Help Writing A Book For Beginners & Beyond

Help In Book Writing

With the best will in the world, writing a book is hard. No, let me re-phrase that – writing a good book that’s worth publishing is hard. Writing is easy. Anyone can write and that is a problem with the industry at the moment. Millions of average books are appearing every week due to the ease of self-publishing. A good idea is to get help writing a book from people who have done it before.

Book Writing Coach Lisa TenerThere are loads of books to help with writing a book and these can be a boon, but the good coaching can make or break your authoring aspirations. Lisa Tener has helped many authors, coaching some of them to five and six figure publishing deals (check out the testimonials on her web site.)

We tend to shy away from seeking help in writing, but it is out there – and a lot of it for free! Of course, it has to be said that a lot of care should be taken by checking the credentials of the advice givers, but ,many luminaries, such as John Grisham, offer insights into their writing process.

One problem is that, while a basic process and structure is beneficial to new authors looking for help in writing a book, we are all individuals and don’t work in the same way. This is one reason why the best coaching and instructional writing courses focus on your personal strengths and weaknesses.

In the video below, Evan Carmichael outlines the process he uses for writing, publishing and marketing a book.

Need Help Writing A Book? It Happens All The Time

Video Transcript:

Hello, Believe Nation! My name is Evan Carmichael! My one word is believe, and I believe that entrepreneurs will solve all the of the world’s major problems. So, to help you on your journey, today, I’m going to talk about seven ways to write a book for beginners. (electronic music)

So, I launched my first book with Penguin Random House in December of last year. I’m in the process of writing my second book, and I have the first draft, just finished! I’m super excited about that. And I’ve been gettin’ a lot of questions, from you guys, asking me about the process. How do I write a book, what does it look like?

How do I make sure that my book is a success, comin’ out of the gate? And so, today, I wanted to share with you seven ways on how to do it, that I think you’ll enjoy. Tip number one, actually want to write a book. This might sound like a no-brainer, but I think a lot of people want to write a book for the wrong reasons.

how to get help writing a bookA lot of people want to write a book, because it’s going to get them credibility. You think it’s going to open up doors. And it can, and it does. I think it was a lot more true, ten years ago, than it is now. I can open up almost any door I want, just usin’ my YouTube channel, and my social media, much more than the book helps me do that.

There weren’t as many avenues as there were before, and so, you needed to have a book. But now, it’s not as necessary. I wouldn’t say that it’s not important at all. I think a good book can definitely help you open up a lot of opportunities, but it’s not needed.

If that’s your goal, there’s a lot of other ways around to do it. Writin’ a book is really hard. For me, it was a two year process. The second book is coming along a little bit faster. So, you have to really want to do it. If it’s a bucket list thing that you have to do, and you’re deeply passionate about it. You have a message that you want to share. This needs to come out!

You need to give birth to this thing! It’s that important to you, then you should go out and do it. If it’s part of your marketing strategy, and nice to have, then I think there’s other, more effective ways that you can.

So, just want to make sure that that’s, or anything you’re doing, in life, in business, you’re startin’ a company for an important reason, not just trying to make money, or just prove something. So, you have to really, really, really, really want to write a book. If you are, then the next six steps are for you.

Tip number two, is create an outline and a schedule. What I found really helpful for me, was to create an outline at the start. So, my book, Your One Word, we’ve got seven chapters, it’s three sections. And so, I start from the top. What’s the big idea, that I want to get across?

And this works really well with nonfiction, but also with fiction. What is the main thing that I’m tryin’ to get across? And then, how does that break down? So, I have three main sections in the book. Okay, what are those three things look like?

And then, within three, then how do I divide those into different chapters? Great, okay, so I have these chapters here, these chapters here, great, all makes sense. Now, I can start to work on individual chapters, and in that chapter, what I want to talk about.

book writing helpYou can go page, by page, by page. And so, I find it really hard to think big, and think small at the same time. So, I think my big thinking first. That’s the outline, that’s the overview. It’s what we’re tryin’ to accomplish. That’s the general breakdown of the section.

And then, once it’s all planned out, even just a headline, or a title, then I can get the work, I’m actually building that page, and I trust that it fills in with everything else that I’m tryin’ to do. It fits the strategy, it fits the structure really well. Also, if your goal is to get it into a publisher’s hands, they want to see an outline.

They want to know what you’re doing. They want to see a sample chapter as well, you’ll submit to them, and get a sense of your writing style. And I think, for the scheduling part, creating the schedule, for yourself, to make time, right? It’s a lot of work, to write a book! And so, you need to dedicate time, in your schedule.

You’re not just going to have pockets, that magically open up. And for me, at least, I needed to find dedicated time to do it. Everybody has their own process. Some people love writing two crappy pages a day, and they spend half an hour every morning, writing. For me, that didn’t work. I needed to have chunks of time.

If I sat down in the morning, and tried to have 15, to half an hour, 15 minutes, and half an hour, writing, it took me that long, just to get into the zone of writing, and then I would stop, to go do something else. I needed to block out my whole day. So, while I was writing Your One Word, that was my whole Tuesday.

I would spend the entire Tuesday writing my book. I would get out of my place. I would walk to a local coffee shop. I would answer your questions, and document the journey as I went along. And when I got to the coffee shop, I would shut out all distractions, and just write.

