Steps to Writing a Book
Writing a book is a challenging but a rewarding task you can ever do in life. Without sugarcoating anything, book writing calls for determination, hard work and patience- udemy.com. Is talent necessary in writing? Well, writing is not about talent, as many people would think. In fact, with these steps to writing a book, you should start your journey of becoming a great author.
To become a writer, you must develop your writing style. Some people work with several rough drafts, while others value every word they pen during the writing process. As you step forward into this journey of writing, worry not, for you will soon find a style that befits you.
However, if you are an absolute beginner or you have tried writing a book and found it mindboggling, then this article is specifically for you. It has simplified steps to follow and everything else you need to know when writing a book. With these great ideas, your copy should be on Amazon soon. Let us hit the road…
Simplified steps to writing a book
Perhaps locating the starting point when you want to write a book is the most challenging process. But before you get to step, here is what you should ask yourself:
Why write a book?
Before you get into writing, engage in soul-searching as you find answers to why you want to write. Take this step with utmost seriousness because it is the foundation of your journey towards publishing.
As you get into writing, ask yourself where you want to be in future. Is it short or long term idea that you want to pursue? This means, you need a writing mission that states your goal.
Let us look at these reasons before we delve into the real steps to writing a book:
- Exploring something new– Writing takes your passion to communicate in ink to a completely new level. It is always a new challenge considering hundreds of pages you are likely to write and the time it might take. Are you writing to feel the excitement that comes with having 30,000 words of your own?
- Writing is an opportunity to learn– It gives you chance to know so much about your subject matter. While you are writing on a topic that you already have expertise, writing a book will make you go deeper, research like never before and master it.
- Open new opportunities. Doing something, you know in a different way will always open a door for new opportunities. Do not worry about where that door leads you.
- Passive source of income– Self-publishing and selling books can be a cool passive-income stream. Though it requires a high up-front investment, post-launch has a low maintenance cost.
Here is an Example of a published book as we get into the steps to writing a book.
- I know Why the Caged Bird Sings
This is a literature book written by Maya Angelou. In the book, the author gives a series of her personal feelings, events and thoughts from early childhood to adolescence. She paints her life, growing from a naive and insecure girl in Arkansas to a strong woman, who overcomes challenges and trusts in herself.
You can access this book by visiting sparknotes.com.
Prewriting: Initial step to writing a book in record time
Now that you have answers to why you are getting into publishing, we can get into the writing process with prewriting. Prewriting helps you capture everything you need before you start drafting your book. Do not stare at that blank page forever:
Identify your idea. Ideas are all over. It could come from a daily routine or memories of childhood experience. Consider keeping a journal of ideas every time they pop in your head.
Build your idea. Flesh out your idea by free writing and brainstorming. Free writing is putting down every idea that comes into your head. Do not worry about the mistakes but allow the ideas to flow. Brainstorming is working on your story in all directions until you get to the end.
Plan and structure-This is where you piece the puzzle together. At this point, sort out your ideas and select those that will form your story. Do not discard your notes after publishing; they could be the seeds of your next book.
Stepwise Guide to Start Writing a Book
Step 1: Pick a Genre
Before you start thinking about advanced steps to writing a book, pick your genre. Do not pick a genre because they are the best selling in the market. Instead, focus on what you like and enjoy reading.
In other words, do not write your book for the market but for yourself. Always assume that you are telling the story to yourself.
Step 2: Start writing your book from the End
Unlike in academic paper writing where you always start your essays with the introduction begin your book with the end. The end is the hardest part of a story to write.
Most people who are new in book writing start with oomph only to be confided by the time they are concluding. The conclusion of your book is important because it creates a lasting image in the readers’ mind.
Figure out your ending before you put down anything on paper. Do not worry about your intro because you can rework it severally.
Working your backwards gives flow to your story. For example, how do characters reach their ultimate fate? What leads to that close? Starting your book from the end makes your story plausible without discontinuities that plaque most fiction books.
Step 3: How to Create Characters when writing a book
All the other steps to writing a book could as well depend on your characters. Characters are essentially the soul of good writing. Characters, not the plot, are is what readers remember. You are likely to tell a story you read several years ago because of the people in the book.
Here are tips to help you when drawing out your characters:
Write down the biography of your characters– Have the basic information about your characters, including their full names, year of birth, their parents, social status, education among others. These details will make your story convincing to the reader.
Understand the motivation of characters– State the ultimate goal of your character by doing what they are doing.
Know character arc. This is how they develop in the story.
What is the struggle of your characters? Focus on the challenges they overcome. Howe does their relationship affect their lives in the story.
Before we analyze the remaining steps to writing a book, here is another example of a book to help you visualize what we have discussed so far.
- Ways of Seeing
This book was written by John Berger in 1972. The author criticizes the conventional Western way that defines beauty, by posing questions challenging the unseen ideologies in visual images. You can access the book here.
4.0 Steps of writing a book: Make an outline
After marking out your characters, develop an outline for your book. An outline acts like a roadmap, showing elements you intend to include in your manuscript.
Though you do not have to stick to every word on the outline, it should:
- Give a summary of the book
- Define the main struggle in the book
- Show the interaction among characters in the book
- Have allowance for improvisation
Step 5: Writing your first draft
This is where you discover the story. Here, you will find your characters and the plot taking unforeseen directions. You will discard your outline.
Do not be rigid engage your creativity. This is not the time to be perfect. Jot the points as fast as possible. After all, you will have time to edit and review your book. Remember, everyone has book inside.
Step 6: Rewriting your book
This is one of the hardest steps to writing a book. It is turning the mess in step 5 into something appealing to the reader. It is time consuming and takes patience and practice.
Give yourself a break between when you complete your draft and rewriting to be able to analyze your work dispassionately.
The first writer should ideally take you longer time than the first draft. Do not focus on getting every word right because the next step is editing your book. Aim at getting sense from the drafted ideas.
Final step when writing a book: Editing 7
Be sober when editing.
This is the opposite of creative writing as you delete linguistic flourishes. As Stephen King puts it, kill the darlings- goodreads.com
Get a professional editor or friend to look at your book. Then go partying because, the work is over!
Visit theguardian.com/books for more sample books.
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