Writing a book is a daunting experience. I would know, I’m writing one right now. Although I have published five books already, this is still a whole new ballgame to me. Why? Because I’m writing my first full-length book. 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.
5 Steps to Writing Your First Book
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, and other thoughts. Flesh out each idea as best you can.
Step 2: Do some research-Research is critical before you even start writing your first book. The last thing I want you to do is to write a book that no one wants to read. How do you avoid this? Go on the Amazon Bestseller list in your category and study the first ten books. What are they about? What kind of characters do they have? This is important because you want to write something similar. I don’t mean that you can’t be yourself, but writing a new kind of story may cause you only to hear crickets.
The next thing you want to do is go down and look at the Amazon best selling rank. If the ranking is 35,000 or below, you have a viable idea. Also, look at the reviews and write down what people loved about the book and what they hated about it. This way, you can incorporate the elements they loved and avoid the things they didn’t like in your story. Another essential thing to think about is can you see yourself writing twenty books on this topic or in this series. Why? Series books often do better than stand-alone novels. The more books you write in a series, the more money you make.
Choose an idea.
Step 3: Choose an idea-If you find you have two or three viable ideas, start with the one that speaks most to you. If you have a strong emotional response, that’s usually a good sign.
More Steps to Writing Your First Book
Step 4: Outline-The most crucial thing to keep in mind when writing your book is to keep the end in mind. Know where you are going with your story. After doing your research, use the first batch of data you get to create your table of contents. The following outline you write should be an in-depth outline with subheadings and facts if you’re writing nonfiction, plot, and scenes if you’re writing fiction.
Step 5: Start writing-Now that you have chosen an idea, done some research and outlined your story in-depth, 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 mistakes and it doesn’t matter. Once you’re done with your rough draft, run it through Grammarly or Hemingway for editing. This is the draft you should feel comfortable showing people. Your beta readers will be able to ask questions about the characters or if something isn’t clear. When you write your second draft, you should be filling in blanks, adding facts, fixing typos, etc.
Bonus Tip: Always keep a paper and pen nearby 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 pieces 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 too daunting. 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 have any tips for starting to write your first book? I would love for you to share them in the comments. If you still need some help, check out My Top 10 Writing Resources.