It took me about 30 minutes to get into the zone. I’d think, okay, now I’m flowing. Then, I tried to stay there as much as possible. So, if it’s really, really important to you that it gets done, put it in your calendar. Make time for it.

get help for writing a bookThen again, this is for everything, not just writing a book. You got to prioritize the things that are important to you, and put them in your calendar, or they won’t get done. If you’re just waitin’ for some time to magically appear, guarantee, it’s not going to happen. Schedule it in.

Tip number three, is decide whether you want to self-publish, or use a publisher. It really just depends on what your goals are. If your goal is primarily, financially, you want to be able to make money from it, and you want to be able to control a lot of the aspects of it, then self-publishing is the way to go.

You can make a little money, just a tiny commission, from whatever name is on the other resellers. And you get to decide everything. Book cover, all the words inside, every aspect about it, you get to have full control over. This was exactly your vision, and it gets out there. That’s self-publishing model.

If your goal is to have reach, if your goal is to use your publisher’s branding recognition, then you go to publisher. For me, my goal is to help building entrepreneurs. And so, I wanted, I always wanted, to work out projects that have the ability, to have a massive impact. That’s what I strive for, every single day.

And so, self-publishing wasn’t the route that I wanted to go. I wanted to go with a major publisher, because I value not just their ability to help with the editing and all that stuff, ’cause you can hire someone for that. But, distribution, promotion, having the brand name attached to it.

Not so much that adding Penguin on my name really means a lot, but Penguin on the book can mean a lot. And so, I wanted to give the book the best chance, to have big reach, to get to the bookstores, to get name recognition. And so, that’s why I went with the publisher.

If you’re going to go with a publisher, I highly recommend trying to get a literary agent first. Literary agents basically represent you. They’re like a real estate agent, but for your book, instead of for your house.

Their job is to know all the different people, all the different publishers, where they have money, what books they’re interested in, and create basic credibility more. When I was doing mine, we had five calls with publishers, on two days, back, to back, to back, to back, to back, to back, and it created some drama, right?

So, we talked to one, and talked to another, talk to another, and we ended up increasing the commitment, significantly, from where we started. And so, when you can create that kind of bidding war, it gets people more interested in you, and you need a well trained literary agent, because of connections, to make that happen for you.

So, if you’re going to go the publisher route, I’d recommend going with a literary agent. They usually take a percentage of your deal, but it much, much, much more pays for itself, as well as the advice, and the positioning, compared to if you try to do it by yourself. – So, tip number four, is to overcome rejection.

help me write a bookIt’s our first series on Evan’s channel, called Unlocking Lily. And one of the challenges, I had to research famous speakers, and a lot of them wrote books. But, one of the authors that really, really resonated with me, is Jack Canfield.

So, Jack Canfield was rejected by 144 publishers, before he was able to publish his book, Chicken Soup for the Soul. Can you imagine, if he gave up, after the first publisher, or even the 50th one, or the 100 one? We wouldn’t have access to his books, and his message would’ve been completely lost.

So many millions of people actually benefit off his books. So, that’s the same thing for you. Anytime you’re rejected, keep going. And I know, I know rejection’s so hard, especially if you put your entire life’s work, and effort into this book, and it just gets shut down, and rejected.

So, that’s why you need to keep going, and going through all the rejections, and overcome them. Because, it’s important to you. Your message needs to be out there. And then, there’s a funny old saying, there’s a lid for every pot.

So, every time you bring a book to a publisher, and they say no, go to the next one, go to the next one, keep going, and you will find a lid to your pot. – Tip number five, is have a test audience. This was actually something surprising, that’s not really done in the publishing world.

When I was getting close to the draft of my first book, Your One Word, I was getting ready to get it out there, and let people know about it. I said, okay, so what do we do with test audiences?

How do we get feedback on this, and they said, “Well, we don’t do test audiences. “We don’t get feedback.” And it’s something that’s really common in lot of other industries. In software, before you start selling your product, you send it out to your beta testers, and they test it, and they tell you what’s wrong with it, and how it can be fixed.

In the movie business, they’ll make a movie, and have test screenings, and then they’ll see what the audience reaction is, and maybe change the ending, or change different scenes, because that thought that would make people laugh, but they didn’t laugh.

help in writing a bookSo, let’s switch it up. Or, they got too scary at the end, and walked out. So, let’s switch that up. In the book business, it’s not really done. They’re so concerned about people getting early access, and it being shared too much, and it’s just not part of how the industry works, and I find it so incredibly helpful to do!

So, I printed off 30 copies of my book. I actually printed it off at Alex’s little condo. That was a fun day, and had just binders. And I shipped ’em, and gave ’em to people who were in my local area. Some were entrepreneurs.

Half were entrepreneurs, half weren’t entrepreneurs. So, I wanted a general perspective. And the feedback was so helpful. I actually trimmed my book down to half. I wrote two books. So, they wanted 60, 65,000 words.

In the book, I wrote 120, 130,000 words, and half the book is gone. It was cut, based off the feedback that came from my test audience. And so, I highly recommend that you print off 20 to 30 copies of your book, before it goes to final print, and just get feedback from people who are inside your target market, and outside, just to get tips, suggestions.

And yeah, see about grammar errors, and all that kind of stuff, but more like how did it resonate with you? Did you like this part? And the thing I really paid attention to, especially parts in a nonfiction book, was where people underlined, and the notes that they wrote to themselves. I didn’t care what they wrote.

I wasn’t really payin’ attention to how it was impacting them, but this page got a lot of people underlining, and writing notes in the column, and these four pages, nobody cared about. It’s pretty easy to decide which pages to cut for the book. So, have a test audience. Tip number six, is get ready for pre-launch. It’s not just about writing a great book.

