Writing a book: getting started on your story

If you’re wondering how to get started when you want to write a book, you have the same problem as many others. No matter if it’s about writing books or completely different projects. Getting started is one of the biggest hurdles.

How many times have you been you’ve shied away from things because you thought it would be so difficult or does not work anyway? But as soon as you start and get into the flow, you get angry at yourself for putting it off for so long. So in this blog post, I’ve summarized five steps you can follow if you want to write your book.

Writing a book in 5 steps

The following writings are necessary to write a book:

  1. Idea
  2. Research
  3. goal setting& Planning
  4. Characters& Plot
  5. Writing

Since you have the desire to write a book in the first place, you will have already made progress on one of the five points. Do you have an exciting idea, but do not know how to implement it? Have you come across something exciting, but don’t know how to develop it into a manuscript?? Do you have a certain goal, for example a creative writing assignment from school or university?? Did you think of this very special character who now needs a story to go with it?? Or do you have little snippets of text that you want to become something bigger?? So you realize you’re not starting from scratch at all – but have a base of idea, research, goal, characters or snippets of text on which to build your book and work through the other points.

1 The idea

Maybe you find yourself in one of these two positions

  1. You have no idea what to write, or
  2. You already have an idea.

No idea?

How do you write a book when you have absolutely no idea? The best thing to do first is to ask yourself, Why you have no idea and still want to write a book. Because the fact that you are missing the right idea so far, can have a few reasons.

Some might say, without an idea you lack what it takes to be a writer, why you should rather give up right away. But there is a reason why you ended up here – you want to write a book. Only the brilliant idea is missing. So if you’re sure you want to write a book, actively search for THE idea!

Maybe you know the problem I actually always have: Too many ideas. I’m almost bubbling over with ideas and flashes of inspiration – and I don’t know which of them I should put into practice. It helps, really commit yourself, instead of tinkering with thousands of stories at once. You can recognize the "right" idea by the fact that you can’t get it out of your head for weeks, captivates you so much that you can hardly think about anything else. Of course, you can also other book ideas come – write it down, and then shoo it away for now.

Inspiration for new ideas

If you really need no idea at all is the only way to keep yourself organized to be filled with inspiration. Go out, observe, visit museums and exhibitions, listen to music, read tons of books, browse through science books. Do all the things that give you new ideas. eventually the ideas will come all by themselves, if you keep an open mind and don’t put too much pressure on yourself!
Sometimes it also helps to simply first commit to a particular genre or non-fiction book! Or you can set up a "What if…" question. Watch one Everyday situation and ask yourself what happens, when a detail is changed.
What if there were suddenly no more cars??
Or what if all people were blind?
What if… – I’m sure you can think of an interesting question that would answer your Imagination kicks in all by itself. &

idea available

You already have an idea that captivates you for weekst, which can’t help but be written down? Congratulations, step 1 is done!
Now you have to flesh out your idea.
Let it go round and round in your head and keep spinning it. Mindmaps and creativity techniques can help, but so can inspiration from your everyday life. If you’re on the train and you think of a plot twist, write it down and ask yourself what happens. Whether you make a note in your phone or scribble on a napkin. You MUST write down every tiny idea you have for your book!

2 Research

how to write a book

Probably the most common tip for aspiring authors is to write, write, write. That’s definitely true, but I think it’s just as important before and while you’re writing to research aspects of your story. That’s how you can check ideas and you often find new, further ideas.

Research is the key to making your story believable. Yes, also in fantasy and science fiction works! Even in such settings things have to make sense. If you want to write about voodoo, for example, you have to research it thoroughly – if you just make up something that you think has something to do with voodoo, it can backfire on you! Many readers will not forgive inaccuracies and mistakes, so you should research topics well or make deviations from our reality plausible.

Research often leads to finding other aspects that you can use in your story. For example, I love, browse Wikipedia. Because even though Wikipedia is not a particularly (scientifically) reliable source – it’s a good place to start the cross-references in some articles have often sparked new ideas for me!
It’s a simple way to build your story along the way and at the same time get to know new facts!

3 Characters and plot

The plot is the storyline of your story, so to speak, so just everything that happens in your book. For a non-fiction book, this corresponds to the outline, the content you want to tell.
The Characters are divided into protagonists, antagonists, main characters, and secondary characters. The first three you need to know very well, for example by using a character genre, the secondary characters can remain a bit flatter – but should still be believable and realistic! In non-fiction, characters are omitted in most cases.

