Brainstorming gives an author a lot of raw material to work with. But, typically, it is truly raw. Left as is, it isn’t very interesting to read.
The next step is to add some organization.
Most of us remember the basic five-paragraph essay we wrote as a student in school. Paragraph one was the introduction, paragraphs two, three, and four were where you made the points you wanted the reader to take away from your essay, and paragraph five pulled it all together.
When writing a book, the paragraphs become chapters. And you will probably have more than three in the middle.
It’s important to add some additional layers of organization to your material.
There are several basic patterns of organization. Four that we all are familiar with are comparison and contrast, process, cause and effect, and definition.
- Comparison and contrast is showing how things are alike and how they are different. A very basic example of this could be to talk about different varieties of apples. They are similar because they grow on trees and are a type of fruit. They are different in color, texture, and taste.
- Process is to put things in order of when they are done or happen – first this, then that, and that, and finally that.
- With cause and effect, one thing happens and as a result something else happens.
- In definition, you start with a broad classification you are discussing and gradually move to more and more detail – going from a broad concept to individual characteristics.
You want to select the basic pattern for your entire book. There may be some specific points that require the addition of a second pattern, but you always want to go back to your basic pattern as you transition from chapter to chapter.
Clear, easy-to-follow organization will make it much easier for your reader to understand the message you are sharing.
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Are you struggling to own your story, and to put “pen to paper?” Are you stuck and unsure how to get started? One of my gifts is helping to organize your thoughts, so you can share them with the world!! Give me a call at 843-593-0045 or click here to schedule a complimentary “Author Planning Session.”