You have to have marketing. You need to promote it. You got to get exposure from it. It’s really important. And so, I think an easy way to do it, is actually to start documenting the process along the way. So, I was launching Your One Word, every week, I’d make a new video.

I would update you guys with how I was doing, where I was at, my concerns, my victories, and I would answer your questions about the whole process as well. And so, I think documenting your process, documenting your journey, whether it’s on YouTube, or Twitter, on Instagram, or Facebook, or wherever you live, start to buIld a little bit of a community up, and get people to join you on that path, so they are excited for the book coming out.

books to help with writingThey’re ready to buy in advance. Have bonuses that relate to the book, and give an incentive to buy early, and to buy multiples. I think one of the biggest mistakes I made, in my bonus package, was that I didn’t have a two option. So, you could buy one book, I think it was then ten books, and then up, like 25 and up from there.

But, a lot of people ended up buying one book, and another book for a friend. I didn’t have a two book bonus option. And so, do it again, would have something for, if you buy two books. It’s an easy entry point. But, not just waiting for it to launch, and hope everything goes okay.

Carefully planning the pre-launch of it, counting down on your website, showcasing features of what’s going to be in there, documenting the process that people can join in on your journey, and they’re excited for it.

And you get a chance to talk about your book, over, and over, and over, and over again, without it being promotional, because you’re providing value in updating every step along the way. And tip number seven, is keep marketing.

Just because your book has come out, it doesn’t mean you should stop marketing. It’s not just about week one, when it just comes out, it’s constantly marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, and hopefully your book ties into what you’re currently doing, whether you’re a thought leader, whether you’re an entrepreneur, whatever it is that you’re doing, your book hopefully fills a void, and is part of your ongoing process.

And ideally, you can involve it in the things that you’re doing. So, couple examples of how we do it, one, content. So, I make content. I’m a YouTuber. I have Twitter. I have other accounts, social media, and I always have consistent content on the book.

On my Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook, and Twitter, and it may just be reading a quote from the book. Almost every weeknight, I’ll read a quote from the book, and post that as a quick ten second video. I use the book in… I use the book in my videos. Let’s line that up, right? The book is always kind of seen, product placement in here.

I say what my one word is, at the top of the video. I thank people at the end of the videos, who bought the book, and give them shout outs. I ask people to remember what their one word is at the end of the video. So, I’m creating content that includes the book, where I’m relevant. I don’t try to force it in situation where it doesn’t work.

But sometimes, the book will be in the seven ways. Like, number five is find your one word. It’s applicable. It’s part of my process. And so, creating content that feels natural, that’s not just promotional content, but naturally fits, because its value in the book that you created.

The second thing that I do, that is really helpful, is work that, well, like a hack, that I haven’t seen a lot of other people do, is every week, my assistant will go to Amazon, pull up my book page, and then see what related books are recommended down below.

So, it might be a Grant Cardone book, or it might be Gary Vaynerchuk’s book, or it might be Tim Ferriss’s book. Whatever the most relevant book is, for my book that week, and then, my assistant will go to YouTube, where I’m most known, I have the biggest following, and start connecting to other YouTubers, who have done book reviews on those other books.

help with writing a bookAnd she’ll reach out, and say, hey, I see you did a review of Gary Vaynerchuk’s Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, or his new book that just came out. I have a book opportunity for you. Here’s Evan. He’s got a book called Your One Word. It’s really related to what Gary’s doing, and I think you’ll enjoy it.

And if you want Evan to be a part of your video, let me know. And so, I’m often either being interviewed for the book, or providing a voiceover for the book, depending on how they do their videos. And so, that’s been a highly effective way.

So, I’ve lined up around 40 or 50 YouTubers who profiled my book, just by having a simple outreach on related books. And the third thing to do, around marketing, is really following up with the readers. You know, a lot of readers don’t even read the book, any book. Like, most people who will buy your book, it’ll just sit there on the shelf, and they’ll never read it.

It just collects dust. And I would much rather sell ten books, and everybody read, those ten people read the books, and sell 100, and nobody reads ’em. And so, having a way to follow up, with readers, and making sure that they’re consuming the content, they need any help. And we do a lot of work. So, one of the things that we try to do, in the pre-campaigns, is collect emails. I wish I did something stronger in the book.

One of my regrets is, I wish, like on the first page, it said, email your receipt to this email address, and we’ll send you bonuses, because that way, you can collect a lot more email addresses. And most of the people, who bought my book, went through Amazon, and I don’t know who they are.

So, I have no way of following up with them. It’s frustrating. But, we did collect a lot of email addresses from our readers, and they get put into a sequence, where every month, I’m sending them an email, that’s related to the book, that’s asking them how they’re doing, that’s checking in. Did you find your one word, can I help?

Can I be your resource, do you have any questions? Do you have any problems? I also send them a video of the month, that’s answering somebody’s question, so it’s an unlisted video, that you don’t have access to, unless you bought the book, and you get that once a month.

And it’ll also make a customized video for everybody, and just a quick, ten second video. Hey, John. Thank you so much for picking up my book. I see you’re from California. I really appreciate the support, man. I was just in California last month.

If I come back again, it’ll be great to be able to connect and do something together. What’s up, Jonathan? Alexandra, happy Tuesday. What’s up, man? Greetings from Toronto, all the way out to Jamaica. You know, just a quick personal video, and people really appreciate it. So, my goal is to follow up, because some people never pick up a book, and read it.

who can help me write a bookOr, some people, after the third message, they read it, they’re right back, ’cause they feel guilty, like oh, I haven’t read the book yet. You want the people, who’ve read your book, to spread it. Like, word of mouth is so important, for an author trying to get their book out, ’cause you’re not spending money on Super Bowl commercials, right?

