Hundreds of people dream every day about writing books and making a living from their efforts. It is possible, but in order to make your dream a reality, you will need to follow a list of techniques and critical steps before you write your first word.
There are several critical steps you need to master before you write anything. The steps might seem too simple to be helpful, but if you don’t follow a proven method, you will quickly run into difficulty and your book will go nowhere. Your first task is to make a plan that will keep you on track while you are creating your book. It’s a simple thing: No Plan = No Book!
Get a small notebook and write down your ideas as soon you have them. Don’t wait until later or you may lose them. Carry your notebook with you at all times and have a pen or pencil handy. Make a note of anything you see that is interesting.
Visit bookstores and make notes when a book cover arouses your interest and attention and stands out from the other books. Note what colors are used on covers, how many pages in the book and how many chapters. Large bookstores are full of ideas you can use for samples when you need them.
When you find a book you particularly like, flip through it and make some notes about the following areas:
- Number of chapters
- Chapter contents
- Number of pages
- Copyright details
This research will provide an outline for your own book if you take the time to investigate your competition.
Your Introduction is important because it gives complete strangers a taste of your writing. It doesn’t have to be long. People tend to scan long introductions and be led to believe your book is the same – long and boring. Short, interesting introductions create a desire for your readers to read more.
Effective introductions can use an intriguing anecdote, a thought-provoking question or a provocative quotation to arouse interest. This is your best chance to make a good impression.
Your readers need to know why you wrote the book and how it will benefit them. Share your reasons and create interest. Your final introductory paragraph should lead right into your first chapter.
After all that preparation, it is time to start writing your book. Write what is in your mind and heart to get it on paper. Criticize later. Block out a couple of hours each day for writing and keep your schedule without fail, even if you have to get up early or stay up late.
By the time you start writing, your notebook should have a huge collection of ideas and stories you can use to generate new ideas and plots for each chapter. At times, when you least expect it, ideas will flash through your mind. Write them down right away or you will lose it forever. Plan to write at least one chapter a week.
by Val Waldeck