Writing a book has been a lifetime dream of a number of people, yet for many, this just remains a dream. People generally consider getting published an unattainable privilege. However, the most challenging part is not getting published, it is the process of writing. Unarguably, dedicating time to writing is a grueling task.
Most probably, you know what it is like to write an idea on paper but not finding the right end of the story, to begin with. You have a piece of paper and you are staring at it. Hours pass by and you are still sitting with a blank page. After some weeks a friend asks you about your book, and you ponder, “What book? Until now I have not even decided the book idea!”
Steps to follow to Start Writing the First Book
But no worries! With a tried and trusted plan, you can get out of that frustration and finally make it happen. In this article, you will find the step-by-step guide you need to make your dream come true.
- Clarify your goals
Before getting into the process of writing, you need to answer a fundamental question: What is your motivation for writing a book? The book idea is not the answer to this question. It is the purpose you are writing for. Yes, getting published is a gratifying experience, but it is the outcome of some serious efforts. It requires you to make some sacrifices. Your objective can be making money, getting popular, or bringing change to society. It is important to have a clear goal, as it keeps you motivated throughout the process.
- Determine the book idea
Certainly, the most essential thing you need to write a book is the ‘book idea.’ The book idea can simply be determined by answer a few important questions:
- What is the subject I am writing about?
- Who will read my book?
- Can I write about this idea efficiently?
After answering these questions you would be able to discover your book idea. Also, you may not need to answer these questions, if you have a number of ideas in your mind and you know the one you are comfortable with. This strategy helps when you lack ideas. Besides, you can also consider the books you love and extract a suitable idea.
- Explore the genre
After getting done with finding the idea, the next step is to explore the genre. You already have the genre if you want to write a book like the books you read. Reading more and more books in a specific genre can help you with writing in that genre. However, if this is not the case, you will have to consider some books in that genre and analyze them. Look for the length, number of chapters, structure, and organization of the books. Also, consider the market variables. Look for the best-sellers in your genre and find their common attributes. In the end, think about how you can offer something unique.
- Formulate an outline
Before getting into writing the first chapter prepare an outline. The outline serves as a plan for your book. Seasoned authors do neglect this part, but as a beginner, you need to have a plan to rely on. To formulate an outline, brainstorm and write down the points that come to your mind. Arrange your points in a suitable order, as the order of the outline will directly dictate the structure of your book. Try making the pledges early, get the reader excited for unique ideas, facts, and information.
- Get started
Finally, it is time to get into the writing process. Undoubtedly, the first few pages will let you know what the final outcome of your efforts is going to be. Chances are the readers who won’t read the entire book if they don’t find the start engaging. Therefore, you need to give extra attention to the start of your book. Again, you can consider the best-sellers to understand how seasoned authors write the opening of their books. Besides, it is not only the start that needs to be engaging. You have to maintain the reader’s interest throughout the book. In short, catch the reader’s eye at the start and then keep that interest alive.
- Consider the reader first
Remember, it is the reader you are writing the book for. All the decisions should be based on this idea. Before including any idea think about the reader’s opinion. Read every chapter you have written and analyzed it as a reader. Naturally, you will find what’s wrong and what’s right with that chapter. Ultimately, everything is good if the reader is happy.
- Do not be an editor while writing
As a beginner, you will try to make every sentence look perfect. Your mind will question every word, phrase, and sentence you produce. This is what you need to avoid while writing your first draft. The main task while writing your first draft is to bring your thoughts on the paper. Editing happens after you are done with writing the first draft. Thus, being an editor and writer simultaneously will make the process uncomfortable for you.
- Don’t lose the battle of the middle
Mostly, after writing a fascinating opening the writers can’t wait to get to the thrilling ending. However, the excitement ends as they realize that they do not have the material to fill the middle. Consequently, writers try to just pack the middle with whatever they find suitable. But this does not last long as they soon find the process uninteresting and realize that the readers will also find the stuff boring. The solution to this problem is simply the proper organization of the outline. Ensure that the points you want to mention in the middle are as interesting and engaging as the first and the last.
- Write an enchanting end
No matter what you are writing, a novel, or nonfiction, the ending of your book needs to be exciting and engaging. Do not hurry. Provide readers about what has been pledged. They have been waiting for that thrilling end. Hence, give them what they deserve. Often, the writers have many ideas for the ending. If this is your case, then choose what the heart says, not the head. Readers take into account what excites them.
- Edit your draft or find a guru
You will find the worth of your manuscript just after reading the first few pages if you have the required expertise. But if you don’t consider yourself an expert, then find the guru who can help you with editing your manuscript. Just ensure that the person is experienced enough for the task. A lot of people consider themselves experts but have never achieved something remarkable. Hence, be aware!
- Get published
Now you have two options:
- Typical publishing: a typical publisher take every responsibility and pays for everything-editing, reviewing, printing, exports, etc.
- Self-publishing: you have to take all the responsibilities and pay for everything.
The decision is yours. Make a good one!
You can write your book for sure now! (comment your thoughts)
Do it step-by-step. Set short goals for yourself and pledge sheer commitment. Bear in mind, it is not just a dream!