Writing: How To Write A Better Book

Before you begin writing your book, you must research your idea and see if it is in-demand with readers. Who is going to read it? To whom are you trying to appeal with your words? You must have a general idea of who your intended audience will be. Check out other books. Is there a book already published that resembles your book? What will make your book unique from theirs? If there are similar books already out there, what is going to make your book different and make people want to buy it?
When you are ready to begin your book, decide on a schedule that is best for you, one that you can stick to. Your schedule should begin before your research and carry through to the completion of the book. Make a detailed outline with the main plot, events leading to that plot, and explicit detail about the characters. An outline is also a good reference point to double-check your timelines and details.
Part of the reworking process is changing direction within the writing. Many beginning writers aspire to write a book. They have an idea and a vague plan to turn the idea into book. Picture a first grader telling you she wants to write a book about horses. Although you can collect a lot of information about horses to write several books, the vague idea is not enough for an adult writer to create a marketable book. To write a book, you need to start with a topic. You may or may not be an expert on the subject. After you have the first vague ideas, you need to start asking yourself questions to focus in on a specific, marketable topic. Answering those questions will lead you to more questions, and so on. Even if your original idea is unique and leads you to write new information that the world does not yet have access to, you will need to add to that original idea to create an intriguing finished product. If you are not an expert, or you have not created any new information, it will take more time and effort to produce a unique piece of writing. Fiction is the same as non-fiction. Many stories have been told before. If you want to become a published author, you need to come up with an engaging and new journey for your readers to take.
There is always room in your book for old ideas. Your readers will need a familiar starting place within your writing. As you are putting together your ideas for a complete book, you will probably publish smaller pieces of work in magazines and newspapers. It is okay, as long as you cite yourself, to reuse some of that work. In that way, you can publish as you go along while still making progress towards your end goal in book publishing. After several months or even years, you will have poured out your effort and knowledge into a completed book.
You may want to turn off your editing software for your first draft. Mesh the plot, the characters, and everything together, without using your spellchecker. You can fix your grammar, spelling, and punctuation later. Most authors don’t write their books from front to back. By writing different chapters or events, it may be easier for you to come back and connect them later. Sometimes having the words on paper makes it easier to fill in the blanks.
You have finished your first draft. Now is the time to read it. Reading the rough draft allows you to zero in on the timeline, link the plot with the characters, and ensure everything makes sense and flows together. Once you have accomplished these tasks, use your editing software. It is time to fix your grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes. Two widely used grammar programs for authors include WhiteSmoke Software (www.WhiteSmokeSoftware.com), and a book formatting software called WizardsForWord (www.WizardsForWord.com).
Now put you book aside. Let it sit for 7-10 days or so before you pick it up again. This will give your mind time to clear. Now read the book again. Does it still flow and make sense? Do you need to add something or change it? Now is the time.
Choose someone to proofread your book for you. If possible, hire a professional editor to do this or someone with a writing or English background. Besides editing your manuscript, a professional copyeditor can also offer you unbiased opinion and advice.
Lastly, create the final draft. The final draft should be error free. This is your last chance to change anything before it goes to the publisher. Now is when all that time you spent writing a book comes together to make its trip to publication.
Unlike other areas of expertise, book writing is a different process for everyone. As you set out to write a book, you can follow some basic guidelines, but getting your ideas from your head to the page is an invention of your own. Not only will you have to get the information onto the page, but also you will have to write in a way that thousands or even millions of readers can relate to and understand.
Many people dream of writing their own book. The sad fact is that for every 500 people who want to write a book, there might be only 1 or 2 who actually do it. Somehow, we get it stuck in our minds that we “can never do that” and that writing “should be left to the professionals”. Nothing could be further from the truth! I am 100% convinced that anyone … even YOU, can write a book successfully if they just understand a couple of basic principles. In this article, I’m going to cover the exact steps that anyone, including you, can use to write a book, essay, or article of any length.
Step 1 – Collect
Collect what? Collect everything. If you are writing nonfiction you will collect information about your topic. You might collect magazine clippings, newspaper articles, along with various notes and quotes from any variety of sources. You might also collect things like sights, sounds (record audio), and smell (take notes about how things smell). If you’re writing a novel the things you collect will be differ a little from this. Instead you’ll collect thoughts, ideas, character ideas, and scene ideas, along with any information (similar to the above) that involves research for your novel. If you’re writing a crime novel you might collect information above the criminal justice system. If you’re writing a romance you might collect notes and ideas from relationship books, dating websites, and your own relationships and experience. The important thing to do is to collect, and to do nothing but collect at this phase. Don’t analyze stuff; don’t try to figure out the order of things too early. Just collect!
Step 2 – Categorize
In this step, you are free to unleash your inner control freak. Organize, categorize, analyze, criticize, hypothesize… I think you get the point. The whole purpose of this stage is to take what you collected in the previous stage and organize it into an order that makes sense. Read the articles and books, sift your notes down to the finest details, and sort it all out into related areas that make sense together. Once you have the related areas grouped together, put those “categories” into an order from first to last. If you have a ton of notes and other collected stuff, don’t stress about trying to tackle the whole pile at once. Just take part of it, and work on ONLY that part until you have it organized and sorted. Then grab some more notes and do the same thing with those. You can add to either if you need to later. Once you have everything analyzed, described, and sorted you can then move on to the third step in the process.
Step 3 – Communicate
This is the fun part! This is simply the act of actually communicating everything that you’ve put together from the first two steps. In other words, write it down! The sorted, organized collection that you have from steps one and two is now your outline. All you have to do is follow your notes in order and write about each note and topic in turn. If you have your notes broken in to sub-categories, treat each one as a book in itself. This allows you to focus on just one small part at a time rather than trying to tackle an entire book all at once. Just get through one section, and then, move on to the next.
If you have done this right, by step 3 your book is practically written for you.
“What about grammar?” Here’s a little secret about grammar and punctuation: 90% of your grammar and punctuation problems will go away if you will keep your writing (and by writing, I mean your sentences) short, concise, and to the point. Keep it short. Keep it simple. The best writers aren’t the ones who have sentences three paragraphs long. The best writers are those who can get the same information across in just a few words—no matter how complex the topic might be. As for novels, if you can “move” people with 5 words as opposed to 50, you are doing a great thing.
Knowing and applying these simple steps can be the difference between having a dream of writing a book and having a stack of books that you’ve written. I have written five books so far using this method.
You’ve just learned one of the easiest systems of writing in existence. Whether you’re 40 years old or 10 years old you can use these steps to accomplish just about any writing task that is set before you. Go ahead and try it and you’ll see. Your new writing career starts now!