You don’t have a million dollar ad campaign. And so, you want the people to spread it for you. And if they haven’t read the book, then they can’t spread the message! And so, thinkin’ about ways to collect people’s email addresses, put it in a book, give them bonuses.

I also write in the book, if you’re havin’ any problems finding your one word, email me. I put the email address in there, so people connect through that method as well. And if you can get them, finding value in the book, they’re much more likely to tell their friends.

And so, those are three of the ideas that I’m using for my book, Your One Word, and I encourage you to find ways, continue to market it, so it’s not just a one-off thing, launch date, and then you forget about it.

So, those are my seven tips on how to write a book for beginners. I made this video, because nazem abdrabo asked me to. So, if you want me to cover a topic in a future Seven Ways video, there’s a link in the description. You can go check it out there, and vote for your next favorite topic. I’d also love to know, what did you think of this video?

What was your favorite tip? What was most applicable to your process? Is there an eight, nine, ten, that I missed, that you want to add to the list? Please share down in the comments below. I’m really excited to see what you have to say.

I also wanted to give a quick shout out to the legendary Brian Tracy. Brian, thank you so much for picking up a copy of my book, Your One Word, and sharing your review, and posting to Twitter. It really means a lot to me, and I’m so glad that you enjoyed the book.

So, thank you guys so much for watching. I believe in you. I hope you continue to believe in yourself, and whatever your one word is. Much love. I’ll see you soon.

Help writing a book pdf

Novel Writing Tips For Beginners -The Novel Writing Process

novel writing tips for beginners

Most everyone writes according to a process, even if we sometimes don’t realise it! There are a few who seem to write by the seats of their pants (Pantsers), but most of us need a novel writing process to guide us long the way to a successful novel.

Probably one of the most valuable novel writing tips for beginners is to follow a structure for outlining and writing. There are many out there, such as the Snowflake Method, and others that have been adapted by writers of all levels to suit their own particular needs and writing style.

The first video presents a quite detailed plan for writing a structured novel or book, with useful tips for much-needed discipline. The second addresses the problem of motivation – something which affects us all. The presentation is refreshing because it offers various ideas for overcoming writer’s block and the dreaded feeling of ‘I am not a writer!’

A Working Novel Writing Process – Advice For Beginners

Video Transcript:

Game of Thrones Book Cover - Writing process tipsHeya, book nerds! I’m Meg LaTorre, and on this episode of iWriterly, I thought we’d do something a little different. A lot of you have been asking about the adult fantasy manuscript I’m currently querying and my writing process. So I thought I’d give you a glimpse into my brain’s hard-wiring.

It’s also rather timely, as I’m about to launch into a new project. Keep in mind, every writer has their own unique process. This is just what I’ve found works for me.

Step 1: The idea Usually an idea will crop up during everyday life, and I’ll mull it over in my mind for a few days or weeks and jot down notes as I think of them.

Eventually, the idea either blossoms into a full-fledged story or withers and dies a painful death. … Not really.

Step 2: The plot outline If a story makes it past the idea phase, I’ll then write a plot outline. I really like Vivien Reis’ outline video, which I’ve referenced before in my past videos. To learn more about plot outlining, be sure to check that out. I’ll leave a link in the description below.

Step 3: The character outline I’ll usually write an outline for the main cast of characters, including their physical description, the desire(s) that drive them throughout the story, weaknesses or shortcomings of their characters, and their role in the plot.

This is how I get to know the characters, and it’s extremely helpful for me to reference this outline as I’m writing the story.

Step 4: The chapter-by-chapter outline In case you’re not starting to sense a theme, I love outlines.

At this point, I’ll do the math for my target word count. If I’m aiming for 90,000 words–and there’s an average of 250 words per page and 10-15 pages per chapter–I’ll approximate how many chapters I’ll have in the book.

I’ll write out what’s going to happen in every chapter and try to plan the inciting incident, plot arc, character development, resolution, and so on.

Step 5: Drafting + editing + outside feedback Unlike most writers, I like to get outside feedback on my work as I’m writing and edit as I go. This way, if there are any structural or plot issues, I’ll hopefully discover them early-on. I’ll usually write the first fourth of my book before I start sharing with critique partners.

novel writing methodsStep 6: Re-write the chapter-by-chapter outline In this step, I will try to incorporate any changes I made from the original outline.

In the outline, I’ll write not just what happened during that chapter, but what world-building and character development took place. During this rewrite, I’ll usually notice parts of the story where there are plot holes or scenes that need to be added or removed. I’ll also note if there is too much or not enough world-building.

Step 7: Self-editing Once I’ve drafted the entire manuscript and rewritten the chapter-by-chapter outline with the changes I want to make, I will edit the entire novel on my own.

Step 8: Get feedback from critique partners and beta readers. At this point, I’ll start sharing my manuscript with people in bulk–either the full manuscript or chunks of the book (depending on that person’s personality/editing style). On average, I work with 10-20 critique partners and beta readers per manuscript.

Step 9: Edit + get more feedback. Once I’ve received feedback from my critique partners and beta readers, I’ll assess if there are any themes on people’s feedback, what feedback I agree will improve the story, if I need to make any big structural changes, and edit the whole manuscript again. *Note that I don’t incorporate every piece of feedback I get.

