When Does Your Book Actually Become A Book?


I tell people that I am a writer, but if we’re being honest, I am currently plotting and dreaming up more books than I have actually written in my life.* SO THE SITUATION IS A LITTLE AWKWARD. I’m going to write all these books, but right now I just have a lot of messy thoughts, even messier notes, and beautiful Pinterest boards. THAT’S NOT A BOOK.** It’s just an idea floating around in the dark and scary territory of my brain. So does this mean my future books aren’t actually books yet? That question raises another question: WHEN DOES A BOOK BECOME A BOOK? I’ve been wondering this for a while, sir. LET’S FIGURE IT OUT.

*i’ve written 4 novels and i am currently plotting 10 novels (side note: pray for me)
**although i think we should redefine the last one a little…i mean a pinterest board could SORT OF be a book??



Not really. It becomes your book, perhaps, if you bought it.* The printed word has existed long before you got your greedy little bookish hands on it. There was all that formatting and editing to be done...to the book.

*or if you’re THAT PERSON and stole from the library


Not really. Because before it was published, it was a manuscript. And before that, it was a draft. A draft which the writer probably sweat, bled, and cried over. (Because writing is a sweaty bloody and tearful business. :''''')


Not really. The words “the end” don’t add much to a manuscript, wouldn’t you say? And throughout writing this manuscript, I’m pretty sure a writer refers to the beast as a “book” they are working on.


Not really. Because that isn’t much of a book, is it? A couple of sentences? A page, maybe? EVEN A CHAPTER. At what word count does it qualify as a book? Or is it some of a book but not a whole book so it's technically NOT a book?? I AM VERY CONFUSE. 


Everything starts with an idea. ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING.* The idea behind the book is what makes the book the book. The idea in its entirety is the dream. And if you can dream it YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT CAN HAPPEN. (Alright pep talk over, thank you, it’s been great.)

*except for things invented by accident. such as chocolate chip cookies. but we’ll forgive that person for making this mistake.



This is where the tricky part comes in – ACTUALLY FOLLOWING THROUGH. People who are all talk and no action aren’t writers. Writers are people who…um…WRITE. I’m not saying you shouldn’t spend a lot of time plotting – BY ALL MEANS, PLOT UNTIL THE COWS COME HOME FROM WHEREVER THEY’VE BEEN ALL THIS TIME. As for me, I have to plot very thoroughly before I feel ready to write a book. But once I get to the point where I have the thing well thought-out, IT’S TIME TO WRITE. Slaughter some words, slaughter some characters, and get the job done.

An idea is a shadow of the thing which is to come.** It’s not ink and letters – but it is a book. As long as you follow through with the WHOLE process. Because if you just think about it endlessly and then never create the book…well then it isn’t actually a book at all, is it? ACTING UPON your dreams is what makes your dreams real. They can even become as real as you’d first imagined them to be. SO WHAT NOW? Are you going to just keep thinking about killing it? OR ARE YOU GONNA PICK UP THE GUN AND KILL IT? 


I don’t know about you guys, but I get SO ASDFGHJKL EXCITED when I think about the books I’m going to write. (And sometimes I can even imagine them as films because #goals y’know?) When a story idea starts taking root in my imagination, IT IS OFFICIALLY A BOOK. Don’t let someone convince you that your thing isn’t a thing until it reaches some level of materialization. YOUR THING IS YOUR THING NOW. Because you dreamed it up. You created it.

*WILL YOU JUST CHANGE WHAT YOU TOLD YOUR FRIENDS??
**wow that just made me sound really philosophical and deep but i’m really not philosophical and deep sorry


How many book ideas are floating around in your head? Do you see them as “just ideas” or actual books? Or are you like me and have no idea what to call them? Unfortunately “this really cool thing that’s going to be really cool” isn’t descriptive enough for some people, jeesh. DO TELL ME ALL THE THINGS.

love,
abbiee

41 comments

  1. I have so many novel ideas running around through my head, it's insane, and most of them I've taken a hiatus from except for this one novel series that I've been plotting, writing, and rewriting for five years. *flails around* It's been super intense stuff. I''m actually super happy that I didn't give up on the project because dude, if I did, I wouldn't have received so many fangirling feels as I have.

