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    How To Start Writing Your Book

    Date Posted: 23/07/2018 | Category:

    How To Start Writing Your Book

    It can be a daunting task to begin writing your first book. You might have a fantastic idea for a story, but how do you take the leap and put pen to paper? We’ve put together some advice to help you on your way…

    Start with an idea…

    If you’ve got a plot drawn up in your head, or even a concept you want to develop, you’re off to a good start. You’re feeling creative and inspired and this is half the battle!

    Structure it…

    Once you’re set on your idea, it’s time to plan a structure. Are you writing chronologically, or moving backwards and forwards in your timeline? Is the story told through several different characters, one main character or a narrator? Spend some time considering exactly how you will approach your structure, rather than diving straight in.

    Plot it out…

    You don’t need to have all the details confirmed, but a rough idea of your plot and where it’s going is important to ensure your book is well balanced. Think about the overall arc of your story – where are the points of tension, where do the climaxes fall, what events are pivotal to the plot? Here, you may also want to consider how you split up your book. For example, you might devote the first quarter to introducing and developing your characters, settings and the beginnings of your plot, then spend the middle half on the real crux of the story, with the final quarter being the climax of the book. You may even feel ready to decide what each chapter will cover. Being organised beforehand is key to a successful book.

    Begin with the end…

    Some writers go as far as writing the end of their book first and whilst this is a personal choice, it is important to know where your book is going. You might not have the exact ending written in your mind, but you need to have some idea of how it will all come together.

    Be on time…

    You might not be on a deadline but having some idea of an end date is important to avoid the pitfall of never finishing your book. It helps to have an idea of how long you want your book to be, for example, adult fiction is usually between 80,000-100,000 words. If you’re aiming for somewhere in this region and you have an end date, it’s easy to split it down into weekly or daily writing targets. Stick to these, even if it’s tough, and you’ll continue to make progress.

    When to look back…

    Often writers find that once they get started they want to plough on and continue writing, rather than interrupt their flow with re-drafting and correcting. This is a positive approach, particularly if you’re feeling full of ideas. Once you’ve got a first draft, you can then return to the beginning and start on any corrections and re-writing. Of course, some writers like to do this as they go, but be aware it may slow down your writing progress.

    When to stop…

    Once you’ve written a first draft, you certainly need to return to it and re-read, correct and re-write. Once you’ve completed your second draft, you might find it helpful to get some fresh eyes either from a friend, editor or a writing group or forum. At this point some general feedback (we call it a Developmental Edit) will help you decide if any changes need to be made. Once you’ve done this you may want to consider paying for a professional editor, approaching a publisher or self-editing and publishing. When it is finished is really down to you but be wary of over-doing it and changing too much.

    Remember, the hardest part is getting started, so pick up your pen, turn your computer on and get going!

    Once you’re happy with your manuscript and feel like you could benefit from a professional opinion, click here to submit your work for a free, no-obligation evaluation.

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