Once I’ve made changes, I’ll share my manuscript with critique partners and beta readers and the process will start all over again.

Step 10: Write a synopsis and query. Once I feel my manuscript is as good as I can possibly make it on my own, I’ll write a two-page synopsis and one-page query letter. For this part, I not only share both documents with critique partners and beta readers, but I’ll also hire freelance editors to make sure I have objectively summarized my story and nailed my pitch.

Thanks for tuning into this episode on iWriterly on my writing process. If you liked what you saw, give the video a thumbs up. It lets me know you like this type of content and want more. If you’re new here, welcome!

Consider subscribing. I post writing-related videos every Wednesday. If you have questions about anything we covered today, leave those in the comments below. As always, KEEP WRITING!

My Crazy Writing Process – Meg LaTorre PDF

Novel Writing Methods That Work – Motivational Tips For Beginners

Video Transcript:

You may have heard some variation on this quote before: “Write a million words— the absolute best you can write, then throw it all away and bravely turn your back on what you have written. At that point, you’re ready to begin.”

All writers want to attain that level of mastery, but reaching the million-word mark seems like a daunting task, especially if you have problems with motivation. Maybe you have countless ideas floating around in your head, yet feel paralyzed when trying to put your imaginings into words. The root of the problem is perfectionism.

Sometimes we’re so in love with our stories that we want them to be born into the world as perfect beings. But that’s what prevents writers from moving from the imagining stage to the creating stage. You have to get used to ugly babies.

Give yourself permission to write CRAP. But this brings us to another problem: We all know we’re supposed to write every day, but we don’t do it! We waste time watching TV or daydreaming instead. So how do we FORCE ourselves to write? Here are six tips on how to do just that.

Number one: Establish a Routine. Writing at the same time and in the same place every day will help you develop good habits. Maybe you write in bed when you first wake up, or at the café you visit during your lunch hour, or at the library between classes.

novel writing workshopAs much as night owls hate to hear it, the morning is the best time to write. Why? Because humans love to procrastinate. Waiting until the evening leaves more room for excuses. Don’t fall into that trap.

Try gradually setting your alarm earlier each day until you’re waking up an hour earlier than usual, then use that time to WRITE first thing in the morning. Avoid checking your email or thinking about what else you have to do later that day.

In addition, don’t research while you’re writing. This time is for pure word-count generation only. Here’s another productivity trick: Write everywhere. On the bus, standing in line, or waiting for dinner to come out of the oven.

If you like the feel of old-fashioned pencil and paper, start carrying around a small notebook. Use note-taking apps to jot down ideas or short descriptions. There are so many short stretches of time that we waste in a day by checking Facebook or browsing Reddit.

By making writing as integral to your daily routine as sleeping or eating, you will develop good habits, and your future self will thank you.

Number two: Eliminate distractions, such as the Internet. You may be tempted to find the perfect synonym or Google pressing questions. What you need is Self-Control. Self-Control is a free app for Mac that allows you to block certain websites for a set amount of time.

StayFocusd and Leechblock are similar services that are extensions for web browsers. There are plenty of others out there as well. Sometimes our loved ones can also interrupt our writing time without knowing it.

However, if you establish a writing routine, you can tell your family, roommates, or significant other that you’re setting aside certain times of the day just for writing. It will be easier for them to respect your schedule if you follow a predictable pattern.

Music can also further delay your writing time, as you might waste time trying to find the perfect song to inspire you. Instead, give your full attention to the task at hand— putting words on the page. Save the headphones for times when you’re brainstorming ideas or plotting.

the novel writing processNumber three: Set daily writing goals for yourself. Writing a novel is a huge task, but if you break it down into smaller chunks, it can feel more achievable. Choose what type of quota you’d like to reach. Maybe you’d like to aim for a thousand words per day, or perhaps you’d rather write an hour a day, regardless of the resulting word count.

You can also aim to complete one scene per day, whether it be the first time the protagonist meets a love interest or the final epic battle sequence. Write chronologically or start with the scene you’re most excited to put on paper.

Here’s another trick to keep in mind: “The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day when you are writing a novel you will never be stuck.”

If you get behind on your daily targets, don’t despair. Cut yourself some slack, but really try to avoid putting off your daily writing. If you skip one day, you’re more likely to skip the next one…and the next…and the next.

In addition, people often underestimate the time it takes us to complete a project, so give yourself plenty of leeway when setting goals. The Pomodoro Technique can be another great time management tool.

Set a timer for 25 minutes, and work on your project until it rings. When you’re done, checkmark a piece of paper, and take a five-minute break. Then start the timer again and repeat the cycle.

Once you have completed four of these sessions, or “pomodoros” as they’re called, you can take a longer break of 15 to 30 minutes. These rest intervals will give your brain time to relax and digest stray thoughts.

If you want to visualize your success, try the Don’t Break the Chain method. It’s very simple: Set your daily writing goal, then take a calendar, and cross off each day that you complete that goal. Your goal is to not “break the chain” or leave any boxes without an X.

If you’re a more extrinsically motivated person, you can try rewarding yourself after each writing session. It could be your favorite kind of chocolate or an episode of some guilty-pleasure TV show. Make sure you only get this reward after writing and not at any other time. You want your mind to associate writing with that reward.

novel writing course on the internet online - course link

Number Four: Try Alternative Forms of Writing. Writing anything is better than writing nothing at all, so if you don’t have the motivation to slug through your main work-in-progress, try something different. How about a writing prompt?

