So you’ve decided to write a book. Congrats! The process can be fun, but a bit nerve-wracking. There are a lot of different variables you have to think about. You’ll want to work with an experienced literary agent to make sure your voice is heard above all others, and you’ve got plenty of options when it comes to publishing. If you need some help figuring out where to begin, check out these helpful tips on writing a book.
Decide What Kind Of Book You Want To Write
There is more than one type of book out there. You could write a fiction or non-fiction book. Some people prefer to write memoirs or tell stories about their lives, which can be a great choice as well. But sometimes you might have a tendency to write what is known as a cookbook, or a guide to becoming a published writer. These sorts of books can be incredibly popular and make a great investment for your publisher. You’ll have to decide what kind of book you want to write based on your skillset and the market demand. If you’re not sure, ask friends, family, or colleagues for their opinions. They might give you some good ideas as to what would be profitable for both you and your publisher.
Find Your Voice
Your voice is one of the most important parts of your book. It will dictate the entire look and feel of your final product. Whether your book is a narrative, a dialogue, or a novel, your voice will be present in every scene. Your reader should feel like they are listening to a story, observing an argument, or entering a vivid dream. Before you start writing, take time to think about how you want your book to sound. Brainstorm with friends and family about the different ways you could write a book. You can also look for the “writer’s voice” in fiction and non-fiction to see how others have done it and how you could do it as well. Once you have a clear picture in mind of how you want your story to sound, you can start to write it down. Don’t be afraid to take some time to perfect your writing voice before you start sharing your story with the world. Otherwise, it will come off forced and possibly even irritating. Take into account that your writing voice might change over time, so be flexible enough to accommodate this change.
Use Character To Create Stereotypes
Your characters are a crucial part of your story. They should be three-dimensional and not just flat stereotypes. You can never portray an entire group of people with just a handful of characters. Try to put yourself in your story. Imagine how you would react in certain situations. This will help you create more realistic and engaging characters. Use your characters to create expectations about certain groups of people. This can make your writing come alive for the reader.
Make It Personal
Your story should be based on your experiences. Everything you write should be able to resonate with at least some of your readers. Your story can be about a historical event, a current struggle, or something that happened to a friend or loved one. Regardless, make it personal. Think about what you are feeling and how others are acting around you. Your empathy should shine through on every page. Sometimes people get so wrapped up in their own stories that they forget to look around them and see what is going on. By putting yourself in your story, you will have a much better perspective of what is going on and you can write with greater authenticity. Keep in mind that not all personal stories will make for good fiction. They might make for good memoirs or non-fiction, but they can be very tricky to pull off in a novel. The key is to find the intrinsic value in your story and not the identity of the person telling it. This is where it can get tricky. If you are using real names, make sure you have the rights to use them and that nobody will be harmed because of your story. Also, make sure you aren’t violating any privacy laws where you live. You don’t want to get into trouble for doing your homework.
Dress The Part
When you write a book, you will be creating an image for someone else to read. This means you have to dress the part. Wearing clothes that represent your characters can help you get into the mindset of the person you are writing about. The better you can fit what you are writing about, the easier it will be to write about it. There are several fiction writing guides that suggest you dress in character when writing. This means you don’t just put on a collared shirt and pants, but you identify with the character you are writing about. When you put yourself in the story, you will see the world through your character’s eyes. This will help you write more effectively. It can also help you find the story easier. The goal is to simply be yourself but tell the story from the perspective of the character. You have to start by understanding who your character is and what he/she wants. Then, you can decide what clothes would make them feel more comfortable, or whatever else you need to make them fit the story. This applies to non-fiction as well. Think about the audience you are writing to and try to put yourself in their shoes. What would they want to read or see? This way you will write something that is more relatable to them. Your book will come off more authentic and potentially even more effective. You will find it easier to convince others that you know what you are talking about when you can first-hand relate to them. Your clothes should match your story and help create the right atmosphere. However, you don’t want to overdo it and end up looking like a caricature. Keep a balance between yourself and the character you are writing about. You don’t want to appear too much like the person you are portraying. That can come off contrived and even irritating.
The More You Know, The Better
The more you know, the better. This is especially true when writing. Regardless of what kind of book you are writing, the more you know, the better. You can never learn enough. There is always more than one way to skin a cat, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a right way. Find all the different ways your cat is skinned and write them down. This will help you figure out which one is the best way to go in a particular situation. If you keep searching for information, you will become an expert and no one will be able to tell your story better than you can. This doesn’t mean that you have to write a scholarly tome, but it does mean that you have to be informed about what you are writing about. If you put in the time to learn what you need to know, you will have an easier time writing what you want to write. It’s like what they say about the chef: the more you know, the better you will be at preparing the meal. Take time to learn the craft of writing and polish your skillset so when you sit down to write, the words just flow naturally.
Writing a book is a labor of love, but it can also be a lot of work. It is a process that can be both rewarding and frustrating. Don’t get so lost in the project that you forget to just have fun with it. Set aside time every day to just write. If you get so absorbed in your work that you forget to just have fun, you will never get this project done. Take breaks when you need them. Make time for hobbies and social activities, but make sure you get your work done first. This way, you can enjoy the fruits of your labor and not have to worry about doing it all over again.
Choosing a book to write can be both exciting and daunting. There are a lot of variables you have to think about. Make sure you do your research and figure out what is the best choice for you. Then, just write. You will be surprised at how easy it is once you get into the habit of writing. Just write!