Becoming a successful writer poses all kinds of challenges, especially for a raw book writer. Great story writing is an exciting journey from aspirant to successful novelist. Read on for some top tips on writing a book.
Becoming a Great Writer – Purpose or Mission Statement
You’re thinking, ‘I want to write a book’. Good for you. But you need to write down your purpose or mission statement prior to writing a book.
It will dictate the action you need to take, the goals to be achieved and most importantly, the deadline. This will make you take your writing more seriously. It’s not just a passing fancy.
Have a passion to write. You say, ‘I want to be a writer’. Ask yourself why you want to become a writer? Maybe, you have a vivid imagination, or you just want to entertain others, or you would like to make it your profession and make a living as a freelance writer or just want to write an appealing blog post intro.
How to Start Writing a Book? Keep Cranking
While writing a novel, there are days when the creative juices will just pour out of you and there are others when everything goes blank. Never mind. Just keep churning out stuff everyday. Keep cranking. It’s natural to write bad stuff on some days.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. When considering how to start a book, the sentences will add up to paragraphs and then to pages and then chapters and finally, Voila! Your novel is ready!!
- How to begin writing a book? Carry your notebook everywhere and keep jotting down ideas as they spring to your mind, even if it seems ridiculous at the time. Keep your mind open to new possibilities for your story. They will serve as your best writing prompts.
- Read a lot for becoming an author. You need to be an avid reader to get good writing skills. I’ve seen kids who’d rather read the content in the cereal packet than make conversation on the table. That’s what I call avid.
- Get help from some creative writing exercises for better writing. You can write a poem or explain a word from a dictionary or try article writing to begin with.
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Steps to Writing a Book
There are no rigid rules in becoming a writer. One of my book writing tips is do whatever works for you.
- You can start with the main plot.
- Start with a character.
- Begin with a situation, an issue or a dilemma.
- You could also create a detailed outline of each chapter and then work on each one.
- Your story need not be rigid. Be flexible. It can take a new twist or turn every day.
- Get into the skin of the characters you create and allow them to guide you in becoming a better writer. Believe me, they know where to go.
- Use the Delete button. No harm in deleting entire paragraphs. Write about 3000 words and delete more than 1000 if you feel like it. It hurts to erase your baby, but you need to be ruthless if you want to become a better writer. The final story might be far better with several much-needed cuts.
- Treat yourself. After finishing a chapter to your complete satisfaction, you can celebrate the event. Take yourself out. It will make you feel good about yourself. Self-confidence is great for inspiration and motivation.
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How to Get Inspiration/Ideas
- Take some cues from your life or your surroundings for the theme of your novel. It need not necessarily be a lofty concept. Of course, that would be super.
- JK Rowling, the author behind the phenomenally successful Harry Potter fantasy series, admits that the ‘dementors’ or dark, foul creatures in her novel were actually representative of her personal struggles with depression.
- Subscribe to a writer platform; it helps you keep tabs on the kind of novels publishers are interested in.
- You can even get inspiration or ideas by imitating other successful writers and borrowing their ideas. You could give it an original twist with your own style or voice, to offer a distinctive feel. Imitation can help you improve your creativity.
Bach, the famous composer, used to copy out his contemporaries’ scores and inculcate their strength.
- Don’t try to please someone when you write, audience or the critics. What would you like to grab immediately and read? If you are excited by the idea, it is very likely that others will be too. Begin with yourself and writing an idea that gets your Adrenalin flowing.
Getting to the End
You’ve crossed all the hurdles. You have a great idea. You’ve created all these amazing characters and the plot has moved on. It’s likely that by this time, you’re getting cold feet.
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What if no one likes my book? You start loathing your story, the characters and wonder why you started writing in the first place. You’ve reached a wall.
- Go for a walk and free all the cobwebs in your brain. Come back refreshed and optimistic. Finish that book.
How to Write and Publish a Book
There are two types of aspiring writers: one who keeps talking about writing a book but never gets down to it. The other actually does it.
You naturally want to belong to the latter, so stop talking about how you would like to be a writer and just start doing it. It is most likely that your first attempt at writing a novel will not see the light of day. Not to worry.
Consider it like a practice round or you could opt for self-publishing. But never give up. You’d be surprised to learn that Gone with the Wind was rejected 38 times by publishers, before finally being accepted.
The Time Traveller’s Wife was rejected 25 times and JK Rowling was rejected several times before her Harry Potter manuscript was accepted, and you know it went on to sell more than a million copies.
Sorry for the cliché, but I cannot resist, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, TRY again”.