A Collection of Resources Related to Writing A Book
Many people feel they have a book in them that they want to share with the world. However, most people do not attempt it because they don’t know how to start. They believe they need to have the whole book figured out before they start writing; this is not true. Writing is a process that begins with one line, then a paragraph, then a page, and so on.
If you think your skills aren’t good enough, let others decide how good your writing is. That doesn’t mean you have to spend a year writing a book to find out if you have talent, but you can write a sample and get some feedback.
In this post, you’ll find some important tips and resources that can help you write your book. I’ve listed the resources further down the page, but first I have a few tips I’d like to share with you, that have helped me in my writing:
Define the Type of Book
Your first step is to define the type of book you want to write. Will it be fiction or nonfiction?
Nonfiction includes categories, such as a Biography, Reference Books, Self-help books, etc. In the fiction category, your book could be classified as Action and Adventure, Classic, Comical, Crime, Mystery, Fantasy, etc.
Once you have decided on the type of book you want to write, look at some best sellers in your category. Pay attention to sections in the books, such as the introduction, opening, and how the book is formatted and the closing.
Passion Leads To Great Writing
When you’re passionate about the topic, you’ll write much better content compared to writing about something you have no interest in.
Check the bestsellers list for the category you’re considering. See if there is a book about the topic you are passionate about and you’ll have a much better chance of succeeding!
Create a Picture
This tip is especially important for nonfiction books. When you are creating a scene, make sure the reader can visualize it. When creating a scene be aware of the order of your words.
Here’s an example:
In a room on the second floor, a woman stands in the dim light admiring her black dress in a mirror.
In the above statement, the reader envisions the room and a woman. Then you added dim light and the black dress, so the reader needs to change the image in their mind.
A better way to write the scene would be:
In a dim room on the second floor, a woman wearing a black dress admires herself in a mirror.
Now the reader doesn’t have to change their visualization.
Become Familiar with the Topic
Even though you may be an expert on a certain topic, it’s a good idea to do some research and refresh your knowledge. Even a quick Google search can provide tips and insights that may have slipped your mind.
When I’m writing an article, I like to first outline the points I want to cover; then, I’ll do some research for areas I missed or forgotten. You can also gain a lot of insight by reading related books of successful authors especially those that are on a bestseller list.
Create an Outline
Outlines are a great way to organize your work. It allows you to plan and see the big picture. For self-help and reference books, an outline can help because it becomes like a fill in the blanks type of document, and for me, that gets me started on the right track.
The best way to start is to write one word, then a sentence, then a paragraph, then a page. One of the hardest things to do is to get started. Does this mean you have to start with the introduction or the opening? I would say no. Sometimes it’s better to write the introduction at the end because, in the beginning, you may not know what the outcome is going to be.
So just start writing, even if you’re not sure the direction your writing will take. You need to build momentum.
Distractions will hurt your writing. Many times, you will find yourself in the zone and writing nonstop. If you are distracted or interrupted, it will change your pace, and your ideas may get away from you. It’s essential to avoid distractions.
Work in a quiet place, turn off your cell phone, TV, radio, etc. Put on some headphones and listen to an audio that motivates you and can keep you focused and allow you to concentrate on your writing while the ideas flow.
Fix Errors Later
As you’re writing, you want to keep the flow going. You don’t want to stop to fix spelling or grammar mistakes. If you have the option turn off your spell checker because those red lines can be distracting. When you’re finished writing a section, then turn on your spell checker and correct the errors and polish your writing.
Take Some Writing Courses
Keep refining your skills. Writing needs practice. You can take a writing course that may give you tips and techniques that will make you a better writer. Even if you’re an expert, going over material you already know can give you a fresh perspective.
Edit, Edit, and Edit Some more
You need to edit your work, not just for spelling and grammar; you need to make sure your words match your intent and that your writing is clear and concise.
I edit my writing to ensure everything conveys my intent. And when that’s complete, I’ll send it to my editor to get a fresh set of eyes on the piece. My spelling and grammar often need work even though I try to be careful. Having an editor review my writing is a must for me to make sure my work makes sense and my writing is enhanced without losing my voice.
An editor can save you from embarrassing mistakes, and you don’t want that when your work is published.
Break the work Into Smaller Sections
Writing a book can be overwhelming. It’s the same when it comes to large projects. The way I get through a large project is to keep the end in mind, keep the deadline in mind, and break the work up into sections and subsections.
Set a Writing Schedule
A schedule can help you stay on track. Without one, it may lead to neglecting your writing. Another benefit of using a schedule is to develop a habit of writing at a specified time; this can help you stay on track!
Keep a Notepad Handy
As you’re doing other things, especially mundane daily tasks, you’ll suddenly get ideas that could be included in your book or article. In those golden moments, you want to capture those ideas on a notepad, your phone, an audio recording, or whatever you have handy. Don’t leave it to memory. Once the bright idea is recorded, you can let go of the thought and this leaves room for new ideas.
Create a Strong Opening
Read a few best sellers and study the style of the start of the book. Notice how the beginning draws you in. If you lose people at the beginning, there’s no hope for anyone to finish reading your book.
Write a Strong Ending
Besides a strong opening for the book, you’ll also need a strong ending. If you come up with an ending that your target audience will hate or be disappointed, you’ll have ruined your chances for any future books.
Commit to Finishing
With any project and especially for writing projects you need to finish, even if it’s a draft, you’re chances of success have increased dramatically. With a draft, you can go through your work again to finalize it and send it off to your editor.
Feedback is essential and it’s dangerous at the same time. If you wait until the end to get feedback, you may have a lot of rework to do. That’s why it’s good to get it during your writing. The dangerous part. If you get mixed feedback, it may throw you off track. If you get the wrong feedback, it could point you in a direction for disaster. Therefore it’s essential to get feedback from a trusted source.
In addition to my tips, I have put together a list of resources to help with your book-writing journey. These suggestions offer insights from a variety of authors. Think of it as a mastermind group coming together and presenting their ideas, tips, knowledge, and experiences.