Writing a book from start to finish begins with finding an idea that gives you motivation to write - even when the going gets tough.
There are many places to find inspiration: News headlines, the lyrics of songs, overheard snatches of conversation. Read these 15 simple methods for finding story ideas for inspiration.
Sometimes finding a great idea for a novel means having to choose between multiple options. If you need to choose your best idea out of many, ask yourself:
Once you have a great idea that will make writing a book easier, you can start putting a helpful, organized structure in place. Even if you tend towards being a pantser, writing an outline is sensible because:
It’s easiest to outline your novel and create organized structure when you use an outlining method that works for you. Have a look at these 7 methods for outlining a book. Choose according to how much story detail you think you’ll need before you can write your novel’s first draft in earnest.
Now that you have a central idea you can flesh out, you can get your story written. There are several core things you need (besides your central idea) when writing a book:
There are challenges that could trip you up along the way so be sure to have some solutions in place. If you tend to criticize your work a lot, here is practical advice on silencing the "you can’t write" voice. If you’re finding that you don’t have time to write, divide the task into smaller increments and try other practical solutions for getting more writing time out of every week.
When the draft-writing process comes to an end, the equally rewarding revision process starts.
Drafting and inventing characters and scenarios is exhilarating. Many writers see it as the most fun part of the entire novel-writing process. Revising your first draft into polished manuscript form is vital, too. It will give your book a much higher chance of publication. During this stage, keep an eye out for:
These are all elements that your writing community, coach or editor can help you improve. Although it is advisable to hire a professional editor to help polish your novel to a high standard, here is advice on editing your own work that will help get you closer to a succinct, compelling and polished final draft.
Now that you understand the three stages of writing a book, it’s time to get started.