Tips for How to Write a Book
In this article:
- 3 more tips for writing your book
- Permission to go where inspiration leads you
- Challenge for your next step in writing your book
Many writers, especially when they are writing in a non-fiction area, have difficulty organizing their thoughts. They have plenty of knowledge that they have researched and want to share, but then run into a roadblock when they try to get the ideas out onto paper. This can be helped by creating a very general outline.
Remember back in school when you were doing a research project and you put together an outline with a main topic, a sub topic, and then a series of sub-sub topics. Remember how fun that was!
Well, you don’t have to do an outline that is so involved if it doesn’t fit your personality or style, but what often helps it to start with just a very basic outline.
Outline to Organize your Thoughts
Start with a very general outline: Beginning / middle / End
Then, to fill in some of the gaps, start asking yourself questions about what you want to cover or talk about.
Don’t worry about writing in order of your outline if that doesn’t work for you. For example, you might be writing about how to build the perfect website. In your outline, you may start with getting the domain name, designing the site, filling it with content, and then driving traffic to the site.
But, as you are writing, you find a treasure chest of information on driving traffic. Even if you’ve just started, and are at the point of talking about domain names…write about driving traffic since that’s what is on your mind.
There is no rule that says you have to write in the order or your outline.
Inspiration is a Gift…Capture It!
Don’t let inspiration escape! You never know when something good is going to creep up from your subconscious and just be brilliant! Record those thoughts on your phone, or jot them down on a piece of paper, back of an envelope, whatever is handy. I recently heard an interview with a young country music singer/songwriter who writes all over her arms when she gets inspired.
I usually have my best “ah-hah” moments when I’m running or in the shower.
Now, I haven’t perfected the water proof option yet, but I’m recording those thoughts, or those key phrases as soon as I hear them and can get to a pen, computer or recorder. You’re brain has a very limited time to capture and then remember those moments of clarity. Yes, paper napkins work too!
This ain’t no Grammar Lesson
MOST IMPORTANT! Do Not edit while you write. Give your inner critic and editor a gag order. They are not allowed to the party when you’re writing.
If you start working about grammar, proper pronouns and spelling, you will never get anything written. There is plenty of opportunity for editing at a later time. When you are in the creative mode, that period with your thoughts are traveling from your brain to the paper, all you need to do it get the thoughts out. Period. It’s like a “brain dump”.
Just know that some of the best stuff is written in its un-edited versions and give yourself a break when you are writing your book.
Here’s your Challenge
To keep the process going, write your general outline. You should already know where you want to end up based on the tips from the first video in this How to Write a Book series. Write down where you are going to start, and where you want to be in the middle.
What key points will get the reader from the beginning to the middle? And then, what key points will get them from the middle to the end.
With that in place, you are in a great position to write your first chapter…any chapter.
Until next time…
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