How To Write A Book – 7 Steps To Follow (With Examples)
Each of us has a story to share. However, it’s also true that many of us have those annoying little voices in our heads telling us it’s never going to happen, that we aren’t true writers, and that no one is interested in our writing. Writing a book has been a longtime desire for many individuals. According to a survey, less than 0.1% of Americans have written and published a book even though almost 80% of Americans have at some point wished to. So what is the magic ingredient that will free your imagination and teach you how to write the book of your dreams? Here are the steps that will give you a thorough idea of how to write a book and turn it into a bestseller.
What does it take to be a writer?
Many people think that writing a book takes a lot of education and natural flair. However, that is untrue. Many well-known and prosperous writers don’t hold creative writing master’s degrees. Many aspiring fiction authors have never before written or published a book. Inspiration and dedication are the only two things you need to produce a book successfully. Inspiration will be what spurs you to action. It’s the plot or a certain character that won’t let you go. Another possibility is that you desire to advance your love of writing. But what will lead you to “the end” is determination, which includes perseverance, willpower, and the ability to keep going no matter what.
Anyone who claims that learning to write a book is simple has never actually given it a shot. If they did, they would be aware that using a helpful grammar checker is not the only thing required to write a book. You spend hours staring at the blank page without being able to write one single sentence. But that should not bog you down because every author has been in your present state. From William Shakespeare to Walt Whitman to Stephen King, every successful author began by looking at a blank page.
Especially for a first-time writer lot of negative thoughts, tend to hold them back. Some of these common jitters for first-time writers are –
- You’re unsure about where to begin.
- To expose your innermost thoughts to the world in a book is daunting.
- Before you even begin, you experience writer’s block and a lack of confidence in your writing.
- Fear of receiving unfavorable book reviews when you do publish
- Fearful that even if you write a book, no one would buy it, and you’ll always have poor book sales
- You’re unsure of how to develop your concept into a book.
It might be challenging to write a complete book, especially for new authors. It requires hard work, intense ambition, and strict discipline. But writing a book is a goal that is reachable if you take small steps.
Asking the Right Questions
It will benefit you if you take some time to respond to a few attitude questions and develop the proper mindset before you sit down and type a single word. Successful writers understand that merely writing and getting words to flow isn’t the difficult part. Being structured with a consistent framework and writing style for the specific story they need to tell is so much more important.
There are a few crucial questions to ask yourself before starting work on your book concept, regardless of whether you’re a bestselling author working on your next book or a first-time author whose objective is self-publishing. These are –
1. Do you have the time and the motivation to dedicate yourself to creating an entire book?
You should be prepared and able to maintain a daily writing routine and forego other activities while writing.
2. Are you ready to learn possibly new abilities, such as self-editing and rewriting?
Your limitations and strengths will frequently come under the scanner while writing a new book, and a lot of time and effort will be spent honing those abilities.
3. Do you understand the key characters, the plot, or the subject matter fundamentally?
Although you don’t necessarily need to have everything planned out, it helps to have a general idea of the direction and structure of your book before you start writing.
4. Why are you writing the book?
These are some common reasons for authors to write a book:
- Credibility: To establish authority.
- Money: For monetary gain, business success, or to support one’s literary career
- Expand your network: To get to know and connect with people in your sector.
- Sharing an empowering tale for the greater benefit is my passionate endeavor.
- To be able to escape: You can deal with challenges in the real world by using a mental diversion.
- To provide an escape for others: When writing fiction, you could wish to provide a haven for those who are hurting.
- Have the power to change lives: Books have the potential to alter lives, and your message may inspire others to do the same.
You have your unique reason to write a book and that is enough for you to get going. Once you’ve identified your WHY, use that goal to help you write with clarity. You’ll write more quickly and fluidly than you ever imagined if you maintain your purpose at the center of your creative process.
As you get rid of all the mental blocks and decide to finally give your writing a shot, let us discuss the various steps that will ensure that you end up writing your book. These steps will have additional insight on how to write a book to give you an overall idea.
