Writer Wednesday—How to Write a Book

Here you go, the handy dandy guide to writing that book you were always planning:

  1. Have a story
  2. Write it down
  3. Check for plot consistency
  4. Check for mechanical errors
  5. Let someone read it.
  6. Make any necessary changes

Simple, right?

Everyone has a story, their own story; some people come up with other stories—which are really just big what-ifs. What if this happened, or that, and how would it progress, and how would it end? Ideas can come from anywhere at all: dreams, real-life occurrences, and just plain daydreaming.

Now for the hard part—writing it down. You don’t have to write a certain number of words each day, and you don’t have to write every day, and you don’t have to write at the same time every day. However, if you skip more than a day or two, you run the risk of getting out of the habit of writing, and while that won’t necessarily preclude your finishing the book, it will extend the time it takes.

You might want to also make notes, or a timeline, as you go or even before you start.

After you’ve finished, and I don’t care what NaNoWriMo says, a novel is NOT 50K words, it’s almost twice that, at minimum, read it back over again to make sure you wound up all the loose ends and didn’t change someone’s name or description in the middle.

Make sure it’s believeable, as any good story is, and be sure you haven’t inadvertently used some colloquialism or slang term specific to your region, your family, or your business. Historical facts and actual places should, to a point, be accurate insofar as general readership is concerned.

Once you’ve made any changes, read it over again to check for mechanical errors: spelling, punctuation, grammar, etc. Fix them.

Now you can send it to someone to read—or several someones. Make notes of their feedback, and decide if you want to change anything.

There you go—you’re finished. You wrote a book. Congrats!



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