Start With Buckets Not Outlines

When you write a book, you might be tempted to start from the beginning and work your way all the way through.  While it is important to understand where you are going, it doesn’t have to be written in that order.  I had a friend and fellow Lucid Books author, Leigh McLeroy, who is a wonderful writer and well-known editor.  She was kind enough to meet with me to help me get started.
As I was lamenting to her about how I was feeling frustrated with the outlining process, she suggested that I make ‘buckets’ instead.

So, here’s what I did:

  1. Wrote a long list of everything that I wanted to make sure to talk about in my book.
  2. Create ‘Buckets’ to capture topics with the same general theme.
  3. Put my list of Buckets into an order that would work for the flow of the book.

Once I had this finished, I was then able to pick out a bucket and start writing, and it didn’t matter what order I chose to write in.  This helped a lot with the way that I write and helps me to pick out a Bucket and then write in order to fill it.  While this method may not work very well for someone who is writing Fiction or someone who is a linear thinker, but it is working so far as I write about my life story.

There are certainly days that I go to write, and I want to add something to the book that I had not previously put into a bucket.  When this happens, I write in a separate document, and then work with my editor, Kelly, to figure out the best bucket to put it in.

I’m always grateful to learn from other writers how they go about preparing to write their books.  What works best for you?  Please share in the comment area below.

PS – I’d love to have you connect with my writing process on Facebook.  You can do so by clicking here and then clicking the ‘Like’ button.

Casey Cease