1. Create a comfortable writing space
2. Schedule your writing plan
3. Choose an ‘idea’
4. Plan the Opening Lines
5. Start Writing your First Draft
6. Set Your Daily Word Count Goals
7. Publish your Book
How To Write A Book Step 1 – Create a comfortable writing space
The real location where you write your book matters. You can “turn the switch” and become focused on writing by having a designated writing area. If you want to write a great book, you need a good writing space. It doesn’t have to be a soundproof room with an incredible view.
All you truly need is a distraction-free, calm space where you can write with focus and peace of mind. Your workspace should enable you to concentrate for long periods without interruption, whether it’s on your sofa, in a home office, or in a coffee shop.
You’ll find yourself constantly becoming distracted if you try to write in a setting that is too crowded, too noisy, or too messy. However, some people function best in coffee shops because they enjoy the background noise. There is a persistent misconception that having a designated writing area makes the process of writing, mechanical or removes the creative element from writing. For some, this might be accurate. The “best” writing setting, in reality, will depend on you. Each of us performs well in diverse situations.
How To Write A Book Step 2 – Schedule your writing plan
Decide what is likely to happen in your life over the following 30 days, and then schedule when you can and cannot write. New authors frequently make the mistake of setting unrealistic deadlines that are impossible to accomplish, which leads to stress. Avoid this and maintain your sense of reality since, at this point in learning how to write a book, making writing a habit is crucial.
You might choose to get up early and write before your day’s responsibilities take up all of your writing time. If you have free time in the evenings but your head is mush, pick a different time or reorganize your schedule to avoid becoming too exhausted. Alternatively, you may take advantage of your lunch break or slip little periods into your schedule, like while you’re switching between tasks or waiting for a meeting to begin. Keep doing it at whatever time of day works best for you so that it becomes a routine part of your day. This fixed schedule will assist you to develop the habit of writing.
How To Write A Book Step 3 – Choose an ‘idea’
Contrary to popular belief, you can begin writing a book or short story without knowing the complete plot. Every great book had its “seed” or first idea. This might be a fascinating individual, a foreboding or mystical location, or a cute or hilarious scene. It might even be something tiny like a clever line of dialogue. All of them are ideas for fantasy novels that you can plant, nurture, and eventually harvest. It’s possible that you already know what you want to write about or that you have no idea at all. In either case, by posing a few straightforward questions to yourself, you can choose a “major book idea”:
- What should I write about?
- What do I believe needs to be written about?
- Who will be interested in reading this tale/topic?
- Will I be able to implement this concept successfully?
You can narrow down your choices using the answers to these questions. For instance, if you have diverse book ideas, but just one that truly excites you and you feel you can execute, then there you have your premise! Don’t stress about the specifics when you first sit down to consider the kind of fiction novel you’re going to create. You don’t have to be familiar with the genre, the names of the characters, or the details of every scene in the story.
Key Things to Consider when choosing and later implementing an idea
Don’t Censor Your Flow
Don’t hold back while you’re coming up with ideas. Just let your ideas run free. Acknowledge the fact that no thought is ridiculous. Any subject might become a fascinating book topic. Therefore, resist the need to judge or feel foolish about yourself. Don’t feel bad if your subject seems overly cliché. It’s acceptable to write about an age-old subject, such as romance or a book about weight loss. There aren’t any “new” concepts, in actuality. Everything has already been covered in writing. However, it hasn’t been written from your particular point of view. And that’s what counts most. Recognize that coming up with original ideas is not a writer’s job. In this day and age, it is very much impossible to do that.
- Reader-Centric Approach
You will need to shift from a self-centered perspective to a reader-centered perspective during this process. The experience of the reader should be your primary concern. In essence, you want the reader’s attention, not only for them to buy the book but also to read and relate or connect to your book. When writing, a lot of people are too self-centered – that they are exclusively concerned with their interests, pastimes, and obsessions. But solely doing that, might not be helpful enough to garner interest among the readers. You must shift from a self-centered viewpoint to one that is reader-centered. Consider these inquiries about the reader:
- What would most interest my reader?