    As for naming my books: I'm TERRIBLE at naming as well. I can name nearly everything except for my novels, actually-- short stories, poems, they all can easily be named something, but it's just super difficult to wrangle the title of novel into a few words. SO HARD. Usually I have to refer to whatever the key thing in the book is about: the bees, the wall, etc. It's not efficient, but it's the heart and soul of thr novel and sometimes that's all we got.

    xoxo Morning
    Ups & Downs

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    1. I FEEL YA MORNING. <3 That's so cool that you have all those ideas tho!! I KNOW IT CAN BE SUPER OVERWHELMING AT TIMES. But then it's like wooo we have stuff to write! it's pretty awesome. *nod nod* OMG WOW #DEDICATION you've been working on a series for 5 years now?? YOU DESERVE MAJOR WAFFLES. also that just inspired me to feel better about my novel, which I started a looong time ago. There is hope for those projects -- just because they've been on the drawing board for a while doesn't make them less worthy for sure. :)

      "but it's just super difficult to wrangle the title of novel into a few words." << WOW YES TRUER WORDS HAVE NOT BEEN SPOKEN. (or...written, you know.) It's super difficult to come up with novel titles! WHY?? I DON'T GET IT. Or or I'll think up cool novel titles when I'm nOT TRYING TOO. and then I can't use the title for anything. *nervous laughter* AHEM. YES. So basically right on to everything you said up there. <3 Thank you so much for reading!! ;)

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  2. Abbie, like how are your posts so awesome and have such original topics? TELL ME YOUR SECRETS. (I don't need them though, because I don't have a blog, hehe. >.>)

    And a BIG YES to this post! Wow, I've never ever thought about this. I would say that I would consider it an actual book when I start it. Not a FINISHED book, but a material one that is slowly building. And like you, I view my ideas as future books. BASICALLY THIS POST WAS SPOT ON. Don't give up on your ideas, writers. :')

    Okay, so I've never finished a full-length novel before. I'm still young. But I have like slkjfalsdj many ideas** floating around in my brain and notes that I'm really excited to write one day. So I'm going to take the big step this NaNo and hopefully finish a novel. It's a big dream of mine, and I'm acting upon it! :D *excitement*

    *ideas as in WORLDBUILDING ideas. (for fantasy, if you were wondering.) Not really any plots, heh. xP
    * BUT I DO TAKE MUCH PRIDE IN MY WORLDBUILDING IDEAS. They're all my babies. I can't wait to write a story that takes place in them someday, and I feel like they have a lot of potential.

    (oh oh also I WANT TO READ YOUR BOOKS. When you get beta-readers... SIGN ME UP. Eeeek. O.o)

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    1. ASDFGHJKL THANK YOU SO MUCH EMILY THAT MADE MY DAY. :'''') I try to be original but idk sometimes I feel like I'm just rewriting someone else's blog post that my subconscious has stored away without me knowing it. *NERVOUS LAUGHTER* but yes. thank you dear. <3

      EEEEP I'M SO HAPPY YOU LIKED THIS POST AND COULD RESONATE WITH IT. Sometimes I feel like I'm all alone on this desert island called Abbiee's Unpopular Opinions. xD "*ideas as in WORLDBUILDING ideas." << DUDE YES I CAN RELATE. Sometimes all I get are worldbuilding ideas and zero plot. Like I came up with this whole idea for a dystopian novel and told my sister all about the setting and the world building and the characters and she was like "cool...what's the plot?" and I was like "UHHHHH." *face palm* IDK SOMETIMES THESE THINGS JUST TAKE TIME.

