Skip Nav

What will help me write a book? 7 steps

Comments navigation

❶Cut your writing teeth in an environment like that, and anywhere else seems glorious. This is my personal approach to how to write a book.

Popular Articles

Character Worksheets
2: Learn how to write a novel outline
“I Want to Write a Book.”

Grandfather would likely have been married, so there would be a grandmother in the picture. There's a generation between grandpa and the young man, so there would be one of his parents who is also Grandpa's son or daughter.

See how easy that is? Continue along in this fashion, extending from one character to all the others that they may interact with. Before long, it's possible that you'll have too many characters and interactions. This is good, especially in a mystery.

You may have need of "red shirts," like the hapless, disposable ensigns from the original Star Trek! In the process of developing your characters, you will likely ask yourself the same question your readers will soon be asking: Use these questions to develop the story.

You know, for your story, that the young man wants to find out what happened to Grandpa. Since all he has is the journal to go on, he reads it, and discovers Grandpa's story that lead him from his small town in Kentucky and his pregnant wife grandma!

He never makes it home. Knowing these things, you see questions and a pattern emerge: Events take place in "today's" time, and also during WWII: As the journal is read, the date is As the grandson explores, it's today. To add some action to the mystery, the young man must do something. Since Grandpa isn't coming home, send the young man to Germany to find him—dead or alive.

Where was Grandma in all this? Continue along this process of creating the arc, but at this point you could even hazard a tentative ending: Then all you need to do is write down everything in the middle!

Now that you've created the basic story minus all the words , sketch your outline as a timeline, with each character's milestone events laid out on their own line. There will be times when two or more characters intersect, and where some disappear altogether. Just draw a line where those events happen.

This too will give you something to kickstart your muse when she falters. If you find your plot goes nowhere, and nothing you can do will help it—back up to where it last made sense, and try something else. Your story is not required to do anything you tell it to do in the outline.

Sometimes, the story has other ideas where it wants to go. Wherever you are in the process, the muse may beckon you elsewhere. Follow her—this is part of the joy of writing. Write out the name of each chapter for your book and decide what you're going to put into it, that way you'll always know where you're going with the story. Writing about your characters at the start, too, can be helpful down the road. You can use bullet points. Know the elements of a good novel. If you want to be a successful writer, think twice about taking creative writing as a course in college unless you've already done so ; instead, take English Literature.

You have to know how to read with discernment and a critical eye before you write anything. Sentence structure, character distinction, plot formation, and character personality development all fall into place if you know how to read critically before you write. The setting of a book is the time, place, and circumstances in which a story takes place.

You don't need state this outright, of course. Like a painter might do, you create a picture in the mind of your reader by painting around the subject.

Write out your plot. This will give you a starting point to anchor your story. Nothing fancy, just a general idea of what goes on. Halfway through the book, look over the original plot you wrote down.

It'll be amazing how your perception of your book may have changed. You can change your book to match the original plot or scrap the plot and go with what you've written. You could even integrate and mix the two——whatever you want. Remember this is your book! This is the best part. If you're having trouble starting, skip to the conflict of the story, and go from there. Once you feel comfortable with your writing, you can add the setting. You'll probably change loads of things in the story, because the great thing about writing a book is you can let your imagination run wild.

The only thing you have to remember is that you have to enjoy the process, or your book will probably end up in a cylindrical metal container flecked with deep brick-colored oxidation and peeling shards of turquoise latex pigment namely, a rusty old trash bin. Remember that your notebook should only be used for planning! It is best to type up your story so you can create multiple copies of it, easily remove mistakes, and pitch it to publishers. Pick something you know, or want to know—about.

Your nonfiction book could be information about a place where the reader might be vacationing, or information on a place in general. It could be about today's society, or a contemporary or historical leader or person of interest. The only caveat for true non-fiction is that it be factual. As much as they may know, every expert has at least one new thing to learn!

You can never know too much about a subject. If you are having trouble or reach a stumbling block, try these things: Sometimes it will take a bit of digging to narrow things down, but let the search engines of the world help you in your knowledge quest.

Follow not just the main articles, but the referenced articles as well. Leave questions on forums and other places in case anyone can help you resolve them. Read another non-fiction book about, or related to your subject. The author may see things from a different perspective, and may have some information you were not aware of, which you will duly confirm from an independent source before including it in your story, right?

There is likely an expert in the field who has made it their life's work to know everything about the topic you're writing on. Seek them out, honor their time, and ask them if there is something that might be unique and interesting about your subject. Yes, it's a boring job, but somebody's got to do it. It might as well be you, as you gather all the information you need for your book.

The books that don't get published are the ones that are poorly organized. For example, don't talk about good places to fish and good beaches in Europe in the same chapter. For more information, consult the Related wikiHows below. Add copious descriptive details. No one wants to read a boring book! Good books are enriched with details and color. Write constantly—whether it's your story, or just a thought or an observation.

The more you do it, the better you'll get. It doesn't have to be perfect, it doesn't have to read how you want it to initially——what matters most is getting it out. There will be plenty of time to review the approaches to writing taken later.

Keep asking questions of your motives, your story, and your characters. Everything and everyone in your novel should have a reason for being there—saying the leaves are green shows the readers it's spring or summer. Saying the character had a three-day beard shows that he's under duress of some sort or he's a Hollywood actor. Every character has a motivation for what they do, so ask "them" as you write. Take breaks to get back some perspective. Writing improves with distance.