- What are they most interested in learning about?
- What are their main issues?
- What is the principal query that they pose?
It becomes much simpler to write your book in a way that offers enormous value to the people who matter most—your readers—once you begin to approach writing with this mindset.
Professional writers must use research as a tool. Research can help you put the period or character archetypes you’re writing about in context, which is helpful for fiction writers as well. Read books or podcasts that discuss topics comparable to yours, or both. The greatest approach to learning how to write in your genre is to read other works in it.
To find the best-selling books in your genre on Amazon or any other site, you should also undertake market research on that platform. You will have to compete with these best-sellers if you want your book to be successful. Consider how your book might provide something NEW as the last idea. If you’re writing a psychological thriller, for instance, will there be a particularly cunning unreliable narrator or perhaps a string of unexpected twists? Do you have a distinctive perspective on the topic or a particularly rich body of information if you’re writing a nonfiction book? In today’s fiercely competitive industry, giving an edge to your writing is the only way to give your book a shot.
- Develop the main character
The simplest way to begin expanding your idea once you have the “seed” is with your main character. Choose the main character that the reader will follow throughout the narrative. Who will acquaint your reader with your universe? Whose viewpoint will the reader adopt when reading your story? You can start asking yourself more questions about this individual once you’ve determined who they are. Here are some starter questions for your brainstorming process:
- What is my character looking for?
- What drives their desire?
- What issues does my character have?
- What aspects of the characters’ lives need to be improved?
- What happened in the history of the characters to shape who they are today?
Your character will begin to take shape as you respond to questions like these. It will help you determine the target audience for your book. In essence, every good book is about a character who grows or evolves in some way. It’s known as a character arc. You must first comprehend who your character is at the beginning of the story to create a strong character arc. You can use this to determine where they travel and how they change.
- Create a plot outline
Not all writers decide to start their books with an outline. Some authors prefer to come up with a few ideas and then begin writing while sorting out the tale. Before they begin writing a single word, some authors prefer to create a detailed outline. Some plan each chapter in detail. So you can choose.
However, having a basic outline will assist you to succeed when writing the first draft of your narrative. If it’s your first book, this is especially crucial because you’ll need a strong outline to fall back on if you get stuck. You can create a plot outline by –
Choose a format that suits your needs: There are so many different kinds of outlines, including character-based, rigid chapter-and-scene, and free-flowing mind maps. Try another strategy if the first doesn’t work for you. Any strategy is better than none.
Have a start, middle, and end: Too many authors begin writing a book with a clear idea of how it should begin, but their middle is ambiguous, and their finish is absent. Use this opportunity to give them more detail and establish connections between them. Keep in mind that the best books have satisfying endings that seem “earned,” so you should aim to do the same.
Consider the conflicts: Any excellent book must have conflict to keep the reader interested, evoke tension and emotion, and ultimately represent the ideas and/or message you want to get through. Although you don’t have to anticipate exactly where your conflict will appear, you should be quite familiar with how it operates in your book as a whole.
Discover your characters: Your outline is the ideal place to build your characters if you haven’t already. How will your characters interact in the narrative, and how will these exchanges reveal their personalities and the things that are important to them?
How To Write A Book Step 4- Plan the opening lines of your book
Starting the story is one of the most crucial steps in writing a novel. It’s not an exaggeration to state that your book’s first few pages may make or break it; if they fall short of expectations, many readers will lose interest and may never pick up the book again.
You must start your essay with a hook that seizes the reader’s interest and forbids them from turning away. Your next task is to keep the reader interested by raising the stakes and advancing the plot. The main characters should also have different personalities and objectives to engage the reader. There are, of course, countless methods to write your first chapter. Finding the appropriate balance may require trying out numerous starting lines or even opening scenes, but it will be worthwhile if the scene is established perfectly.
