I Have my Book Idea – Now What?

Adding Filler Objects

If you are to this point, congratulations! You have crossed a difficult bridge. In one of my previous articles, we discuss ideas on how to come up with a fool-proof book idea. We covered being interested in your idea, testing your idea, creating a story plot, letting your idea sit overnight, and sticking with your idea. For this article, let’s discuss the next steps that you could take in your journey to becoming a published author.

As I have researched for many hours what my book cover should be for The Dream Catcher, I have found myself watching countless videos about art and how to make art. After watching many of these videos, I thought there are so many correlations to writing. For this article, we will cover the following:

  1. Starting with a reference image
  2. Paint the Large Objects First
  3. Adding smaller, filler objects
  4. Adding the detail
  5. Adding the final touches

1. Starting with a Reference Image

What to do after book idea
Image by Sarandy Westfall

As I was watching these videos, many of the artists and designers all had a reference picture or a goal in mind. In simple terms, a reference image is an image that you’ll base your art off of. For example, someone may pose building a house as you take a picture of them for you to later draw. It could be a great landscape that you see in the mountains. Or it could even be a photograph that you found in your home.

The reference image can act as an inspiration to your end result. Ideas from many reference photos may help generate your new photo. Often times, designers, videographers, photographers, artists, and authors will look at, read, or observe other people’s work that help them gain inspiration.

For this step, find other authors, articles, or other writings that you admire and record what you enjoy about them. Wether it’s their writing style, character development, scenery descriptions, or light humor. Record what you enjoy about it. These notes can help define some of the detail later on in your writing.

2. Paint the Large Objects First

Many of these highly skilled artists recommended starting by outlining your large objects. One artist had the listeners paint the sky and ground with the different colors and gradients. Then he had the listeners paint large dark mounds, which were later going to be mountains. He then painted a few large tree outlines. Another author painted the head shape and shoulder shape of the character she was drawing. These drawings were a very rough, a non-detailed sketch of the overarching architecture of the images.

Storylines act as this large objects or rough sketches of the basic architecture of your book. Though the storyline is not the end product, it can act as great reference points to where things should go and how things should interact with each other. You can start by writing a sentence or two about your introduction of the characters, the climax and the resolution.

3. Adding smaller, filler objects

Image by Shraga Kopstein

At this point, you should now have your storyline or story plot, for the most part, created. Now it is time to write your first chapter. As I started writing the first chapter. I took a few attempts, reworked a few paragraphs, reordered events, but eventually, I finished the first chapter. I then proceed to write the second chapters. As I started writing the first chapter, I thought of fun cultural things that would make this book fun. I spoke about the town where the main character lived in. I spoke about the main character’s home. Adding the filler objects and detail can help form the culture of your book

The culture of your book is essential to the story. It’s been how many years now, and people still dress up as Star Wars, Disney Princesses, and Harry Potter characters? As you start to develop the things the make up the culture, think of the question, what would kids dress up as for halloween if they pulled a character from my book?

4. Adding the Detail

Adding the detail to your book is another essential ingredient to writing a successful book. After I had completed writing the last chapter, my wife offered to help go through the book and she made great recommendations of smaller details that would help bring the book to life. Adding these details honestly gets me excited to read the book.

It is through the details of the book that helps spark the imagination of your readers. Giving just enough detail to describe the characters, location, culture, scenery, and objects in your book can help spark their imagination. The imagination is the fun part of reading any good book.

5. Adding the Final Touches

Image by Rawpixel

Just like any artist would do, going through your masterpiece and adding the final touches enhances your story. As I completed my book, I went back and read my book a few times. After reading it through, I realized that I could have foreshadowed events in certain spots, so I worked in a few sentences or two to foreshadow.

Adding the final touches, though, is not really the time to do major changes, such as changing the plot, or removing your main character in the middle of your book. These changes really should have taken place during stage two or three.


Now that you have figured out what you want to paint, you’ve created the basic shapes, you started to fill it in with more and more detail, now you can take a step back and admire the work that you just created. Comment below and let me know if these suggestions were of help to you and if you made any modifications to your steps.

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