How to Write a Book Well

How to Write a Book Well

Writing does not come easy for everyone, and even for those for whom it does come easy, writing a whole book can be seen as a great accomplishment in itself. However, it does not have to be such a difficult ordeal and by working smarter, you can cut back on some of the anguish that book writing generally involves.

Write the way you talk

Very talented writers can change the style of their writing on a whim and make it look fantastic. Novices try to imitate Shakespeare and end up sounding inebriated. That is why it is not advised to try to write in other styles before you have even found your own. The best way to begin writing, is to make sure that it sounds right when it is spoken out loud. Many people try to use complicated language or “purple prose”, but this can be an issue because this style of writing is less relatable for many readers. So in order to connect with the readers, begin by writing naturally – you can always dress it up a little later on in the process.

Decide on a topic and stick to it

When you are writing a book, every little thing can become new inspiration. This can include movies, other books you are reading, and even modern news. This can lower the quality of your work, and also cause doubts and plot holes. Instead of trying to tie in something new to your existing work, take note of the idea and set it aside. There may come a time when an opportunity to include this idea in the book presents itself, or alternatively could be used in future work. Remember, a good idea is always a good thing but it does not mean it is always a good idea to use it immediately! A great way to ensure that you keep to a topic is to write an outline of what you want to write. Writing your beginning to end in a flow chart will help you to determine what will be included in your book, all of the subtopics and talking points involved, and will keep you on track. See more on this in the Organization section below.

Get beta readers to critique your writing

The last thing most writers want to hear is criticism. However, hearing constructive criticism when it comes to a work that you plan on thousands, if not millions of people reading, is essential. Just because you think the book is awesome, this in no way means that everyone else is going to think the same way. Now anyone can volunteer to be a beta reader. Friends, family, and even people online can read your book and give you constructive criticism. However, be aware that people who are close to you may try to sugar coat their criticism or perhaps even not be honest. In this case, they are wasting both of your time by reading the book. What you need is someone who will give honest feedback based on how the book is worded, and what can be done to improve story plots and/or readability. Simply pointing out parts they did not understand is also useful. When you have done this a couple of times, you should really focus on having it done professionally, by someone who knows what they are talking about. Look on writers’ forums for recommendations. You will find there are many lower cost people available to help with this such as retired authors and editors. Remember, if you want your book to be read by a specific audience, it needs to be beta read by someone who is familiar with that kind of audience.

Why Do I Need an Editor?

There are many types of editors but as you are writing your book, you really need an editor who is not afraid to “put pressure” on your writing. What I mean is someone who will show the plot holes, weak points and inconsistencies. Having been an editor for a number of years, I know that their value is immense. This trained second eye is a vital part of the process and brings a freshness to the project when done well. Try not to take offense at anything that is said by the editor but take it square on the chin instead. In doing so, you will look at your work objectively and perhaps see where they are coming from. In some instances, you may disagree with the editor – that is allowed – and you can then discuss and thrash things out with them. I used to love that part of the job because it meant the author was really thinking about what I had said and was prepared to fight their corner for the book to be done well but also accept criticism where appropriate. Those who engage like this tend to get the work done better and quicker as their mind gets extremely focused so don’t be afraid to argue – just try to stay friendly!

Set a Deadline

There is no worse book than one which remains unwritten. When you are trying to write, the best thing to do is to set deadlines. These can be deadlines for a chapter and deadlines for the whole book. These self-imposed deadlines will give you motivation to continue writing, and finally finish it. This is especially helpful if you are one of the countless people out there that wait until the last minute to do anything. For new or “young” authors, it can be extremely helpful to partner with someone else who is doing the same. This accountability will spur you on to get things done as well as being someone to share the struggles with.

Organization – The Real Key

When writing anything, organizing your thoughts, keeping them together and focused as well as laying them out in an intelligent fashion are vital to achieving a positive result. Writer’s Blocks is a tool which allows you to bring all of your thoughts, inspiration, research, quotes and values together in one place and gives you the freedom to write better. The simple to use but invaluable software ensures your writing is always organized and put together properly without forgetting your key points. Try it for free today.