You can put your current cast of characters into the prompt situation, or you can branch out and explore new worlds. Think of these as flash fiction exercises, and try to keep your responses under a thousand words.

Writer’s Digest posts some great weekly prompts and also features a discussion section, where you can share your work and see how others interpreted the prompt. Sometimes it’s easier to write about your own life experiences and opinions rather than pull imaginary ones from thin air.

Think about how you can tap into your own emotions to convey your characters’ feelings more vividly. Write about your first love or a time you felt true fear. Meditate on how it feels to have siblings or to be an only child.

Imagine how different you would be if you grew up with a different religion, in a country on the other side of the world, or as the opposite gender. Start keeping a journal of your daily thoughts.

Fanfiction can be another great way to boost your daily writing, as you’re already working with an established world and familiar characters—but the plot and writing style are entirely your own. How about switching the perspective of the story to a minor character?

Play around with first and third-person. Do some genre-bending by adding fantasy elements to a story set in modern times or switch to an entirely different time period. Although I don’t recommend basing your own novel off of your fanfiction, this can help you find your voice and provide more storytelling practice.

Feedback from reviewers can also be beneficial for identifying your strengths and weaknesses as a writer. Sometimes you need to take your writing a little less seriously and just goof off, and that’s where roleplaying can be really effective.

Roleplaying involves writing a story with someone else, piece by piece. You’re not playing Dungeons & Dragons; you’re exchanging messages. You team up with another person to create a story and then your characters interact.

Depending on your partner, the responses can be anywhere from two sentences to a thousand words. Roleplayers either use instant messaging services like Kik or Skype for real-time conversations or long-form methods like email.

You can explore different genres, from slice-of-life and historical fiction to sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. It may seem a bit geeky at first, but you’ll be surprised by how much easier it is to pop out a thousand words when you’re responding to what someone else has written.

Plus, roleplaying can help you brainstorm new plot ideas, flesh out new types of characters, and produce more completed stories.

Number Five: Enter writing contests. Writing contests and magazines force you to adhere to specific deadlines, and that can push you to finish projects. There are also certain word count and subject you need to follow, and having that kind of box to work in can make it easier to start writing.

Say the contest is looking for a sci-fi story with romantic elements and it must be less than seven thousand words. Oh, and the topic for this month’s magazine is artificial intelligence, and the deadline is in a month.

So, over the course of a month, you can aim to finish one submission with a little writing and revising each day. The thrill of actually completing a project, even it’s just a short story, can be a great motivator, as it tells you that you’re capable of finishing things you’ve started.

Start small and look at contests posted on blogs rather than huge international competitions. Many contests and magazines don’t have entry fees. Others have small entry fees but oftentimes provide a year’s subscription to the online publication with your entry.

With any contest, there are some best practices you should follow: always read past winners to see what the judges are looking for. You should also make a checklist of the submission guidelines you need to follow, read the FAQ page, and double check the formatting requirements before you submit.

Number Six: Take classes and join groups. Creative writing classes mainly focus on short stories, but the lessons you learn can be applied to larger projects. In addition, classes give you an imposed deadline and expose you to new writing styles.

College courses can be expensive, but many community centers, libraries, local art organizations, and online communities offer inexpensive or free classes that you can join. You could also join a writing group, whether it’s a local one that meets in person or an online group.

Grab a writing buddy and use each other to stay committed to your writing goals by sharing your successes and failures, bouncing off ideas and questions, and exchanging pieces for critique.

Feedback is how you grow as a writer, and receiving constructive criticism from professionals in the writing field and from your peers is of vital importance. It’s one thing to write every day, but in order to truly become a better writer, you need to be actively revising and improving upon your work, and that involves critically analyzing your own stories and prose.

Here is one final anecdote to motivate you to write every single day of your life. Imagine two painters. The first painter has been working on his masterpiece for the past three years, meticulously choosing each color and ensuring that every line is perfect.

In that same time period, the second painter has churned out dozens of paintings, experimenting with different types of brushstrokes and color combinations and even adding other mediums.

Sure, some of them are pretty bad—awful, actually. But there a few that are quite GOOD, as if the artist has discovered his own unique style. Now apply the idea of the two painters to the writing process.

The quality of your writing is obviously important, but producing a large quantity of art can provide valuable insight. Both aspects are important, but don’t become too obsessed with one or the other.

With all this information in mind, go try the 30-day challenge. Pick one or two of the methods listed here, and stick to a routine for a full month. Maybe you’d like to write for an hour every day and mark an X on your calendar, or experiment with a daily writing prompt each morning, or even start an elaborate role-play set in feudal Japan.

Whatever you do, keep writing.

How To Motivate Yourself To Write Every Day PDF

How To Write A Good Novel – Outline & Structure

Writing instruction and courses

Knowing how to write a good novel brings into play a balanced combination of creativity and structure. The first is inspirational, while the latter hints at craftsmanship.

All structures need to be build on solid foundations and the outline for a novel is no different – if they are wobbly, your readers will feel it and the story will suffer for it.

New Writers, Like Fools, Rush In

Like many aspiring authors, I wrote my first story by the seat of my pants, feeling sure that all would come together as the manuscript progressed. Although I did actually finish (and publish) the novel, it was painfully obvious to me and my readers that it wasn’t as good as it could be. The plot, prose, dialogue and characterizations were decent, but there were structural issues that reduced its impact. It just didn’t sparkle.

