Some easy steps which will help you in the journey of writing your dream book.
It’s a lifelong dream for many people to write a book. Yet is one of those dreams which only a few eventually fulfill. So what is that magical element you are missing in your life which can lead you to the path of fulfilling your dream? Some authors believe that authorship doesn’t have one definite road, as every writer has to make their own unique journey. If we examine every bestselling author, we will notice that every one of them has different writing patterns and habits of their own which are highly effective and help them to reach their goals. So if you want to write the book of your dreams and become a bestselling author like them, then all you have to do is to establish your own patterns and habits which will help you to be like them.
And to fulfill this dream of yours, I have put together a step-by-step guide that answers all your queries regarding writing a book. In this guide, I have put together a bundle of information with advice from the most prolific and successful writers in the business, including what is the best book writing software and a complete breakdown of how you should write a book step by step. Whether you have wanted to be an author since childhood or the idea just struck you five minutes ago, this article is sure to give you all the knowledge you are going to need to write your dream book.
Try to find your “big idea”
The first and foremost thing you’re going to need to write a book is a compelling idea. If you don’t have an idea, then you won’t even be able to write the first page of your book.
You might already have an idea about what you want to write, or you might be completely blank. No matter the case, you can get your “big idea” for your book by asking yourself a few very simple questions:
- What do I want to write about?
- Why do I feel that this is something important?
- Who would like to read my story/genre?
- Am I capable of carrying out this concept effectively?
If you can answer these questions, you will be able to narrow down the best options. On the other hand, if you don’t have a clear idea about what you want to write about, these questions will lead you in a firmer direction.
Find out what types of book people are reading currently
Before selling any product in the market, you have to know what is in demand. I know many of you who see writing as their passion will be offended by the prospect of treating your creation as a product, but we all can agree to the fact that at the end of the day we all need money to keep ourselves and our dreams alive. And to do so you need to earn money by doing the thing you are best at. As the saying goes, if you’re good at something then don’t do it for free. So why would you want to give away your creativity for free? In order to write a book that will both appeal to readers and will help you pay your bills, you should do thorough research on people’s current reads.
Create an outline for your book
You want to write a great book right? Then you will need an outline for it first. It is absolutely essential if it is your first book because you will need a solid blueprint or roadmap to rely on when you will get stuck. And believe me when I say you will get stuck!
So how are you going to create your outline? There are many things to consider while creating an outline but I have listed some essentials to help you out:
Choose a format that works
There are several forms of outlines, including the free-flowing mind map, a meticulous chapter-to-scene layout, and the character-based outline. You can try each and every approach; if one doesn’t work another one will.
Make sure that you have a beginning, middle, and end
Almost all the authors start writing their book without a clear idea of its overall narrative structure. Make sure you find the time to properly develop the structure of your writing and connect it properly. Also, remember that a good book always has an ending that feels like it has earned the ending not one which is forcefully finished. So you should try to build towards that perfect ending from the beginning.
Know your characters from inside out
If you don’t intimately understand your own characters then you cannot expect your readers to get your characters. So if you still haven’t done much character development, then your outline could be the perfect opportunity to do so. You can decide how your characters interact in your story, and how all those interactions will play out. You also need to consider who they really are and what actually matters to them.
Set word count goals for yourself
Okay now let’s move on to practical ways that can help you to improve your writing habits. Word count plays a huge role when you’re trying to finish a book in a certain amount of time. You should set word count goals for every session of yours be it individual, weekly, or monthly. But for the writers who’re just starting off, I’d recommend the following word count goals:
- 600-750 words per day
- 1,500-2,700 words per week
- 6,000-12,000 words per month
I have set these on the basis of 3-4 sessions per week, which is quite reasonable for a beginner. If you follow these word count goals, you can finish a book in less than a year. For those who want to finish their book a little bit faster, their word count should look more like the following:
- 1,500-2,100 words per session
- 9,000-15,000 words per week
- 36,000-60,000 words per month
You should establish a healthy writing routine
Only if you have a healthy writing routine will you be able to achieve your word count goals and write a good book overall. To establish a healthy writing routine you need to ask yourself some basic questions like:
- What time of the day/week do I have a lot of free time?
- Which time of the day do I tend to work most productively?
- How can I have proper breaks between my writing sessions?
- Will I be really able to balance my writing goals with other responsibilities?
If you can answer these questions then you are sure to set up the perfect routine for writing. Also, if you have a well-balanced routine then it will keep you from burning out while increasing your productivity.
Be sure to use writing software
Until now, I have only talked about how you should write but I have yet to talk about some helpful software that will assist you with writing. Here is some writing tool software I would suggest:
First on my list is Scrivener. It is downloadable writing software that is the first choice for many writers. It provides tons of exceptional interface features like outlining chapters with its drag-and-drop system, creating labels for elements, and various templates available which you can use to plan and format your book. It is definitely worth a try.
If you’re not that much into outlines because your thoughts are all over the place, then Milanote can be your savior. It has a super-flexible interface that will allow you to mind map everything while you’re writing; you will be able to see all your notes at once, so you won’t have to worry about forgetting things.
Many write on laptops, PCs, or even typewriters. But there is still nothing like writing on paper. Well, FocusWriter does exactly that with their full-screen default interface, which is a sheet of paper on a wooden desk. It has no distractions or extraneous bells, and whistles whatsoever. This program will get anyone in the zone.
Make sure you are not rushing the ending
All the writers would agree to one thing about writing: writing the ending of a book is the toughest job. And if the ending or finale is not good it can ruin the whole thing (Game of Thrones fans would agree, cough cough!). So I hope that you would at least get your initial thoughts organized for the ending while you prepare the outline.
But even after that, you might rush the ending. Because by the time you reach your ending you will be tired and exhausted so you’ll just want to finish the book. Don’t do that to your readers because they deserve a worthy climax. So if you feel exhausted, take a break and brainstorm ideas for a proper climax then finish it.
In the end, I would say, after months and years of brainstorming, outlining, and writing for hours and hours, you will finally finish your book; you must then get it to proofread and get as much feedback as possible. After doing all this, if you feel you have achieved your goals then go ahead and try to get your book published. If you followed my advice and put in the work to finish your book, I am sure it will be the next bestseller.