      GIRL!! I'M SO EXCITED FOR YOU!! I'm going to be doing NaNo for the first time ever this year so I'm reeeeally stoked! *flails and squeals a lot* ASDFGHJKL THANK YOU SO MUCH I AM ABSOLUTELY HONORED. And you will definitely be on my list of beta readers (although it might be a while before I'm ready so eat some waffles while waiting!! HEHE.) Thank you so much for reading, Emily!! Your comments always mean so much to me. <33333

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    2. OH I DOUBT YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS DID THAT BECAUSE I REALLY HAVEN'T SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THE SUBJECTS OF YOUR POSTS AROUND THE INTERNET. :D

      Ohhh no, you're not alone in the desert. You have a bunch of writer friends who relate so hard. And the land is actually called "Abbiee's Popular Opinions", just so you know. xD

      WORLDBUILDING, YES! Oh my goodness. I am so proud of my little storyworld children, but... it's going to take 5000000 years for them to get old enough to have their own characters and plot. Some of them already have baby characters too, but... no plots. *cries with you*

      IT'S MY FIRST NANO THIS YEAR AS WELL. *pumps fist* WE CAN DO THE THING, ABBIEE.

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    3. <333333333333333 TOO BAD I CAN'T JUMP THROUGH THE SCREEN AND HUG YOU BECAUSE YOUR COMMENTS MEAN SO MUCH TO ME. :'''') aw thank you so much girl. this makes me so happy eeeeep. AND YUS LET'S DO THIS NANO THING. *secret handshake or something* XD

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  3. Yikes-- you have 10 novel ideas started?! Prayers for you, certainly! xD But seriously, this post is da best. <3

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    1. ASDFGHJKL YES IT GETS RATHER OVERWHELMING AT TIMES LOL <3 thank you dude. :''')

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  4. I LIKE IT. These kinda of posts are always very cleaver.

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    1. EEEP THANK YOU SO MUCH VANESSA. <3333

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  5. ACK I have SO many book ideas running around in my head and trampling each other and killing each other and meshing into GREAT BIG IDEAS and plot bunnies attacking me from every which way - I JUST NEED TO FIGURE OUT WHAT TO DO WITH ALL OF IT. *takes a deep breath*

    ANYWAYS. I've got more ideas than I can count - but I shove most of them to that little spot in my brain that holds things for later (or I try to, at least), and focus on the one that I'm most excited about at the moment :D.

    ~ Savannah
    scattered-scribblings.blogspot.com

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    1. WOW THAT FIRST PARAGRAPH OF YOUR COMMENT = MY LIFE. :''') it's so accurate omg. The struggle is real but ALSO REALLY FUN?? "...and focus on the one that I'm most excited about at the moment" << YES TO THIS. I always try to do this too. But it's just so hard for me to tell which book I'm the most excited to write?? IDK THESE IDEAS GET VERY COMPETITIVE IN MY MIND. THEY ALL WANT THE FRONT BURNER. SOMEBODY NEEDS TO BE A REFEREE OR SOMETHING IDK. ahem. but yes. we shall survive. ;) Thank you so much for reading, Savannah!

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    2. YES and it's so weird that it can be fun half the time XD. BUT ALSO YES TO PLOT BUNNY REFEREES. That needs to be a thing. Or at least plot bunny detergent. That would be helpful *nods*.

      ~ Savannah
      scattered-scribblings.blogspot.com

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    3. "PLOT BUNNY DETERGENT" <<< I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE YES *nods violently* xD

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  6. THIS TOPIC YES HOW MANY WRITERS HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT THIS BUT NOT REALLY

    Perhaps a book becomes a book when it's novel length? Because under 17,500 words is a short story, and until it reaches 50 (or 40k, it's debatable) it's then considered novel. Though, I admit, I'm at 42k currently and I've called it a book since I've started. But I know I'm going to reach 60 possibly 70k.

    Rambling. WHO DOESNT WANT TO TALK ABOUT THEIR UNFINISHED BOOK WHEN THEY SHOULD BE WRITING? NOT ME THATS WHO

    sarah » the introverted extrovert

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    1. HAHAHA SARAH YOU ARE THE BEST. <3 Your comments always put a smile on my face. :''') WOW YES HOW ACCURATE IS THAT LAST LINE. Talking about our books is honestly so much fun it must be excused. EVEN IF WE AREN'T PUTTING ANY WORDS DOWN LOLOLOL. But yes eeep I love hearing y'all's thoughts and opinions on what makes a book a book. AND OMG GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR BOOK, GIRL!! I'M SURE YOU'LL SLAYYYY. ;) *adjusts cool shades* <3

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  7. LOOOVE THIS!!! My current WIP has been taking for freaking EVERRR like two years I think. I'm almost done with the second draft though and I'm excited x).
    BUT ALL THESE IDEAS GAAAAAAAH so many ideas, lol, my brains gonna explode.

