Got a dream to get your book published but have no idea how to start? Writing a fiction or non-fiction book can change your life whatever genre it is and it can even become your professional career. Of course, writing a book is one of the most challenging things you will ever do. Any successful writer can tell you from their own experience that it’s often easier to quit this work than finishing it. But, actually, everyone can learn to write a book and publish it online.
If you dream of becoming an author of a bestseller, here is a short guide for dummies to help you get started. You will learn how to start writing a book, choose a good theme, develop characters and storylines, how to stay motivated through the process, and how to finish your story. We will discuss different aspects of writing books and show you a proven straightforward step-by-step plan you should follow if you want to become a writer.
7 Simple Steps to Writing Your First Book
You might be thinking now: “Can anyone tell me what I would write about in my book? How can I be sure that someone would read a novel or a story I have written?” The truth is that every person is unique and everyone has a story to tell and share it with the world. So write. Just do it. And who knows, maybe, one day, you’ll write a masterpiece that millions will be eager to read to the end. At Independent, you can look at the list that is worth to read through the whole life. If you are an absolute beginner, keep reading this article to learn where to begin and how to do it right. “Get started!” – it’s the first phase you should say to yourself. You need to decide what you are going to write about and how you are going to write it.
1. Decide What Your Book Is about
Start with picking a genre. It is a very important step. Remember that you should base your choice on the genres you like to read and not on those ones that sell best. You should write for yourself and not for the market. If you tell the story for yourself, you are more likely to succeed in book writing. You should pick an interesting topic that touches you and ignites your curiosity. Then think about the content of your book and create a one-page outline.
But first, you should create your characters – write their biographies, understand their motivations, and create characters arcs. It’s important to let your characters appear credible. Now, think about different storylines that discuss different experiences of your characters. And don’t forget about the common thread that connects all the events in the plot.
You may write a table of contents and break all chapters into a few sections. Don’t make it too complicated: just think what you will write at the beginning of your book, in the middle, and at the end. You should leave plenty of room for improvisation.
2. Create a Writing Schedule with Daily Goals
You must create a daily writing habit and set a daily goal. You don’t need to write a lot. You can start by writing a page of about 300 words a day. Then you can increase the number of words and reach, for example, 1500 words a day. It’s not really much, and this goal is quite attainable. You should also set a daily deadline and a regular writing timeframe to ensure that you will work consistently. Of course, you should choose the time of the day when you are the most productive.
Establish your writing space. It can be a desk, a kitchen table, a restaurant or a coffee shop. It’s up to you to choose the place but it should be a special place where it would be easy to avoid distractions and get down to work at once and actually write your book.
3. Break Your Project into Small Pieces
Writing a book is a colossal project and it can’t be written at once. But it is made up of plenty of small parts – sentences, paragraphs, pages, chapters. Think about the big picture and set a total word count. Then break all chapters into approximately equal lengths. Set weekly goals to measure your progress.
Ideally, you should write at least about 6 hours per week to see the real progress. You can do it in 6 one-hour sessions a week or have 3 sessions of two hours – it’s up to you to decide what schedule is best. It is recommended to work on a regular pattern (same times, same days) but if it’s not possible, you should make time to work 6 hours a week. You should sacrifice some other activities, for example, watching Netflix series, going to a party or writing posts for social media to find time for writing.
4. Write a Draft of Your Book
Now, it’s time to start writing your first draft. You shouldn’t constantly review and critique your work. Actually, writing the first draft is the hardest part, and don’t expect that it will be perfect. But a bad draft is better than not writing at all. Just jot down your thoughts, ideas, and plotlines. Don’t edit while you write because writing and editing use different parts of your brain and when you start critique your work, it’s almost impossible to start creating again.
It may happen that the outline you write earlier will be discarded because you may want to experiment with your plot, characters, forms, and style. You should be creative and tell your story. Eventually, all your ideas will come together into a book. You should stick to your writing routine. If you get stuck at some point and stop making progress, you may write another section of the book that appeals to you and return to that point later.
Every writer struggles with the writer’s block at some point. It’s just inevitable. You’ve lost your inspiration. You stare at the blank page on your computer screen and don’t feel like writing. No words come to your mind. Wondering how to fight the writer’s block? Here are some creative solutions that can get you back into a flow of writing.
- Change the physical way you are writing to boost your creativity. You can try a new location, listen to some music or try to write by hand instead of using a laptop.
- Move your body. You can go for a walk, exercise, practice yoga or dance to get your blood flowing.
- Do freewriting. Spend 10 minutes every day and write everything that comes to your mind. You may change subjects and use different styles. Chances are that your freewriting entries may inspire new ideas for your book.
- Do something creative, for example, make a scrapbook, paint a picture, do some designs in Photoshop or write a blog article.
- Read a book of another author whose style you really like. You can also find some inspiring quotes from well-known writers and read them before you get down to work.
- Call your old friends and spend some time with people you care and who make you feel good.
- When you complete your first draft, you should set it aside for several days or a couple of weeks.
5. Rewrite and Polish Your Writing
Now, your task is to turn the incomprehensible mess in your rough draft into something your readers would like to read. It will take time and patience. You will need to reread your entire book, correct mistakes, rewrite sections if it is necessary, cut out wordy parts, and more. You will need to make changes and organize the rough ideas in your first draft to create a narrative that actually makes sense. You may need to go through this process several times until you are satisfied with what you have written.
Come up with a catchy title that will make an impression on your readers so they will want to read your book. It may be a beautiful sentence from your book or the name of the main character. You should brainstorm with words and think about the title that will intrigue people and invoke questions.
6. Edit Your Book Properly
It’s the opposite step to creative writing. You will need to minimize the use of adverbs, omit needless words, use different synonyms, choose simple words and not those that require a dictionary and tighten up the text by taking out passages that are not crucial to your story. Your goal is not just to make your writing better – you need to make it different.
You are unlikely to have critical distance to edit your book properly so you should consider hiring a professional editor. All professional writers use editors who refine books before publication. An experienced editor will improve the logic flow and the style, eliminate inconsistencies, and fix grammar errors and misspellings. Editors can check the facts and statistics and verify data, headings, and footnotes. Although you’ll need to pay for editing, it is necessary to ensure that you are releasing professional work which can make a powerful impact on your readers.
7. Celebrate the Day When You Manage to Write a Book
Congratulations – you have finished your first book! It’s time to have a party and hit clubs. Now, you have some writing experience and can start writing your second book. It’s fun and you have so many things to say. With every book you write, you will become a better writer.
Now, you know the fundamental steps you need to write a book or any other serious piece of writing, for example, a proposal. We hope that our easy tips on how to write your first book will help you develop a taste for writing and discover your own method that really works for you. Never give up!