11 Easy Steps To Help You Write Your First Book
Writing a column, a book, a short story or a novel can be a daunting task if you do it haphazardly. While you can write an article in a day or maybe in a few hours, you need to focus your time and energy to write and finish a book. Here are eleven ways you can follow to write a book:
Your personal writing space
You must have a writing space. Until you do not have a place where you can sit, relax, and be yourself, you will find it difficult to write. This place could be a corner in your bedroom or your study room. It could even be a small setting in your lounge or living room. The importance must be given to finding a space where you can sit and write with a relaxed mind.
Writing accessories and other items
Once you are settled in your writing space, do not leave to get things you need while you are writing. If you are writing on your laptop/desktop, keep all electric gadgets nearby (including charger, USB, mouse and others). If you are writing on paper, keep extra pens, markers and sheets of paper with you. Also, ensure that the table and chair you are using are comfortable and don’t make you feel tired in a short time. Keep a bottle of water to keep drinking it while you write. Having one glass of water in one hour is appropriate to keep yourself hydrated. Be sure to use the best available resources you have at home.
Your idea, your dream
The book you want to write must revolve around a specific idea. It should focus on one major idea that becomes the theme of the book. You need to find that idea based on your interests and you will figure this out yourself. You must ask yourself “Why are you writing this book?” To answer this, you will jot down the reasons. One of these reasons will be your big idea.
Prepare an outline
Once you have figured out the idea, you need to prepare an outline. This will identify the flow of your story. You will write down the main events that occur during the story and the character(s) who experience these events. You will create your characters, give them names and identify their personas. In short, an outline gives you a bird’s eye view of your story in a few pages. It is up to you how to prepare an outline because only you have to follow it.
Just as if having a writing space will give you the motivation to continue writing, having a writing schedule will give you the command over your writing process. Do not be too hard on yourself. You can make a schedule to write from 9 pm to 11 pm. However, if you are not feeling the heart to do it, skip a day or write in any other time slot of your choosing. You must remain flexible when writing and when following a writing schedule.
Write in steps
Writing a book is a big project. Break the book writing activity into smaller tasks. Write one chapter in a day or a week. Do not fret over the word count. A novel is normally 50,000 to 90,000 words in length. Focus and fall in love with your story, with your characters. Once you become one with the story, you will write it with the best of your ability without focusing on the obstacles.
Do your research
While you write, you must continue with your research. If you are using facts, then cross-check them from multiple websites and consult books and newspapers for that matter. If you are using proper nouns and dates of events, ensure to use the right spelling and the correct dates.
The first sentence, the first paragraph
A good book, a good novel becomes a page-turner when it begins with a dramatic statement, a quotation, writer’s personal opinion, a philosophical phrase or a combination of these. You need to put down an amazing opening sentence. Here are a few examples of how some authors began their books which are considered a classic:
“Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.”
Mrs Dalloway, Virginia Woolf
“In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.”
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
“Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, JK Rowling
“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.”
1984, George Orwell
Keep your story moving forward
The goal of writing a good novel is to keep the story progressing. The characters (including the protagonist and the antagonist) must keep doing actions and their personalities must continue to evolve. Keep the action happening.
Fill the pages with great content
Most writers do know how to begin and they may as well know how to end. The problem comes when they have to fill in the middle. This is where the action takes place. This is where you need to add the rising conflict, the climax, resolution and the end. Take your time to fill in these pages. Do not hurry to reach the end. Just write with your heart.
Write now, edit later
Some writers tend to edit as they write. This only disrupts the writing process. Write down the story as if someone else is going to edit it. Then after a day or two, edit what you have written. Another strategy is to write your entire novel without looking back and complete it in whatever time it takes (be it one month or two, or even more). Then, after staying away from the novel for a week or so, begin editing it with fresh eyes. This will let you identify your mistakes as you edit.