5 Steps To Start Writing Your First Book.

Writing a book is a daunting experience. I would know, I’m writing one right now. Although I have published four books already, three books of poetry and one children’s book, this is still a whole new ballgame to me. Why? Because I’m writing my first real full length book, which is a big undertaking. Because this includes research, character development, figuring out the twists and turns, working with story flow, etc. However, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have dreamed of being an author since I was nine years old and finally made my dream come true. Do you want to write your first book but don’t know where to start? Then read ahead for a five step process to get you writing that first page.

Step 1: Gather your ideas-Do you have several different ideas running around in your head and can’t decide where to start? Trust me, I’ve been there. It’s hard to make a decision when you have a lot of great ideas playing tag in your head. The best thing to do is to sit down and write out your ideas. Write down the basic plot, character sketches, ideas for twists, etc. Flesh out each idea as best you can.

Step 2: Choose an idea-After making the list above, go do something else for awhile or if it’s night time, go to sleep. Either way, spend some time away from your list and then come back to it either several hours later or the next day. Read over each idea and pay attention to what resonates with you or moves something inside you. More than likely, if you have an emotional response to something, then that’s what you should start on. This happens to me a lot.

Step 3: Do some research-Is there a scenario, disease, or illness in regards to your plot or one of your characters you either know nothing about or just the basics? Then go online and research just the surface and use that to develop your characters in the beginning. Once you get the basis of each character down, you can go and flesh them out more. If it’s a scenario, take notes and write out the scene in it’s most basic form.

Step 4: Outline-When I’m getting ready to start a book, I sit down and outline the first three to five chapters right off the bat. Why not the whole book you ask? Because I don’t always know where the story is going to take me. I definitely have the end in mind but sometimes I’m not 100% on how I’m going to get there. I may think my character will do this or that but then I decide something else. I may decide a scenario is going to play out in this way but then decide this other angle is much better. This is why I start with just the first three to five chapters and tweak along the way.

Step 5: Start writing-Now that you have chosen an idea, done some research and outlined at least your first three chapters, you are ready to start writing. For me, my first draft is probably the best part because it can be messy and full of grammar and mistakes and it doesn’t matter. Once you are done with at least one chapter (and if you feel comfortable) let a friend or family member read it. This way, they can catch the little mistakes (grammar, spelling, punctuation) that you can go back and fix easily. They can ask questions and help make something clearer that you may have missed. Once this is done, go back and edit your characters/story line as you see fit. It is your manuscript after all.

Bonus Tip: Always keep a paper and pen near by to write down ideas, character names, conversational snippets, etc. This happens to me all the time. I am always paying attention to people’s names and sometimes I have conversational snippets come at me out of nowhere in my brain. Once home, I type them out on my computer and depending upon what book it’s for, I will tuck it into the appropriate folder.

 

Now, starting to write your first book doesn’t seem to daunting, does it? By using this simple five step process, you will be on your way to starting your first book in no time. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect right off the bat, it just has to be uniquely yours.

 

Do you want to know more about publishing a book? Then check out my e-book From Writer To Author: How To Publish A Book In 5 Easy Steps.

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One Too Many Times

One too many times I’ve cared too much

One too many times I’ve laid it on the line

And here I stand again

Ready to confess

My heart’s one last test

God forbid if I die from fear

I smile as one last tear

Lands dormant on the breeze

Which flirts with my hair, a light tease

As I look up and see, my heart hanging awkwardly from your teeth

Waiting for you to kill me

Knowing I’ll never find joy

In the victory

Of love

As I now see it

One Too Many Times

Photo courtesy of dimitriwittmann via Pixabay

 

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Slipped Away

I miss you so bad

Thinking about you all day

Wondering if you got my message

And if you’re okay

I miss you

The friendship

The trust

Thinking of all that could have been

Cut short due to your blindness

The lack of the spark

Fizzled to ash

The same spark

That set me off

Leaving me on fire

For those to watch as I flounder

Such a blaze

Even my own tears can’t put me out

Burning mind, heart and soul

Charred to empty holes

For only the cool breeze to pass through

Left to repair the self inflicted damage

Never caused by you

Still haunted in the hour you slipped away

I would give anything to have you back

To take up the slack

I miss you…

Slipped Away

Photo courtesy of Cathal Mac an Bheatha

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