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How to Write a Book: a Quick-Start Guide

Ok, you've decided to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and write your book. Ready, set...stuck. Don't give up before you start! The hardest part is creating forward momentum, and that's exactly what we're going to talk about today. Below, our quick-start guide to writing your book:



1. Determine your topic. Believe it or not, some writers don't know what they're writing about. Is your book going to be about you? Is it a steamy romance? Perhaps you've been toying with a great idea for a children's book. Are you writing nonfiction? Once you know for sure, write your topic down. No need for fancy sentences here--bullets will work just fine.


2. Outline your book. This can be as specific or as broad as you need it to be. However, we find that the more detailed an outline you create, the better your book will be, and the less time you'll waste later on trying to figure out what comes next. This is also a great time to sketch out your table of contents. Again, nothing fancy or too detailed, but enough to show the arc of your story.


3. Set up a writing schedule. Nothing says serious like setting deadlines, and it's the best way to move your book from idea to reality. If you want your book to be written in a year, you've got to plot out what days you're writing and when you anticipate having chapters completed.


4. Start small. After you've established your writing schedule, set daily word goals for yourself. Start with 250 words--roughly the equivalent of one double-spaced page on Microsoft Word--and build from there. Add anywhere from 50 to 100 words a day until you reach what you consider a decent limit.


5. Write, write, write. It doesn't matter whether your first draft is perfect or not--as long as it exists, that's progress enough at this point. There's plenty of time to edit and revise. The hard part is--you guessed it--writing. To quote the good folks at Nike, just do it.


6. Read widely. Don't just read your favorite authors, read books by authors in a variety of styles and genres. You'll pick up ideas on story structure, plot development, and pacing.


Good luck! Still stuck in a rut? Call the pros at In Ink Ghostwriting. We'll help get you started.


Don't suffer alone, you can write your book!