Writing your book takes courage, passion, imagination, and a lot of hard work. If you have a story that needs to be told, you can certainly write that book! Bestselling authors have shared their secrets about the whole book writing process, so here’s a few more to help you get started.
1. To write a book, you must read a lot of books
Like bestselling author Stephen King once said, “If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time, or the tools, to write. Simple as that.” Reading what other writers write will expose you to different styles of writing, improve your vocabulary, and educate you about the world and how it works. If you read a lot, eventually, you will want to create a story that other readers can read, too.
2. Write every day
Aim to write 300 words each day. It doesn’t matter what type of writing it is, just that you write something. Writing every day will keep you motivated and will ensure that you don’t get rusty or sloppy.
3. Figure out what you want to write about
Next to writing the book itself, deciding on what your book will be about is one of the most difficult tasks in the entire process. Don’t make it complicated. Write about what you know. Write about what you love to read. Write about something that has always fascinated you and something that you will not mind doing a lot of research on.
4. Have a beginning, middle, and an end
When you know how your book is going to start and how it’s going to end, everything else will be a piece of cake. From there, you can work your way into breaking your story into chapters, until you graduate into creating a more detailed outline.
5. Set deadlines on a weekly basis
Each week, hit a target number of words that you need to write or some chapters you must finish. Not only will you finish your book on schedule, but you will also work hard to avoid laziness or procrastination.
6. Get feedback
Let someone read your work, preferably a person whose opinion matters to you and will help you do a better job. Find out what he or she likes about your book and what needs more work. Always welcome constructive criticism. It comes with the job!
7. Avoid writing what readers usually skip
Stay away from what readers consider huge turn-offs, such as thick, long, and wordy paragraphs. Avoid family trees that are too complicated and go back to centuries, or dream sequences, or numbers, dates, jargons, and highfalutin words.
8. Show; don’t tell
In the words of the great Anton Chekhov, “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” Readers know that the forbidden forest is terrifying, but they should see and feel the terror that lurks there themselves.
9. “Write drunk, edit sober”
Did you think Ernest Hemingway edited himself while writing his masterpiece? No way—he just let the words rush out of him and tried his best for his fingers to keep up with his thoughts. So, just write away. There is plenty of time to edit your work later.
10. “Easy reading is damn hard writing”
Nathaniel Hawthorne couldn’t have said it better. The best and easy-to-read books take a lot of work. It takes blood, sweat, and tears. Before you decide you hate a book and toss it aside, think about all the work that the author put into it. Writing is hard work and a lot of magical thinking combined.