How to Write a Book

How to Write a Book

Anyone with a story to tell can write a book, either for their own enjoyment or to publish for all to see and buy. If you find yourself permanently weaving creative narratives in your head, writing a book might be for you. Commencing may seem daunting at very first, but once you get began, it will be hard to stop. Read this wikiHow for some advice on writing a book.

Steps Edit

Method One of Four:
Getting Commenced on Your Book Edit

Buy a notebook. Or several. While you may or may not wish to type your novel directly into a computer, it’s not always possible to be near one when inspiration strikes. Thus, it’s best to have good old-fashioned pencil and paper no matter where you are. Moreover, many writers swear by the connection from mind to arm to pen on paper, so at least give it a go before dismissing this as an option to aid your writing practice.

  • A leather-bound or intense card notebook is the most sturdy and can take lots of manhandle in a backpack or briefcase, whereas a spiral-bound notebook, while not as sturdy, is effortless to keep open. Better still, should you determine the page you just wrote is utter garbage—it’s effortless to rip out!
  • Spiral or strapped, consider using graph paper versus standard lined paper. You may end up creating drawings and sketches as you go, and it’s useful for indenting paragraphs, or outlining.

    Put your thinking cap on. Now that you have your notebook, it’s time to squash the traditional bugaboo of all writers: that empty very first page. Use those very first pages to write out ideas for stories. Once you feel you’ve written down enough ideas, read over them twice. Then, take your ideas to someone else to get feedback. Determine which idea to go with and make sure it doesn’t sound like anything recently published. Then, wait a few days, read over the idea again to be sure, and budge onto the next step

    Create the overview of your story; including an outline, notes about characters (possible names, descriptions, “backstories” etc. ), places – all the little things that go into a larger story. There are several advantages to this overview treatment, including:

  • It will give you fresh ideas for your story as you describe different parts of it (write those down!)
  • Nothing goes to waste. You may describe a character. for example, who never shows up in the story directly but who influences another character.
  • Set up a table or chart and write down all the characters that have a special meaning in the story. Use your notebook to write a lot about them.—Even create a backstory for a duo of them. This helps you visualize and think about them more and even learn about your own character more.

  • You always have something to refer to when you run out of instant ideas.
  • Create your outline. An outline will help you define the arc of your narrative—the beginning, development of plot and characters, the setting up of all the events leading to the big conflict or orgasm, and then the resolution and ending.

  • The beginning of the story is often the hardest part depending on who you are—if you want it to be. The best thing to do is embark as broadly as possible. Say, for example, you want to write a mystery novel, and you’re a fan of World War II. Write that down: Mystery, WWII. The beauty of this is that both categories are very broad, but simply by putting them together, you instantly narrow the field of possibilities. You now have, at the very least, a time period, and a concentrate. Something mysterious happened during WWII. Attempt to concentrate it a little more.
  • Is it private, or is it sweeping? WWII was certainly both. For the sake of example, say it’s private, one soldier’s story.
  • When does it take place? WWII is visible if it’s about a WWII soldier’s story—or is it? This is one of those decision points you will come to right away. Say it actually takes place now, which leads to the next question, “How now?”. To budge right along, lay out the beginning script: Your main character finds a journal—his grandfather’s journal from WWII. This is a revelation, because Grandpa never made it home from the war, but nobody knows what happened. Perhaps, in this journal, your hero will uncover the response.
  • You now have several key questions answered, right out of the gate: who: your hero; when: then and now; what: a journal, and the mystery of a missing person. You don’t know “why,” yet. That is one of the things you must detect. How? Again, this must be uncovered through asking yourself questions.
  • Develop your characters. Embark with the demonstrable. In this case, you have already created two characters—a youthfull man and his grandfather. You can determine characteristics of both simply by the setting, and expand your characters in the process. Grandfather would likely have been married, so there would be a grandmother in the picture. There’s a generation inbetween grandpa and the youthful man, so there would be one of his parents who is also Grandpa’s son or daughter. See how effortless that is?
  • Proceed along in this style, extending from one character to all the others that they may interact with. Before long, it’s possible that you’ll have too many characters and interactions. This is good, especially in a mystery. You may have need of “crimson shirts,” like the hapless, disposable ensigns from the original Starlet Trek !
  • In the process of developing your characters, you will likely ask yourself the same question your readers will soon be asking: what happens next? Use these questions to develop the story. You know, for your story, that the youthfull man wants to find out what happened to Grandpa. Since all he has is the journal to go on, he reads it, and detects Grandpa’s story that lead him from his puny town in Kentucky and his pregnant wifey (grandma!), to the beaches of Normandy, to finding himself wounded behind enemy lines—all of which he wrote of in his journal. He never makes it home. Knowing these things, you see questions and a pattern emerge:
  • Events take place in “today’s” time, and also during WWII: As the journal is read, the date is 1944. As the grandson investigates, it’s today.
  • To add some act to the mystery, the youthful man must do something. Since Grandpa isn’t coming home, send the youthfull man to Germany to find him—dead or alive.
  • Where was Grandma in all this?
  • Proceed along this process of creating the arc, but at this point you could even hazard a tentative ending: the youthfull man detects why Grandpa never made it home, and how his journal did. Then all you need to do is write down everything in the middle!
  • “Timeline” your outline. Now that you’ve created the basic story (minus all the words), sketch your outline as a timeline, with each character’s milestone events laid out on their own line. There will be times when two or more characters intersect, and where some vanish altogether. Just draw a line where those events happen. This too will give you something to kickstart your muse when she falters.
  • Edit without mercy. If you find your plot goes nowhere, and nothing you can do will help it—back up to where it last made sense, and attempt something else. Your story is not required to do anything you tell it to do in the outline. Sometimes, the story has other ideas where it wants to go. Wherever you are in the process, the muse may beckon you elsewhere. Go after her—this is part of the joy of writing.

