You’ve finally decided to exercise your creative muscles and get those genius ideas out of your head and on the paper.
You’ve already taken the first step.
Let me help you take the next one?
In this article, I’ll walk you through the 6-steps how to write a book you’ve always thought of.
Let’s make a start:
Write A Book You Would Love To Read And Write
Have you ever felt there’s a story the world needs to know? Or an idea that makes you question why it hadn’t occurred to others? Is there a novel you’re searching for but haven’t found? A character you’d love to meet but haven’t heard of yet?
Start writing that book/story. Instead of thinking about what’s popular in the market, listen to your intuition, and write a book that needs to be written.
Define Your Plot And Characters
Authors often get into writing a book without considering their plots or characters. That explains why so many books have a murky ending.
It’s best to spend some time in fleshing out the characters, reflecting the message or theme you want to convey, the conflicts you want to create, and your purpose as an author.
You don’t have to know everything beforehand, but having a good grasp of how your characters are going to interact or react in the story, will help you weave a better story.
- Write a character biography
- Find your character’s motivations, strengths and weaknesses
Understand their character arc
Pick A Format That Works For You
The best thing about creative works is the liberty to choose the norms you want to follow. There are no hard-and-fast rules. You can pick a format that works best for you. It can either be a:
- Three-act structure: Beginning, Middle, and End
- Four-act structure: The inciting incident, the plot points, the final battle, the denouement
- Five-act structure: Exposition, Rising action, Climax, Falling action, and Ending
If you find structures too overrated, you can try a free-flowing approach or a chapter-based outline. Any kind of plan is better than having none.
Break Writing Into Small Chunks
Set minor goals that will take you towards the big picture. If you are a plotter, break the book into different chapters, and different chapters into sections. If you are a pantser, set word count goals for your weekly and daily sessions.
Create A Writing Environment
If you are determined to complete a book, you must create a writing environment that keeps you in the game for the long run. Find a focused, distraction-free, and calm space for your writing. Cultivate a nice atmosphere around your desk with pictures, plants, or music, or anything that can help you get into gear. Play some natural background sounds if you like. I personally love background sounds when I write. It helps me travel into my story and adds a sprint to my writing.
Consistency Is The Key
Remember we talked about breaking it into small chunks? Now’s the time to execute it. Whatever you had planned in the beginning – the hours you had decided to put in the chair, the daily word goals you had set- Stick to it. Be consistent in your approach. Without consistency, the goals would just remain goals. They won’t actually culminate into a book.
Don’t Forget to Kill Your Darlings
Once you’ve completed the first draft, take a break. Step away. Forget your manuscript for a month or two. During this time, you can read your favourite authors or write some articles.
Stepping away from the first draft allows your work to mature in your mind. So, when you go through it later, you’ll be able to catch errors better. You’ll not be as attached to your writings. You’ll be able to remove your favourite scene or plot, or those pithy lines you poured out if it makes your story better.
And you’ll remember Stephen King’s advice:
“Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.”