Like most writers, you may find yourself stuck before you even begin setting pen to paper, simply because you don’t have any idea the steps to write a book.
This article will help you bring your book idea to fruition. If you aren’t sure what to give thought to first, this article will take the guesswork out and provide the essential steps to write a book. All you need is some pointers to help you get started and at the end of it all you’ll have your book idea in a tangible form. Are you ready to get started writing your book? Here are all the necessary steps to write a book.
9 Essential Steps To Write A Book
Buy a notebook
Even if you’re planning to type your book directly into your computer, you still need a notebook or some smaller electronic device (like your phone) to capture your ideas on. Your laptop may not be there every time a character inspires you or when you have an awesome idea for your non-fiction. To alleviate forgetting unique ideas, you’ll need to capture every inspiration that strikes. The technology method is great because you can add your ideas as a note or even consider creating an audio or video message for yourself. Remember to provide as much detail as possible. When you look at your notes again, you want your idea to come alive. You don’t want to look at your notes and wonder, “What was I talking about?”
If you choose the notebook method in your steps to write a book, there are many writers who feel there’s a great connection between the mind and the paper. Do whatever feels comfortable to you and don’t feel obligated to operate your writing in a tech-savvy world. Just choose to write organically (in whatever way that is for you). Alleviate anxiety and increase the chances of having a great writing experience.
Create a book outline
After you’ve acquired your notebook or opened up a MS Word document, you can use the first few pages to create an outline of what you’re planning to write. For fiction writers, this may include all the possible names and description of characters in the novel, where scenes should take place, back stories or anything else that’s likely to appear in the larger picture. By creating an overview, you’ll be creating new ideas on how to describe different parts of your novel, and alleviate the chance of any characters being pointless additions or undeveloped.
Similarly non-fiction writers can also outline chapters, giving special consideration to any research needed to be done during the writing process. Research is important and one of the necessary steps to write a book, no matter the genre. Allow each chapter to divulge different elements of your unique personality. The goal? By the end of your book, the reader should know why you’re an expert on the subject and want to read more.
Creating an outline is among the important steps to write a book. To begin with, an outline will help you to define the structure of your narrative. In other words, it will give you an idea on how to begin your book, how to develop the plot and characters, as well as how to connect all the events that lead to climax or the big conflict. On similar grounds, an outline will also give you an opportunity to structure the resolutions and the ending of your manuscript. According to most writers, beginning your story and ending it is the hardest part of writing a book. You can, however, make it simple by beginning your novel with a wider perspective or being more abstract; then, end it with a narrower point of view.
Edit your outline
If the plot you’ve developed in your outline doesn’t make any sense or leads nowhere, take a different approach. Believe me, if it doesn’t make any sense to you, it won’t be clear to your reader!
Your story doesn’t necessarily have to be the same way you pictured or wrote in your outline. You’ll be discovering new and fresh ideas at every chapter. All you have to do is to go back and edit your outline and add your more appealing twist. You can even go a step further and mark the specific points to insert suspense or any other writing style that will get your story out of the ordinary. Allow the story to take its own direction. Let your characters and story guide you. All you need to do is follow the natural flow.
Write your book
Now that you’ve completed the first steps to write a book, your characters are now ready to assume their roles. You’ll have a clear picture of what will be happening around each of them as well as what exactly must happen to move to the next chapter. Essentially it’s your role as a writer to put your hero on paper by narrating how he or she moved from page one to the very last page. Apart from that, you should also try to add some details to your story, and remember to incorporate some interesting dialogue where necessary. In fact, the best way to do this is to write what you normally speak or hear. Once you get to the last page, you’ll have completed your rough draft.
Rewrite the book
Now this is the main part of writing your book. This is what will determine the story your readers will get from you. For this reason, it may require more time than was dedicated to your rough draft. For those who hate rewriting and may be tempted to think that they can still do with the rough draft—the most essential part of writing is rewriting and has no alternatives. So rewrite your book; otherwise, all your previous effort would be a complete waste of time. Get rid of fluff, unnecessary dialogue, undeveloped characters, or anything that doesn’t move your story forward. Take the time to rewrite your book chapter by chapter, and once you’re done, ta dah first draft!
Get someone to read your book
After you’ve completed your first draft, you should find beta readers to look over your manuscript. Ask the person if the story makes sense or if it contains holes. But regardless of what they say, only change what sounds true to you. In some cases, you’ll find that they will only be reminding you of what you had already thought of changing. Also important, use some of the ideas that you previously thought of, but were unable to develop. Can they be used now? Will the adding of it make more sense?
After you’ve made all the necessary changes, you can now take your second draft to the next step.
Hiring a professional editor
This ranks up there as one of the more important steps to write a book. A professional editor in this case, should be the person who is specialized in content developing. A professional editor’s role is to identify grammar, spelling, pacing and plot issues, and help to improve language use. Unless they have expertise, a professional editor doesn’t refer to your aunt or friend even if he or she has great writing skills.
Often times, professional editors will help you trace issues that may prevent your book from getting published. Even though hiring one may prove to be costly, getting a good professional editor is the most valuable part of writing your book.
Now you have your edited book, but it’s not yet complete until you take the next steps to write a book.
Self Publishing vs Traditional
Everyone’s publishing journey will be different and dependent on his or her goals as a writer. I advise you to give careful consideration to what you expect from a writing career. There are many benefits to each publishing option and both can garner successful long lasting careers depending on what you bring to the table. Consequently, I’ve seen writers excel on each publishing path; as well as struggle. With realistic expectations and a keen understanding for the publishing industry, it’s at this step you decide the progression of your writing career.
RECOMMENDED: Self Publishing vs Traditional
Sell books online
Lastly no matter what publishing method you choose, the bottom line is – you need to sell books! There are a multitude of sites where you can sell books online, including your own website. However for awesome visibility, Amazon is the way to go! Amazon is the biggest virtual bookshelf, and it’s a 24/7 portal for anyone looking for books.
This is obviously the barebones approach to getting started. I’m sure you understand you’ll need to do more in-depth research on all of the above steps.
These are the essential steps to write a book. You’ll need to figure in a multitude of other things including book marketing, publicity and more. These steps to write a book should give you a better idea of how to get started.
Before reading this article, did you have any clue as to the steps to write a book? What step are you on and what challenges do you face? Please share in the comment section below.