    <33

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    1. ASDFGHJKL YAY I'M SO HAPPY YOU CAN RESONATE SO HAPPY YOU LIKED THIS POST ABBY. :'''') thank you. <3 and omg yes TOO MANY IDEAS. the writer's struggle is so real.

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  8. I FELL IN LOVE WITH A POST AND IT WAS THIS ONE!

    I always thought that a book is a book whenever it hits the shelf, but this post made me think differently.

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    1. GAH THANK YOU SO MUCH SUNSET THAT IS SO KIND. :''') and I'm so happy this post resonated with you and asdfghkl yes i am zero coherence i am too happy <3333

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  9. As a writer with plenty of idea-books, several manuscripts and a WIP, who's been dreaming and planning of that being her living since the age of 6, let me just say this post is AWESOME! I never really thought about this question in depth...O.O...but your conclusion is perfect! (also Pinterest book boards are the BEST! and from what I've seen of yours, your books are beautiful.)

    andsowewillbethehopeful.blogspot.com

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    1. YAYAYAYAY THANK YOU SO MUCH ANDREA I'm legit sooo stoked this post resonated with you. :'''') And eep omg that's so cool that you've been dreaming of being a writer all your life. THIS WAS PERFECT FOR YOU THEN. YOU'RE THE AWESOME PEOPLE I'M TALKING ABOUT WHEN I SAY DON'T GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAMS. <3333 eeeep and omg thank you I'm so happy you like my Pinterest boards because I am quite proud of them. :''') *HUGS AND WAFFLES*

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  10. Yasssss I always talk about them not as ideas, but as books? "I have this book in my head..." Because there, it really is a full-formed story, even if I haven't realized it yet. It's just getting that darned thing out onto the page, y'know?

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    1. SAME AIMEE SAME. Wow yes you said it right there ^^^ BECAUSE YES THEY ARE BOOKS. Most of the time the whole thing start-to-finish will plop into my head and it's like...a book. but it's not written. *NERVOUS LAUGHTER* THAT'S WHERE THE HARD PART COMES IN EXACTLY. :') thank you so much for reading, bro!!

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  11. How many book ideas are floating around in my head? Oh let's see. The Rapunzel in Egypt, the children who are creepy assasins, the one where the little girl has some kind of virus taking over her brain and making her have lazer eyes, (sorry, I have creepy ideas) the one with the blind kid and the ghost, the one about surviving in outerspace, the murder mystery on the swing, the murder mystery with the candle, the robin hood/little red riding hood one, a time travel one, and that's about it!

    For me, I see them as 'ideas' till I claim them and write about a chapter. Then they become 'stories', after that, if I succeed in my writing the whole thing, I call it a book.
    I get your confusedness, though! Ugh. Non-writerly Humans. They are soo picky. If I want to call it “this really cool thing that’s going to be really cool” I WILL. And so should you!! Humans are terrible, stupid creatures. Don't listen to them. Call it whatever you want.
    Lovely post, dear! I was so happy when I saw it in my inbox!!!! I had to read it IMMEDIATELY!
    ~E

    scribblingpencils.blogspot.com

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    1. WHOA ESTHER I WHERE DO I PRE-ORDER EVERY ONE OF THOSE BOOKS?? BECAUSE I NEED THEM ALL IN MY LIFE. Your brain sounds a lot like mine actually. WE ARE VICIOUSLY BOMBED WITH GOOD BOOK IDEAS. Where do they end?? goodness, the possibilities. <3 SO MANY POSSIBILITIES. *hugs my precious ideas* someday I shall write them all. :')

      "For me, I see them as 'ideas' till I claim them and write about a chapter. Then they become 'stories', after that, if I succeed in my writing the whole thing, I call it a book." << oooh I really like this!! that's a great way to look at it, Esther! "Humans are terrible, stupid creatures. Don't listen to them." << wow yes this is so accurate i could cry. <3 TRUTH RIGHT THERE. Thank you so much for reading, dear!! *hugs and all the waffles* EEP THAT MEANS SO MUCH TO ME. :D

