Hi Darlene. :) Great to have you at Authors.com. There's several pointers in the Groups, forum and videos that are about writing help. See if they can help you and if not, just post a thread and ask. Welcome and enjoy yourself! :)
Darlene, welcome to authors.com It's nice to meet other aspiring authors and each person has a unique story to tell. My writing began in 2008 after the death of my son who died untimely. The circumstances surrounding his death were very questionable and after it was ruled a suicide too quickly I began my own investigation. My notes were extensive. I soon developed the foundation of my story and eventually it evolved into 'Tragic Love'. Good luck to you and if I can be of any help let me know.
Darlene, everyone writes differently. But, what I did was took my notes and put them into chronilogical order and started typing. I begin all of my stories with an exciting beginning and I pretty much usually know how I will end my story even before I get there. I tell people to just start typing, you can always go back and make changes. For me the title is usually the last thing because there's something from the storyline that will manifest. Once you've completed your book print it out and read it (have a couple of other people read it too) be sure to make corrections because usually the publishing company only formats the book they don't correct your typos. Once all of this is done you have a manuscript. Some of the publishing company's will allow you to submit your manuscript online, some won't. There are numerous publishing company's out there but you have to determine which one is best for you. Do you homework and also determine what you can invest as far as cost. I chose a publishing company that required no upfront fees, I found that the company had both positive and negative comments but so far I have been satisfied with them. The hardest part is promoting your book among the many that are out there-all authors want to see their book make it on the best sellers list but unless you're a celebrity or politician you have to work extra hard to make a name for yourself as an author. There are writer's workshops available and many resources to get tips and ideas. Best Wishes - I hope that I've been able to help some.
Many publishing company's require the author to pay to have their book published - unless perhaps you get lucky enough to picked up from one of the powerhouse publishing company's. However, there are publishers who don't ask for you to pay but then you wonder just how much they're going to do for you. Most authors like myself don't receive a huge advance up front...therefore you must work extra hard to market and promote your own book-royalties are paid to authors when their books sale which usually is payable every 6 months.