess I’ve never gone looking for one, but I think now I might!
Anyway, how the book structure looks at the moment is:

  • Introduction
  • Challenges faced
  • Seven Simple Strategies
  • Conclusion/Invitation

Comments on: "Book Structure" (1)

  1. […] The Deathly Hallows part one ended up being unremittingly dark. So when I was thinking about the structure of my book I wondered about the Emotional Flight Plan. My thoughts of having the first half of the book as […]

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