how to write a book

How to Write a Book for Beginners

A lot of lists for how to write a book for beginners start out with things like, “Decide which genre you want to write in.”

I think most authors start with an idea they’ve had for a book (or 3) for YEARS. Deciding a genre seems like an empty step to me. If that’s not the case for you, I’ll try to cover it all in this article, so you know exactly how to write a book for beginners.

It’s hard to know where to start sometimes. Whether you want to learn how to write a book in 24 hours or 30 days, this simple writing tutorial for beginners has served me and many others well.

Preliminary Steps to Writing Your First Book

Just in case, you’re one of those people who starts tasks with thinking about the task, I got you. It’s always nice to have a direction to head in before you start the journey!

  1. Start with a strong idea.
  2. Decide on a genre. While it’s important to know your genre, it’s more important to know what categories your book will fit in during the self-publishing process. This will basically determine your genre because you can choose categories when you publish, but there’s no field for genre. Here’s what you need to know about BISAC categories.
  3. Read books in your genre. Get a handle on what a good book in your genre looks like.
  4. Decide on a working title. This doesn’t have to be the final title, but for me, it helps to have a name for my work.
  5. Plan the opening sentence. I remember when I wrote my first fiction, one of the things not to do was to write your character waking up as the first sentence. Apparently, that’s been done to death. Do some research about what not to do and be original!
  6. Set up your writing environment. Figure out where and when you’re going to write. If you have family to distract you, set the ground rules and stick to them.

How I Wrote My First Book

It seems like yesterday when I wrote my first book and boy, was it my hardest effort to date. That’s strange to say considering I’ve produced over 40 books in 7 different languages under my name alone.

Why would it have been so hard for me to produce my first book? Frankly, it was because I had zero experience and guidance in writing my book.

All I knew was I had a book in me and wanted to get it out to the world. If I had it to do all over again, then I’d follow this simple formula for how to write a book for beginners.

How To Write a Book for Beginners

Step 1: Know Your End Goal

If you have a good idea of where you’re going, then it’s much easier to work your way backward from your destination, so you can plot a course to get there more efficiently.

Key factors in knowing your destination are the length, the type or topic, the reading audience and the ultimate outcome of the book.

I know it sounds an awful lot like some self-help huggy-feely advice. But you are more likely to complete your first book if you at least have your plans mapped out.

Step 2: Draft a Basic Outline

What can the readers expect when you take them on a journey? If you’re writing fiction, then who are the characters, what are their problems, and what is so enticing about this story for it to be told?

If you’re writing nonfiction, then what are the key points you want to cover, what will the reader gain from this book and how can you solve their problem?

The outline for the book doesn’t have to be pretty, so write out all your ideas and then organize them in a logical order.

Once you start writing, resist the temptation to reorganize. Save that for the editing process.

Step 3: Set Daily Writing Goals

In his book On Writing, Stephen King shares his belief in setting writing goals and further recommends a

how to write a book

minimum of 1,000 words a day, 6 days a week. King stated he writes 2,000 words a day while working on a book.

One thousand words per day may seem like a lot to the writing newbie.

I suggest newbies set aside time like 30 minutes or so per day. When you are consistent with that goal for least a week, change to a minimum daily word count.

This is key in your long-term growth and ability to pump out top notch work on a consistent basis. And remind yourself that…

Rome wasn’t built overnight.

Step 4: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

This is a general rule when it comes to ALL of the book writing processes and includes title choice, book cover design, marketing and promotion and of course how to format your final work.

Don’t worry about anything but writing the first draft to your book and remember that it doesn’t need to be pretty. It’s not like you’re going to launch the book as soon as you completed the rough draft.

Or, at least you shouldn’t.

One of the common issues plaguing newbie writers is mixing the roles of writer and editor in the early stages of a book. When I’m working on a book, I keep those two roles one hundred percent separate.

In fact, my inner editor is NOT invited until the first run is done.

For those of you new to writing, I’m giving you firm yet encouraging words when I say…

Get. It. Done.

How to Write a Book Final Critical Step

Just commit to it and get it done.

Otherwise, you’re holding back something completely special that the world is dying to get their hands on. So, get it out of you and into print ASAP.

Got questions?

Ask them in the comments below, and I’ll do my best to answer them! You never know when someone else might have the same question and you have the chance to help them out!

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