#JohnnyCooper – so how do I write these things? Part One

How do folks – I thought as I am in the process of writing the third book in the “Johnny Cooper, Championship Manager” series I would give you all a few updates throughout the writing process, and share with you how I go about turning yet another season into, hopefully, another top selling book!

It’s always quite tough getting back into it.  When I write my stuff here, on the blog, I am really just reporting what is going on through my eyes and I find that quite easy.  It might be hard to believe, but after writing two books through “Johnny’s” eyes, he does have a character now and I have to try and flick the switch into being “Johnny” again – it can be pretty tough!  Equally, having clocked up hundreds of FM15 hours since it’s release, it is a challenge to step back into CM99/00 – when I first wrote the books I hadn’t played FM or CM in over a decade so I was fresh and it was easy!

So, the slight struggle of all that aside, what have I been doing so far?  The first thing I do now, which is becoming a bit of a tradition, is to go and buy a nice new notebook that I am going to write the book in.  Hopefully I will keep these notebooks forever more and it will remind me of how much writing these books changed my life.  Once I have the new book, I get some scrap paper to go alongside it.

The first month of the new season, I just play through and make notes of what has happened of interest – on the scrap paper.  Once the game reaches early July, that’s when I switch into diary format and the first entry is always the update of the summer (with a reflection and reminder of how last season ended).  I scribble this down in the notebook, knowing that I will probably tweak and re-write things (never the facts as everything that ends up in the book does actually happen in the game) when I come to typing the book up.

As I go, I also scribble down other thoughts that come into my head that may well go into fleshing the characters out a little more.  After the first book, people wanted to know more about Johnny as a character which is why in the second book you were given an insight into his past through the counselling sessions.  In this book, I will aim to continue to grow Johnny’s character and I am often getting ideas as they come.

As ever, there have been a few new signings over the summer and this always excites me – will one of these players become one of the main characters of the book?  I try and give them nicknames and characters straight away, in my mind, so that it becomes more personal and hopefully that comes across in the writing.

It is still very early days in the book, Johnny has just taken the squad on their pre-season tour.

I will try and do a weekly update on the process, it might interest a few of you!

Thanks guys.


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