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How to Write a Book: A Formula for Determined Aspiring Writers

  • By Aline Heller
  • Published 02/20/2012
  • Fiction

To be able to write your book, your first step is to make some serious self-analysis. Writing needs a lot of discipline. A lot of people start out on a grand project, and end up wasting their time because they never got around to finishing what they started. Don’t start until you’ve really made a commitment with yourself to write a book. To make your commitment more tangible, decide in advance how much time you are going to allocate to writing your book. Do you want to finish your book within a month, two months or six months? Make a practical schedule that you would be able to adhere to. Determine how much time you can spend on writing each day, and how many pages you would be able to write within those hours. For instance, if you average around 4 pages a day, and you want to write a 300-page book, it will take you around 75 days or two and half months to finish your book. Here’s a sample plan for fiction writers: Week 1: 1. Write a brief summary of your story. 2. Expand the summary to include key developments and the ending of the story. 3. List down the characters of your story and their characterization. 4. Transform each item in your summary into a whole paragraph. Each paragraph would ideally have an unfortunate or unexpected incident occurring in them. Write the ending of the story in the last paragraph. 5. Go back to your list of characters, and write a one-page biography for each of them. You may provide a shorter half-page description for the minor characters.


k 2: 1. Expand your summary into a 4- page story. 2. Go back to your characters and write down all the details of each of their lives. Week 3: 1. List all of the scenes in your story in tabular form. Allot one column for each scene. Provide a detailed description for each of these settings. 2. Write the first draft of your narrative. For non-fiction writers, you can take a modular approach: Week 1: 1. Select a topic, preferably within your field of expertise. 2. Write an outline of the things you want to discuss regarding the topic. 3. Divide your outline into modules. 4. Supplement your personal knowledge with research. Focus your research on the topics covered by your first module. Week 2: 1. Using your personal knowledge and your research, write the outline for your first module. 2. Write the first draft of your first module by expanding each part of your outline into several paragraphs. Alternatively, instead of writing your first draft, you might want to record your thoughts instead into a voice recorder. Afterwards, you can transcribe your recording. Don’t be hypercritical of your first draft. You can polish it off when you edit your work later. Once you’re done with your first module, you can apply the same steps for your succeeding modules.

Different writers have different techniques for writing. It is up to you to find a method that works for you. Just remember that the essential component to writing a book is for you to commit to a schedule and to put your best efforts into implementing your plan.



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