All writers approach these two points differently. Thereby focus either on the story, i.e. the plot, or on the protagonist (and the main characters).
You can usually divide a story into one of two categories:

  • character-driven
  • plot-driven

Most of the time, the way I plan a story overlaps with how the story is constructed. So if someone is writing a character-based story flesh out the characters first, before moving on to the plot. The same the other way around, if the plot is in the foreground, it is also planned first and the characters are then tailored to the story.

Mixed form of character- and plot-driven

Of course, there are not just these two extremes. I think most writers edit both relatively parallel, which is why I have combined these aspects into one point.

Maybe you have an idea for the plot, then you create a character who takes on a life of his own and completely overturns the story. Or you have a specific character in mind who is crying out for a story – and as you plot, the other characters come to mind.

You are free to decide whether you want to develop characters or plot first, or choose a mixed approach. It is important that both fit together like a pot and a lid. You can only do that by Work on both sites over and over again!

4 objectives& Plan

Setting writing goals or creating a writing plan is not for every author. Some just want to write a book without setting a deadline for themselves. It can also be that a writing plan totally constricts you and you don’t write anything at all, but you just have to try that out. For me, it helps EXTREMELY to set goals and create a plan for writing. This is how I manage it, always stay on the ball.

Goal setting

On the one hand, this means that I set writing goals for myself, by when I want to have what done. For example, these could be the following goals:

  • 500 words per day
  • one page per day
  • publishing at the end of January
  • one chapter per week
  • 1 book per year

These goals can possibly be into smaller subgoals, for example, a certain number of characters a day as a subgoal for one chapter per week. Small, easy to achieve goals motivate you, because you quickly feel a sense of achievement!

Writing Plan

For me, plotting means breaking the plot down precisely into individual scenes, so I really always know what I’m going to write next. For some this is too strict and interferes with creativity – I, on the other hand, can do so most creative and productive its. I am a Plotter through and through. For me, an exact scene structure is essential to know how I write my book. I always know exactly where I need to go with my scenes and I can concentrate on working out the scenes.

Other authors are so called Pantser who just write on it, either with no or very few waypoints they are working towards in their story. I used to work that way and never finished a book – but that doesn’t mean one method or the other is better. There are enough authors who are very successful by just writing on the fly!

Again, just try it out and see what feels right for you!
It also comes down to a little bit of your intention an: Do you want a Publish Book, plotting is definitely not the worst idea. Are you writing to get things off your chest or simply for the sake of writing, plotting is perhaps more of a hindrance. But as I said, again, anything goes, nothing has to, and you can always choose a variation between the two extremes as well – it’s find YOUR way to YOUR story! Soon you’re no longer asking yourself, how do I write a book, but how do I write MY book! &

5 Writing

NATURALLY, the most important thing is actually the writing. No matter how you research, plan and plot your characters – the story only takes shape when you actually write it. letter by letter, word by word, sentence by sentence.

I have noticed that Extremely hold off on corrections while writing. If you write one sentence and then rewrite it 5 times, you have written exactly ONE sentence. In the same time you could have written half a page or more. After writing, correcting is much easier and you can do much more in the same time without losing quality.
Remember: The correction always comes AFTER the window. After a chapter because of me, or after an act, but always after you’ve slept on it for at least a night. I go so far in the meantime ignore all typos and misspellings. Some text passages I have to decipher later, but I just create so much more, since I no longer double and triple check every sentence.

I do not like to give tips, where I say, you must do it this way and that way. Surely there are authors who write better when they tweak every sentence until it is perfect. But if there’s one tip I want to leave you with, it’s this: Try just writing without thinking about the last sentence, without proofreading. I bet if you can do it, to turn off the inner critic (which can take a while), you get into an absolute Writing flow. And if not, you can continue to stay with direct correcting. &

Writing a book – the way that works best for you

Hopefully you could take some helpful tips with you and above all determine, that there is not the ONE way to write a book.

Do you have tips for the other readers or do you see something totally different than I do?? Then I look forward to your input! Feel free to write a comment for me and the others or become part of our Facebook group! &

If you need a little reminder for later, feel free to download the following overview – or pin it on Pinterest! So you also help others to find this blogpost. &

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