As authors, we need to ask ourselves important questions before we put pen to paper, or fingertips to the keyboard. The first important question is about understanding what the reader wants from your novel. I’ll give you a clue – it has nothing to do with the technicalities of writing plot, subplots, setting, dialogue or any of the other important element that make up a great read.

What Happens Next In The Story?

What Happens Next?If the reader is to finish the book then its vital that he always wants to know what happens next. It’s the core of every novel and a huge part of the writing process is to make sure that the reader does on thing – have a burning desire to know what happens to the main characters of the story and keep turning those pages!

I can’t emphasize how important this point is. Without this need to know, your book will not be read at all and a year of your blood, sweat and commitment will have been wasted. Planning an outline and building a strong structure reduces this possibility drastically.

In the video below a well-known author, John Grisham, describes his writing process:

Video Transcript:

I normally start writing a novel on January the 1st of each year, that’s kind of my ritual, with the goal of finishing the book in six months, and being done in July. And that’s been the schedule for the past probably 10 or 15 years.

When I’m writing, which is usually that time of the year, I get a lot of writing done in January, February and March, for obvious reasons — it’s a good time to write. When I’m writing it’s five days a week I start around seven each morning in my office. The routine rarely varies — it’s pretty structured. It’s the same spot, the same computer.

So the office is a separate building with no phones, faxes or Internet, because I don’t want the distraction, and I don’t work online, I keep it offline. It’s the same cup of coffee, the same type of coffee, the same everything.

And the hours between seven and ten are, you know, that’s the best time of the day for me, it’s very productive. On a good day I’ll write probably 2,000 words, a slow day is probably 1,000. There aren’t many slow days, because by the time I start a book I have a very good idea of where it’s going.

I don’t start a book — I don’t write the first scene until I know the last scene. And that’s a rule I’ve kept for 25 years. I just don’t start something unless I know where it’s gonna go. So once I do start it, there aren’t many down days.”

Story Structure Definition

Creative Writing - Beginning Your NovelSeveral story structure elements need to be in place when writing your masterpiece, and building an outline or template is the best way to ensure that everything is in place. Not only that, but in the right place! The basic building blocks are found in the principles of the Story Arc and Character Arc. Don’t worry – both concepts will be covered in later posts, but suffice to say that the process tends to grow from the broader ideas to the more detailed.

Some basic elements of a great novel outline are:

Genre – define the type of story you are presenting. For example, Romance, Sci-Fi, Thriller, Cowboy, Horror among many others. Each main category can be split into sub-categories and also combined with others to create split-genres.

Theme – every story has a message, whether in written or movie format. Examples might be ‘Is it better to be rich or to have friends?’ or ‘Can love conquer all?’

Setting – define the period and the location. Example: 19th Century, Vienna.

Narrative Style – who is telling the story?

Story Arc – this timeline notes the events that bring increasing conflict and tension to the hero, and also the conclusion.

Character Arcs – main characters are complex and three-dimensional. The events in the story impact and change their ideas and outlook. These changes are essential if the characters are to succeed in their quest. These changes are collectively described as the Character Arc.

Backstory – the early part of a novel that describes the lives and situations of the main characters. It sets the scene of normality before an event arrives that changes everything.

Plot – the sequence of interrelated events defined by the author to tell the story.

Characters – normally one, or a few, main complex main characters and any number of passing support characters.

Dialogue – designed to tell the story and drive it forward.

Prose – the result of writing simply and conversationally, expressing description and meaning effectively but adhering to (mostly) universally accepted rules of grammar and syntax.

Not Convinced? The Purpose Of Planning

Planning A Book

The biggest take-away and advantage from all the hard work that goes into writing a novel outline can be summarized like this:

  1. The template can be used as a planning tool, or a road-map to clearly show the writer where he or she is going. If the destination is clearly in sight, together with diversions and side-roads, then it will be so much easier to steer the story.
  2. The planning phase becomes more detailed as it progresses, exploring the plot and the characters in greater depth. By the end of the process, which doesn’t really have an end until the novel is complete, you will know your story and everything in it intimately.

Editing Your Manuscript

When your novel manuscript is finished, then the arduous task of editing begins. If, like me, you can’t afford the services of a professional, then its necessary to learn how to do it properly. Self-editing is the only option left to you. The process happens on different levels and each step has a purpose.

As you might guess, it involves a bit more than just spell-checking and correcting simple errors in grammar. Later posts on this site will explore each level and provide a good grounding in the requirements.

Publishing – The Final Step!

Finish the book

Publishing your novel is the crowning glory of all your hard work, which on average takes anywhere between six months to a year to write, and three months to edit. This time may be extended if the editing process reveals serious structural problems, in which case a partial re-write would be required. You have to be dedicated to the craft and really want that book to see the light of day.

In the past, when the traditional publishing process was all that there was, this was indeed a painful experience. Authors could wait for months for a simple rejection slip, perhaps with no notes for manuscript improvement. Luckily, the emergence of the inernet and platforms like Amazon have changed all that. Self-publishing is simple and best of all, free!

In the next post I’ll be looking at the Story Arc.


Novel structure and planning


How to write a novel in 20 steps – Caitlin from Ink and Quills:

Video Transcript

Hey everyone, this is Caitlin from ink & quills and today I’m going to be walking you through my step-by-step process for writing a novel. So – if you’re new to writing you might be confused about how to go about writing your first novel, or maybe you just have no idea where you should even begin

Maybe you’ve gotten started but things aren’t going quite as smoothly as you’d hoped. The thing is, since you’ve never written a novel before, you don’t know what this process looks. Like you know what the end result looks like because you’ve read lots of published books, but you don’t know how to get there yourself.

