Saturday, October 17, 2009

First Three Steps to Write a Book

By Terri Rains

Writing a book can be an intimidating process, especially for a first-time author. Before you delve any further into the project, take a few preliminary steps to write a book.

Step #1: Figure Out What You are Going to Write About

This may seem like an obvious preliminary course of action, but it is important to pinpoint specifically what it is you are going to write about.

You will want to write about a topic you enjoy. If the medical profession bores you, it is probably best to stray from the subject. Writing anything - especially a process as involved as a book - should be an experience you enjoy.

Step #2: Look Around at the Competition

If you were going to write a book on gardening, it would be wise to scan bookstores, libraries and look around online to see what has been written on this broad topic. Perhaps there is a particular subtopic that has not been written about extensively. If there are many books devoted to growing tomatoes and cucumbers, but few uncover the wonders of cultivating parsley and onions in your backyard, this could be a niche.

While books of all genres sprout up constantly, there is always a need to write new ones, especially on the nonfiction side, because new information and discoveries are always emerging.

Step #3: Map Out Your Book

Before you get bogged down with the nitty gritty details, it would be helpful to sit down and write about specific topics you would like to uncover in your book. It does not have to be set in stone, but creating a list of tentative chapters could be a helpful exercise. Determine how narrow or broad the scope of your book is going to be.

If your book is going to recount the history of Wisconsin, how far back do you want to go? When the region was first settled? Or when it was admitted into the union and formed as a state? Or perhaps you want to start at a specific point in history, such as 1900? Determining the answer to this question is an important step.

While pounding out a literary work can give any author anxiety - particularly a first-timer - zooming in and taking a few preliminary steps to write a book can be an invaluable method of easing the process.

If you're interested in steps to write a book, Profitable Storytelling is a fantastic site!

And for an incredible source of motivation, you really need to look at Blind Mentor. You'll be really glad you did!

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Todd. I feel like there's a book in my future but I am defnitely intimidated by the process. I appreciate the tips!


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