How to Get Started Writing Your Book
Writing your book can be overwhelming, unless the project is broken down into manageable parts. Many people want to write a book, but very few people actually accomplish the task.
Write out the Main Idea
The very first thing that you, a prospective author, should do after much thought and research, is to write the thesis or the main idea of your book. You need to express the entire concept of the book in one sentence. It is difficult to accomplish, but it forces you to be much more concise in topic and approach.
Outline the Book
After the thesis is written, you should devise an “outline” for your book. This can be a very loose outline or be very precise, depending upon topic or genre. The more detail you include in an outline, the less you have to create later.
The outline is probably the most important part of the writing process. Many authors find it easier to use the outline to define chapters within the book, than to come up with unique ideas after the outline is completed.
For example, the book is about birds, and the thesis is “there are many different types of raptors in North America.” The outline would probably read: Small Hawks (Kestrels), Large Hawks (Rough-legged Hawk), etc. There are two chapters already roughed out.
Schedule When You Will Write
Once your outline is completed, you must consider time-management, or in other words, when will you write? Writing your book is just like learning a new language. It requires consistency to be good. To be a really successful writer, you must set aside a regular time to write and be consistent in meeting your personal deadlines.
Some authors simply set the amount of pages or words they expect themselves to write each day; others set aside a specific amount of time for writing. Either plan can prove to be difficult, for there are many days, for all writers, when the words simply do not come. That is why consistency is so important; if you know you have to sit down for two hours a day to write, your brain will move ahead and begin to formulate ideas for the future.
Rewrite! Rewrite! Rewrite!
The work is not done once the initial writing process is complete. The rewrite is just as important as the outline.
You must–I repeat: YOU MUST– rework the manuscript, tightening and organizing thoughts and words throughout. Most manuscripts require no less than three rewrites to meet minimum standards of commercial writing; most manuscripts have many more rewrites.
Time to Stop Writing Your Book
There is a common problem at this point in the process, however. Most authors find it very difficult to give up the manuscript—there is always something else to be added or something else to be corrected.
The editor can be of great assistance here, for she can tell you (after perusing your manuscript) if you have done your work properly. If not, the manuscript comes back to you for another rewrite. If you have done all of this, writing your book is complete. Your manuscript will move into the publishing process.