How To Write A Book Step 5 – Start writing your first draft
The first draft is a process of discovery, which is the most crucial thing to keep in mind. It’s not meant to be positive. Only expected to be completed. You are letting the plot develop at this point. You are learning new details about your world, story, and character.
Because of this, the initial draft is frequently disorganized and flawed. Your characters and plots will develop in ways you never imagined while you write. As you experiment with characters, stories, styles, and formats, you will frequently throw away your outline. You can challenge yourself here and break the mold. Avoid focusing on becoming flawless. The quicker you can write down thoughts, the better. Eventually, this unfinished collection of concepts, themes, and storylines will be turned into a book. Naturally, that will come after thorough editing and numerous changes. Here are a few points to remember, while writing your first draft:
If a sentence doesn’t accomplish one or both of these tasks, try eliminating it – Every sentence must either disclose character or move the action.
Be careful of your pacing – excessive description is a sign of slow pacing. The plot of your novel is using too much style and not enough substance if it seems to move like molasses.
Reduce flowery language by using a writing tool – Named after the great American novelist – Hemingway – is an excellent tool for learning how to write like concisely and effectively.
6. Set Daily Word Count Goals
Setting goals for yourself, such as a daily word count target, is beneficial. Consider estimating the length of your book. Fiction works often have between 50,000 and 100,000 words. Divide by how many days you want to spend composing the first draft. You may estimate how many words you’ll need to write each day using this.
You may stay inspired to write every day by setting word count objectives for yourself that will help you stay on target. This is crucial when writing becomes difficult, which it inevitably will. You will undoubtedly struggle during the first draft, just like every good writer.
The majority of writers find it draining to write in such massive volumes for so many days in a row, and they still have to edit a tonne when they’re finished. If this is your first book, take your time, set achievable word goals, and gradually move up to more difficult targets. A daily word count goal that you keep, will prevent you from giving up in the middle of a project.
- Avoid Writer’s Block
Every writer faces this harsh reality called writer’s block. Here there are a few effective tips to battle writer’s block and overcome it –
Check your outline again to see if there is any new inspiration-sparking information. Sometimes all it takes to remember where your draft is headed is to step back and look at the wider picture.
Change your writing set-up. Sometimes a small adjustment can increase creativity. Put a pen to paper if you use a laptop. Try some new music, a different setting, or a different beverage to consume at your work.
Allow enough time during your writing sessions to get the creative juices flowing if you notice that you write slowly at first and quickly warm up.
To refresh your memory, go over yesterday’s writing.
Talk it over. Sometimes all it takes to get beyond writer’s block is a simple chat with oneself. If you’re stuck, you may also phone a friend and bounce some ideas off them.
Keep in mind that the first draft you’re writing doesn’t have to be flawless. If you suffer from perfectionism, remind yourself that it’s okay to write something you’ll later find to be bad. The second drafts and the editing process are for making something good. Never forget the saying: “Done is better than flawless.”
Take a walk. You might be amazed by how revitalizing and reviving a short walk outside or a session of exercise can be for your creative process.
Read a different author whose writing you enjoy. After spending ten minutes reading their book, begin typing while imagining them speaking.
7. Ending the First Draft
Poor third-act plotting is one of the most frequent authorial errors, and ending a novel is not an easy process. The truth is that you will be worn out by the time you reach your book’s conclusion, even if it is a fantastic one. Take your time reading the conclusion.
Additionally, try to control your expectations. Your first book is probably not going to be a classic or a number one bestseller on the New York Times list, and that’s good. Comparing yourself to literary greats is harmful to your work. The only thing you can do is continue writing till you finish. Consider a few different endings and decide which one fits the bill.