    Write out the name of each chapter for your book and determine what you’re going to put into it, that way you’ll always know where you’re going with the story. Writing about your characters at the begin, too, can be helpful down the road.

    Know the elements of a good novel. If you want to be a successful writer, think twice about taking creative writing as a course in college (unless you’ve already done so); instead, take English Literature. You have to know how to read with discernment and a critical eye before you write anything. Sentence structure, character distinction, plot formation, and character personality development all fall into place if you know how to read critically before you write.

  • Setting. The setting of a book is the time, place, and circumstances in which a story takes place. You don’t need state this outright, of course. Like a painter might do, you create a picture in the mind of your reader by painting around the subject.
  • For example: Maria walked down the steep slope surrounding the castle. Before she could get very far, one of her father’s maids stopped her and said, “King Ferdinand would like to see you.” This suggests that Maria, possibly a youthfull doll, lives on castle grounds. This would give the reader clues that the book might take place in medieval times. Maria is also a Latin name, which could suggest where she lives, and “King Ferdinand” is a giant clue! In fact, the wifey of King Ferdinand—Isabel of Castile—approved and funded Christopher Columbus’s voyage to the Fresh World in about A.D. 1492, so this story most likely takes place around that time.
  • Characters. Every story has major and minor characters. It’s significant that you make yours interesting and introduce them decently. Introducing the setting, and maybe even the characters, is called the exposition.
  • There are several types of characters that many books have. The protagonist is usually a main character and one that the book goes after. For every protagonist, there is usually an antagonist. the character who provides the friction a story needs to proceed. The villains in books are generally antagonists, but not always.
  • Keep this in mind: very often, one man’s villain is another man’s hero. Regardless of the roles they play, these character types are significant to make your story successful.
  • The conflict. A conflict is a large problem that a character faces, usually the reason for the story to exist in the very first place.
  • Maybe Maria, the King’s daughter, has been asked to make the decision whether to let Columbus use Spanish ships and sailors for his adventures. She may proceed to face this problem for most of the story.
  • The orgasm. The orgasm is the point of highest pressure in the book, the point where the reader is truly holding their breath.
  • Perhaps Maria has just determined against letting Columbus use Spain’s money to explore when he shows up, begging her to let him go and telling he’ll do anything to have this chance. This is the point where Maria has a big choice to make, one that determines the entire outcome of the story.
  • The resolution. The orgasm is over, the problem has been solved, and any liberate completes have been tied up. Note: if you intend to make a sequel, leave at least one or two liberate completes unresolved.
  • For the example here, Maria determines to honor Columbus’s wishes, lets him go, and convinces her father to let her go with Columbus on his journey. It’s often interesting for the reader if there is an ending you weren’t expecting, so don’t always make the ending of your book predictable.
  • Details are some of the most significant things to write in a book. Instead of just telling. “The sky was blue”, say what kind of shade of blue it is, such as “The sky was a light shade of indigo.” It can truly boost the interest level of your story. But don’t go overboard. A bad example would be: “The sky was a light shade of indigo, which set off the deep burnt onyx of the sands, flecked with effervescent spittles of foam from the lime-tinged aquamarine breakers.”
  • Over-the-top embellishment can make you look like you’re attempting too hard (and likely you are). Be descriptive and light on your feet, and maybe add a poetic tone to your story.
  • Write out your plot. This will give you a kicking off point to anchor your story. Nothing fancy, just a general idea of what goes on. Halfway through the book, look over the original plot you wrote down. It’ll be amazing how your perception of your book may have switched. You can switch your book to match the original plot or scrap the plot and go with what you’ve written. You could even integrate and mix the two––whatever you want. Recall this is your book.