On returning to it, you'll often see what works and doesn't work in your written piece, whereas trying to perceive this when you're stuck in the middle of it is a lot harder. Set aside a chapter for a week and come back to it later, refreshed and with new eyes. If you get writer's block, stop writing for a few days or so, and listen to some calming music to clear your head.

Find opinions other than your own. Let other people read your book's manuscript. They can give you valuable feedback, and perhaps even help you as you continue to write. Ditch what doesn't work. Unsurprisingly, there will be plenty that doesn't work.

Don't be afraid to delete characters, plots and anything else from your book if it isn't working. Equally, don't be afraid to add new elements and characters that seem to bridge gaps and give sense to what you're writing. In the case of non-fiction, never be afraid to find more facts to back up your statements! Remember that many authors fail at many drafts before they find an actual idea that's good enough to stick with.

Take Veronica Roth, author of the Divergent trilogy. She says in her blog that it took her at least 48 tries to find an idea to stick with, and that was in college!

Write what you know. This old saying can either work for you or not. It's good to not need to do a whole bunch of research before writing, but a little doesn't hurt.

Also, it's a good exercise: Writing new things could help unearth an idea! Try to make your mind churn out ideas all the time, so you never have an excuse not to write. If you get sick of writing, and just come to a stop, take a break and re-connect with the world outside, where you get some ideas from. Or try free-form writing-just write, no edits, no erasing "because it sounds bad" just write, write and write, - even if they are scattered scenes, rhymes, or two words.

It can be the author, publisher, a friend, or someone paid to make it. The important thing is that it looks appealing and makes the book marketable. Not Helpful 11 Helpful I am having trouble naming a chapter in my novel. How do I deal with it? Get a friend or family member to read the chapter and ask what they think would be a good name for the chapter. What significant thing happens in the chapter? Is there any small line of the chapter you particularly love that you might be able to turn into a chapter title?

Not Helpful 15 Helpful Plan out ahead of time what the story will be for each book. Make sure the series is going somewhere.

Like in Harry Potter, the story keeps on building until the showdown between Voldemort and Harry. Not Helpful 13 Helpful Write the book first, then an idea might pop up. Make sure it connects to the story, for example, don't give a romance title to a horror book. What do I do if I have an idea and someone else thinks I'm copying off a book I've never heard of? Keep notes of your brainstorming and workings, so that if you ever really had to, you can show the inner workings of how you go to the story.

The reality is that humanity builds upon the stories, legends and histories we are all taught from a young age, along with cultural tales intended to keep us acculturated. This tends to seep in deeply, so there are bound to be similarities in many stories we tell, it is only when we deliberately copy another writer's exact plot, characters and motivations that originality gets breached. If it does happen, get a lawyer well versed in intellectual property and don't be bullied by people who make more noise than offering proof.

Not Helpful 18 Helpful How do I decide what to write about? I know what type of book I want to write, but I'm having trouble coming up with a plot. How do I create one? One option is to base your story on a real event. Or, you can look at photos or movies and other books for inspiration. Another approach is to stop worrying about the plot and form it as you write. About a quarter of the way in, stop and reformulate the plot from what your writing has inspired you with, then reshape as needed.

Not Helpful 16 Helpful Just start making your chapters more detailed like if you were saying that your main character was traveling on horseback to a town three days away, show more about the journey.

Kill off a few main characters. Get readers really attached to the character s , then kill them off. After that, write a about how life goes on without them. They will forget all about the foreshadowing of their death s , and when the character s die, the disappointment will be intense.

Not Helpful 23 Helpful I have a great idea for a book, but I can't put it into words. Brainstorm for a while and write down anything that comes to mind. When I wanted to write an essay about my difficult relationship with my brother I had to figure out a way to make it interesting to other people so I turned to these 10 elements to keep the story rolling. Start your revision by addressing these, and you'll immediately change your story for the better. I've always been a big nerd. Forget three-act structures, formulas for plot, and even beginnings, middles and ends.

Write better stories by propelling your protagonist through a transformation your readers will never forget. Writers are often worriers. We doubt the quality of our writing. A new year, a new writerly you. What does this mean for your writing goals? Maybe is the year you finish your novel. The young adult YA audience is a hot market, one that is steadily growing in popularity and garnering attention from young readers as well as literary critics. This means that this market is healthier than ever—and so is the competition for getting published.

Hi, I’m Jeff. Can I send you something?

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

My goal: to make the journey called writing a book as easy and manageable as possible for each of my clients. Your words matter. Whether it’s your personal story, a family history, or a business book, there are people waiting for the wisdom you’ll be sharing in .

Privacy FAQs

Oct 22,  · If you’re a small organization, a book can help you compete with the big players. If you’re in a crowded field, a book can help you stand out. And so on. I believe all of these reasons are good ones to write a book. A combination of several reasons makes even more compelling an argument.

About Our Ads

Here you’ll find guidelines, advice, and inspiration for taking those first steps from blank page to finished piece. You’ll also find resources to help you learn how to write a novel in three months or fewer and practical tips on writing a book made easy. Writer Services offers an unprecedented all-in-one book writing and publishing service for writers and authors. We can complete any aspect required in producing a book, including writing, rewriting, editing, mentoring, proofreading, formatting, creating book proposals for agents and publishers, cover design and even printing finished books for self .

Cookie Info

Learning how to write a book can seem like a daunting task. Whether you came to this site because you have an original idea you hope to turn into a nonfiction bestseller, or you want to learn how to write a novel without getting stuck after the first two chapters, we’re here to help. Aug 08,  · Consider writing along with a friend, have them help you write, or if they are writing a book, write your book when they are. Inspiration comes from the weirdest places, and when you least expect it to%().