How to Write a Book: 3 Practical Tips
First Draft in 30 Days works for any genre and is easily customizable to your particular approach and style
This inspiring guide will be your push, your deadline, and your spark to finally, without excuses, and in three short months, nail that first draft of your novel
Writing a Book Made Easy
By Brian Klems, Online Editor
I can hear most people say it now: I want to write a book, but I just haven't been able to put all the pieces together to get it out of my head and onto paper. I was like that too until I made a game plan. Now I've not only written a book, I've landed an agent and publisher—and have a book in bookstores that's gaining national buzz.
Here are three simple tips on how to write a book that I followed to help me write my first book. These rules will help you reach your writing goals too.
If you make time to write and put away all of your excuses, could you stay on track and finish your novel in only a month?
Simple Tips on Writing a Book
1. Schedule time to write—and stick to it.
The No. 1 excuse people come up with for not writing a book is that they don't have time. The truth is, everyone has the time, so long as you are willing to sacrifice something else—watching ballgames, eating lunch out with friends, sleep. Set aside a specific amount of time each day (can be as little as 20 minutes) to sit down and write. It's the first—and most critical—step.
2. Map out your idea.
There are many tips on writing a book, but one of the most crucial is plotting out your book. You don't need a full outline, but it's best to prepare (at minimum) a short timeline of the biggest events (plot points) you want to cover. You can always change this as you go and your characters and plot evolve, but by having a plan in place from the beginning you know where you are heading, which makes it less likely you'll get stuck.
3. Never stop writing at the end of a chapter.
One of the hardest parts of writing is starting with a blank page. If you stop writing mid-chapter, you'll always have a lead-in to get you going the next time you sit down to write. If you're someone who needs the closure of a chapter or are in a writing groove and can't stop, that's OK—just write the first paragraph of the next chapter before calling it a night. This will increase your chances of avoiding writer's block and help you more easily dive into book writing the next day.
Now that you've tackled these basic tips, you're ready to take more series steps to not only writing a book, but learn how to write a good book.
You will find plenty of writing books and guides to help you through this process at the Writer's Digest Shop. Definitely check out Book in a Month, which provides a month-long map on starting and finishing your book within 30 days, and First Draft in 30 Days, which provides alternative tips on writing a book. If 30 days isn't enough time for you, I highly recommend 90 Days to Your Novel, a guide that gives you a path to write a book in three months. (Can you imagine having a completed manuscript on your desk in just three short months from today?)
Don't let excuses get in your way. These tips and resources will give you the guidance you need to finish your book ASAP. Little is as satisfying as reaching a lifelong goal—especially when that goal is writing a book.
Take care of yourself and your writing,
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Brian A. Klems is the Online Editor of Writer's Digest. He's also a writer, husband, perennial fantasy sports underachiever, and father of three lovely little girls. His Writer's Dig blog—which covers writing and publishing—is one of the fastest growing blogs in the writing community, and his first book, OH BOY YOU’RE HAVING A GIRL: A DAD’S GUIDE TO RAISING DAUGHTERS, will be published by Adams Media this spring. Connect with him on Twitter @BrianKlems.