"How to write a book" is a search that is counted by millions on the web. And is that the digital age has not been able to end the literary industry, books have not gone out of style. Among the most effective and comprehensive communication tools that exist today, writing continues to prevail.
Whether you want to capture the genius of your imagination, you want to pass on some knowledge, or you simply have something to say to the world, a book is always a very good option. But, how to write one? Now,, in this short, but enriched and simple guide, I'll tell you how to carry out the process of writing a book in very few steps.
Table of Contents
- 1 Phase 1: planning
- 2 Phase 2: writing
- 3 Phase 3: editing and publishing
- 4 Some extra tips
Phase 1: planning
Even writing a book takes some planning. If you disagree with this, try writing whenever it provokes you on some random subject and you will see yourself filling up with piles of unfinished manuscripts, but no respectable work. While there are exceptions - and planning the build process is not strictly required - applying this will undoubtedly make everything much easier.
Specify your book
Before starting, it would be good to have at least a general idea of the book. It is something simple, with this you completely define what you want to achieve before starting to create it. Focus on things like: in what literary genre will it be located? What audience is it aimed at? What will be the type of narrator? and most importantly: what is the objective that the work is intended to achieve?
If you have problems with the latter, It is recommended that you make a list of things that you want to achieve with the book. It is much better if it is about personal goals for yourself or your readers. Generally, behind this purpose there is always a motive or reason that must be fed. This is what really drives / inspires an author to keep writing.
If you have already defined your book, then you should draw on the work of other authors before you start writing. Read as many titles as you can and that are within the genre you chose for your work or that deal with similar topics. Do not worry about reading only those that are considered best, because you also learn from the bad ones.
If the work is non-fiction and raises a specific problem, delve into the subject as much as possible, even if you are already an expert. Do your research thoroughly and provide real data to validate your book, such as statistics, studies, or testimonials. There will always be something new to discover.
Phase 2: writing
If you comply with the previous phase, the process of writing the book will be much easier. However, that does not mean that difficulties are not encountered along the way. Writing does not always turn out to be the easiest stage in the creation of a workThis is where many authors get lost. But, taking into account the following points, it is likely that the focus can be maintained.
Determine the time
When you start writing a book - or even before you do it - it is necessary to establish a schedule, a daily goal, and a possible completion date. As a writer, you must ask yourself realistically - and, of course, without any pressure - how many hours you can dedicate each day to writing your book or how many words you can reach.
This is done so that you don't leave your manuscript unfinished. However, the day that, for example, you feel very inspired or want to continue writing, do not suppress yourself. You have to let the writing flow as far as it wants. The muse, itself, is like a living entity. At this point it is important to note that writing a book —whether long or short— requires discipline and commitment. You have to forget about distractions when it comes time to write.
An important point is to make sure you leave at least one day of rest, because if you overdo it, you can crash. However, if you stop writing for a long time, it may be that later you will not pick up the thread of writing. Be cautious. The important thing is to strike a balance.
Outline your book
Make a detailed outline from beginning to end of the original idea of your book so as not to forget it, and thus guide you when writing. Go thinking of a striking title that defines the work and that at the same time piques the interest of the reader.
If the book includes fictional characters, you can develop them separately before you start including them so they don't seem like they came out of nowhere. Take the time to give each one a unique personality and also to create the image that the public will see when reading about them. Many times the characters in a book become more meaningful to readers than the plot itself.
Dedicate yourself to writing
Once you have all of the above, take care of writing; just like that. Write mainly for yourself, the first thing that comes out and what makes you happy. Do not think about the reader or impose some kind of pressure on yourself. Sometimes when the author suffers from a “blank page” state it is because he is simply not writing anything that makes him feel good.
Don't think about money either If you try to find wealth through a book, it is likely that this will not be successful. Write just for fun. Forget about the writing of your favorite authors, do not try to imitate them under any circumstances. Follow your own style and let everything flow. Avoid using the passive voice and, above all, don't worry about mistakes.
Phase 3: editing and publishing
An unedited manuscript is not a book, it is just an accumulation of words and ideas. Edit it is probably the most difficult and longest stage in the process of creating a work and also the most important. This step depends on whether the book acquires meaning, value and sufficient literary quality to be well received by the public and perhaps by a publishing company.
After you've finished your manuscript, forget about it and take a minimum break of one week. This way you will be able to notice much better the parts that need to be fixed. After this time, the self-editing process begins. It seeks - mainly - that the manuscript can be read without much effort. You can get a desktop publishing guide on the internet to help you.
Polish the eraser
Try to find imperfections or inconsistencies in your book, such as plot gaps or unfinished ideas. Analyze metaphors, fix misspelled words, replace repeated words, and adjust sentences and paragraphs so they're not too long. Ask for help from close and sincere readers, they can be family or friends. Sometimes it is difficult to recognize our own mistakes and we only become aware of them when others notice.
Edit your work at a higher level, preferably with the help of a professional. You can hire a freelance editor or submit your manuscript to a publishing company. Generally, for a draft to be accepted by a publisher, it must meet certain parameters. This is often a long and sometimes frustrating process. If no response is received in less than 6 months - maximum - then you must assume that your proposal has been rejected.
The process of creating a book ends when it is published. There are many ways to accomplish this step. Currently there are many alternatives in terms of publishing a title. It is no longer essential for a publisher to accept a draft for it to be brought to market.
Now, any author can finance his publication with a certain company or self publish his work independently. Digital tools make the whole process easy and possible. Regarding time, if you are a new author, it is good to go slowly. On the other hand, if you already have a reading public, you don't have to wait too long to publish.
Some extra tips
- It must be realistic and not demand so much.
- Make a plan that fits your lifestyle and that you can follow to the letter to reach your goal.
- If you think you don't have the skills, the tools, the time, or the focus, you can always hire a freelance ghostwriter. Make sure they understand your vision. Also, make sure that it has all the necessary information to translate your ideas.
- If your book is non-fiction, travel, food, or for children, include other elements in addition to the text. You can add: illustrations, photos, tables, among others.
- Model your book with a unique design paying special attention to the cover.
- Publish both digitally and physically. If possible, print on demand to avoid loss.
- Try to publish at a time of year according to your book. For example: if the title is "New Years Resolutions", the most reasonable thing is that you publish on Christmas dates.