    Begin writing! This is the best part. If you’re having trouble kicking off, skip to the conflict of the story, and go from there. Once you feel convenient with your writing, you can add the setting. You’ll very likely switch explosions of things in the story, because the good thing about writing a book is you can let your imagination run wild. The only thing you have to recall is that you have to love the process, or your book will most likely end up in a cylindrical metal container flecked with deep brick-colored oxidation and peeling shards of turquoise spandex pigment (namely, a rusty old trash bin).

    Reminisce that your notebook should only be used for planning! It is best to type up your story so you can create numerous copies of it, lightly eliminate mistakes, and pitch it to publishers.

    Pick something you know, or want to know—about. Your nonfiction book could be information about a place where the reader might be vacationing, or information on a place in general. It could be about today’s society, or a contemporary or historical leader or person of interest. The only caveat for true non-fiction is that it be factual.

    Research. As much as they may know, every accomplished has at least one fresh thing to learn! You can never know too much about a subject. If you are having trouble or reach a stumbling block, attempt these things:

  • Go online. Sometimes it will take a bit of digging to narrow things down, but let the search engines of the world help you in your skill quest. Go after not just the main articles, but the referenced articles as well. Leave questions on forums and other places in case anyone can help you resolve them.
  • Read another non-fiction book about, or related to your subject. The author may see things from a different perspective, and may have some information you were not aware of, which you will duly confirm from an independent source before including it in your story, right? Right!
  • Ask an pro. There is likely an experienced in the field who has made it their life’s work to know everything about the topic you’re writing on. Seek them out, honor their time, and ask them if there is something that might be unique and interesting about your subject.
  • Read an encyclopedia. Yes, it’s a boring job, but somebody’s got to do it. It might as well be you, as you gather all the information you need for your book.
  • Format your book. The books that don’t get published are the ones that are poorly organized. For example, don’t talk about good places to fish and good beaches in Europe in the same chapter. For more information, consult the Related wikiHows below.

    Add copious descriptive details. No one wants to read a boring book! Good books are enriched with details and color.

    Be persistent. A cabbie was stopped by a youthful man in Manhattan who asked, “How do I get to Carnegie Hall?” “Practice,” replied the cabbie. Practice makes ideal. Write constantly—whether it’s your story, or just a thought or an observation. The more you do it, the better you’ll get. It doesn’t have to be flawless, it doesn’t have to read how you want it to initially––what matters most is getting it out. There will be slew of time to review the approaches to writing taken later.

    Keep asking questions of your motives, your story, and your characters. Everything and everyone in your novel should have a reason for being there—saying the leaves are green shows the readers it’s spring or summer. Telling the character had a three-day beard shows that he’s under duress of some sort (or he’s a Hollywood actor). Every character has a motivation for what they do, so ask “them” as you write. “Why are you about to get on that plane and leave him alone in Morocco?”

    Take violates to get back some perspective. Writing improves with distance. On returning to it, you’ll often see what works and doesn’t work in your written chunk, whereas attempting to perceive this when you’re stuck in the middle of it is a lot stiffer. Set aside a chapter for a week and come back to it later, refreshed and with fresh eyes.

  • If you get writer’s block, stop writing for a few days or so, and listen to some calming music to clear your head.
  • Find opinions other than your own. Let other people read your book’s manuscript. They can give you valuable feedback, and perhaps even help you as you proceed to write.

    Ditch what doesn’t work. Unsurprisingly, there will be slew that doesn’t work. Don’t be afraid to delete characters, plots and anything else from your book if it isn’t working. Identically, don’t be afraid to add fresh elements and characters that seem to bridge gaps and give sense to what you’re writing. In the case of non-fiction, never be afraid to find more facts to back up your statements!

    Recall that many authors fail at many drafts before they find an actual idea that’s good enough to stick with. Take Veronica Roth, author of the Divergent trilogy. She says in her blog that it took her at least 48 attempts to find an idea to stick with, and that was in college!

    Write what you know. This old telling can either work for you or not. It’s good to not need to do a entire bunch of research before writing, but a little doesn’t hurt. Also, it’s a good exercise: Writing fresh things could help unearth an idea!

    Keep at it. Attempt to make your mind churn out ideas all the time, so you never have an excuse not to write. You don’t need to fit EVERYTHING into your story, just enough to please the reader. If you get sick of writing, and just come to a stop, take a break and re-connect with the world outside, where you get some ideas from. Or attempt free-form writing-just write, no edits, no erasing “because it sounds bad” just write, write and write, – even if they are scattered scenes, rhymes, or two words.

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