Points To Consider After Ending your Draft
Read and Revise
Make every effort during this first read-through to refrain from editing anything you’ve written. Read what you have, absorb it, and try to think as critically and unbiasedly about the story as you can. Make a tonne of notes about the things you want huge improve before you conclude. This will make it easier for you to see everything that needs to be revised. It will be intimidating to revise without having the whole picture in front of you. It might potentially result in time being lost. Spending two hours refining a chapter that you might have to cut later is not something you want to do.
It’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work now that you have a complete understanding of the story and the work that needs to be done. Concentrate on major changes that impact the entire storyline or character arc during the first rewrite. Wait on minor edits to the phrase structure or word choice. As a result, the procedure won’t seem too daunting. You’ll be able to concentrate better on how you allocate your revision time.
As you work on the second draft, consider some of the following questions:
1. Does the plot’s development seem natural and plausible?
2. Does the plot feel rapid or slow at certain points in the narrative?
3. Are the decisions the characters make consistent with the events of the story?
4. Are the characters active and forward-thinking throughout the narrative?
5. Does the conflict in the story intensify and grow as the plot progresses?
6. Does the main character change from the beginning to the finish of the story?
You can determine what needs to be improved in the second draft by responding to these questions.
Edit and Polish
The next stage is to make the draft polished and appealing. You altered the story using the earlier procedures. The characters are engaging and lively, and the pacing is tight, so you get the impression that the plot is engaging. The moment has come to concentrate on the finer aspects.
The final tips are:
Use adverbs sparingly. The crutches of the lazy writer are adverbs. They condense into one word what the context ought to say.
Test every sentence. You aim to make the writing more concise throughout this stage of the process. Every section of the story that seems wordy or overwritten should be cut.
Read your writing, loudly. Hearing their thoughts spoken aloud might be challenging for authors, but it’s also incredibly helpful. Another option is to have another person read it to you. You can spot awkward dialogue, wordy descriptions, and poor pacing by reading aloud.
Seek the assistance of others. The majority of authors lack the objectivity necessary to properly edit their works. Take into account hiring someone else to review your writing. Having a writing group or accountability partner is beneficial since they can offer perspectives outside of your own and let you know when you’ve made a mistake.
- Publish your Book
Congratulations! You have written a book.
You’re not done yet, though. You must still publish your book in a way that maximizes its chances of success, including readers, revenue, and influence. Sadly, the majority of successful authors never figure out how to publish their books. They publish their book on Amazon without actually having a plan, which leads to extremely few sales, little to no profit, and frustration over the lack of interest in their work. Using Amazon to self-publish your book is indeed a great idea.
You can’t just publish your book and hope that people will find it, though. To increase book sales, you need to invest some time in learning how to use Amazon’s publishing and marketing tools. This ensures that enough interest is garnered and people are eager to buy and read your book
FAQs on how to write a book
1. How can one get their writing published?
By writing. Too many authors spend too much time discussing writing, thinking about writing, wondering about writing, enrolling in writing classes, attending writing workshops, and failing to sit down and write. Simply begin where you are. Shift the pen. What story would you tell if you only had six months left to live? begin there.
2. How you can get better at writing?
You can better at writing by following the steps:
- Review the fundamentals of spelling and grammar.
- Read the content you plan to write.
- Get opinions.
- Consider the structure.
- Know a few simple fixes.
3. Does writing make you feel drained or energized?
Writing – and writing well – do demand energy and effort, but you can find strategies to avoid burnout and complete weariness by concentrating on your requirements and preferences.
Conclusion on how to write a book
‘Perfect book’ and ‘perfect writer’ are myths. When it comes down to it, the main difference between authors is whether they finish their books or not. One crucial thing is all you need is a system to finish your book. Don’t stress about being flawless. Just keep your attention on the book, and your writing will improve over time.
Writing is a skill, just like anything else we learn. It takes time and practice to become skilled. So give up the notion that you’re not good enough and try to get better by reading-writing advice from professionals and exercising often. By doing this, you’ll be able to shift your perspective from “I can’t” to “Let’s get this done!” Hopefully, this article on how to write a book has provided you with all the necessary inputs to start creating your first draft.