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    2. I KNOW!!! *high fives*
      Thanks, Abbiee! I LOVE to read your posts and comment and all the things!
      ~E

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  12. I devoured this post. <3

    Also; I know I've said this before but I REALLY love your design/theme. It inspires me.

    xx Mackenzie

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    1. ASDFGHJKL GAH SMILING SO HARD AND FLAILING THANK YOU KENZIE YOU ARE SO KIND TO ME. :''') *much hugs much waffles* <3

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  13. WOAH LIKE THANK YOU FOR WRITING THIS POST. I have like the total opposite problem -- PLOT IDEAS ARE RARE AND FEW. But the ones I do get I LOVE AND I JUST WANT TO WRITTEEEE IT ALL. Haha, AND YEAH WRITERS NEED TO WRITE. I doubt over my words so much it's probably not right, but once I do figure out that PERFECT sentence THE FEELING IS UNBEATABLE. Writing is the best and the worst at the same time AAAAAHHHHH. Like it's not the worst but IT IS FRUSTRATING. Sometimes.


    (also can i just say how much I love your blog posts? Your blog theme is so awesome :)

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    1. EEEEP THANK YOU SO MUCH AUTUMN. <333 I'm so happy this post resonated with you dude. :) And wow yes that is basically my life -- doubting my writing 99% of the time. "...but once I do figure out that PERFECT sentence THE FEELING IS UNBEATABLE" << YESSS this is also my life I think. :''') that feeling is the bessst. YES WRITING IS THE BEST AND WORST AT THE SAME TIME IT'S LIKE COFFEE. XDDD

      (also can i just say how much i lOVE YOU?? BECAUSE YOU'RE THE BEST??? EVER <33333)

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  14. I love what you did with this post!! So awesome. I think I have to agree with you, which makes me so happy. I have no less than *goes to count Pinterest storyboards* No less than 14 books in my brain right now. And yes, #goals for movies XD

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    1. ASDFGHJKL THAT MAKES ME SO HAPPY ABIGAYLE THANK YOU SO MUCH (btw your name is so pretty!!) EEEEP WOW DUDE THAT IS SO EPIC!! *high fives* 14 books....you're next level, yo. *adjusts cool shades*

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  15. Haha, this is so hard, right? I always feel SOOO presumptuous calling it "my book" or even "my story" (I mean, dude, it's not even ABOUT me!) or "my manuscript." SO WHAT IS IT???

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    1. YES THE STRUGGLE IS REAL. *nod nod* wow so true Kayla Marie :):):

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  16. DUDE I FEEL THIS POST WITH MY WHOLE HEART AND SOUL THANK YOU FOR THIS

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    1. DUDE OMG THANK YOU SO MUCH EEEEEP *FLAILS AND HUGS YOU*

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  17. I JUST WANT TO GO WRITE NOW BUT I HAVE NO TIME AND I'M JUST CRYING INTERNALLY BYE

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    1. AW DUDE I'M SORRY I WISH I COULD GRANT YOU TIME WITH MY MAGICAL UNICORN WAND BUT I CAN'T EVEN GET IT TO WORK LIKE THAT FOR ME :''')

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  18. So far I've only written 2. Full first drafts. There are like 9 million partial drafts, or ideas I had but could never realize, and ideas that i'm going to have and maybe I'll realize them, idk. I just know I have ALL the ideas at the wrong time XD (okay I'm done ranting) But seriously, I love this! A book is a book from the moment of conception in the writer's brain.

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    1. WOW YES I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL LIZ. *nod nod* Ideas always come at the wrong time... WHY. EEEEP THANK YOU SO MUCH DEAR I'M SO HAPPY YOU AGREE <3333

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kind words are like raindrops on the desert. they make me bloom with happiness, as absolutely cliche and cheesy as that sounds. even if it's just a simple alt+3 i will heart you for it. so, go ahead! MAKE MY DAY. literally.