How are you supposed to learn to do something if you’ve never seen an example of how it’s done? It’s like being handed a bunch of ingredients and being told to bake a cake without the recipe. That’s why I want to take you behind the scenes into the creative process of writing a story.

One of the best ways to learn how to do something you’ve never done before is by seeing an example. You probably know the ingredients you need for your story, like plot, character and setting, but you also need to know the process used to combine all these ingredients into a story.

Today I’m going to show you my personal writing process which I’ve developed over years of trial and error, but I want you to keep in mind that each writer has their own process and methods that work best for them so feel free to tweak this outline to fit your personal preferences.

I’ve also created a free checklist for this process and I’ll include a download link for that below the video. All right, so let’s get started. The first thing we need to do before we can start writing is to find an idea for our story. Personally, I draw a lot of inspiration from history and mythology, but one of the best ways to come up with an idea is to just let yourself daydream, and ask questions let your imagination have some fun.

One of my favorite questions to ask is ‘what if’ because it creates so many possibilities. For example, what if Hitler had won World War two, or what if we discovered life on Mars, or what if we began cloning humans in the future? Asking ‘what if’ questions like these creates interesting scenarios that you can then build a story around.

Once you have an idea that you like, and you’re excited about, it’s time to start expanding on it. This means thinking about your setting and time period, who your characters might be and what might happen in the plot. Now at this stage you’re not developing your plot and characters in depth.

You’re just exploring and gathering ideas, and you might also end up discarding or changing a lot of these ideas down the road. These are all tentative details that you’re considering for your story. I also want to mention that brainstorming is something that I actually do throughout the entire writing process.

I’m constantly collecting and layering ideas as I develop the story. Your story really is something that’s in a constant state of evolution, so allow yourself the creative flexibility to change your mind and explore new ideas throughout the writing process. After you do some brainstorming, the setting, time period and genre of your story should start to become more clear, but you might want to ask yourself if changing any of these details could make your story more interesting, or help it stand out more.

So for example, what if you changed your setting to Japan instead of America? Or how about setting your story in the 18th century instead of the 21st? Or what if you turned it into a fantasy instead of historical fiction? Consider different options before you make your final decision.

Now before you get too far, you’re going to want to figure out just who it is you’re writing for. Is this story for adults, teens, children? Do you want to appeal to a certain demographic, like military families, or single moms? Your audience is going to affect how you approach the story, so it’s good to know who they are before you start writing.

When you have a specific audience in mind it also helps you feel like you’re writing for someone and not just writing into the void, hoping someone out there somewhere might be interested in your story. This is also going to help make your book easier to market which will make you more appealing to agents and publishers.

So in short, it’s easier to write a story for an audience rather than trying to find an audience for your story. So now that you have some basics taken care of it’s time to start going into more depth. This is where you’ll start getting to know your main characters your villain and your secondary characters.

Start thinking about who these people are, what they’re like, what happened in their past and, most importantly, what they want. You need to figure out the goals of both your hero and your villain. Your hero’s goal is basically the focus of the story, and the villain’s goal creates opposition and conflict.

So for example, in the Lord of the Rings Frodo’s goal is to destroy the One Ring while Sauron’s goal is to steal it back. Once you know what your hero wants and what’s standing in his way, it makes it a lot easier to start outlining your novel. But before you start outlining, you need to decide on your story’s point of view.

Are you going to tell this story in first person or third person? Will you follow one character or split the story up between the points of view of two or three characters? Ask yourself what will work best to tell this story. Now you don’t have to decide right away and you can always change your mind later, but it’s definitely something that you want to be considering as you work on developing your characters and plot.

Once you’ve figured out the goal of your hero and villain, you can start outlining your plot. Basically, a story is all about the journey a hero goes on to achieve a goal, so without one it’s going to be really hard to plot your story. The beginning of a story introduces the hero and their goal.

The middle is filled with the obstacles the hero faces as he tries to achieve that goal, and the end reveals whether or not the hero succeeds or fails. Personally, I prefer to plan out my plot in as much detail as possible before I start writing, but this doesn’t mean that everything in our outline is set in stone.

As I continue to develop my story, and even after I’ve begun writing, I might decide to change things. Sometimes, I’ll find an idea that works better than something in my original outline, or I might discover that what I had originally planned won’t work, or that there’s a plot hole. Basically, I don’t want you to get hung up on getting your plot outline perfect.

Think of your outline like a rough draft and stay flexible. Like I said before, I always view story as something that’s constantly evolving throughout the writing process, until I have a final draft I’m happy with. So now that you know more about your plot and characters, and can see what shape the story is beginning to take, it’s a good idea to start doing some market research.

This means researching if there are any books already out there that might be similar to your story. So for example, if you’re writing a Cinderella re-telling, you’ll want to look at other authors who have done the same. Or if you’re writing a steampunk story, you’ll want to look into other steampunk books.

First, you want to read some of these books, so you can see what’s already been done, so you can avoid cliches or similarities. This will help you write a story that stands out, even if there are similar ones out there.

Second you want to read the reviews of these books and take note of what the readers liked and didn’t like. That way you can avoid any mistakes the author might have made. Once you’ve finished your research, you’ll need to look back over your plot outline and possibly make some changes based on what you’ve learned.

So for example, if you find that stuff several of the Cinderella re-tellings you read follow the same basic story-line, you might want to add a plot twist or two to yours, to help it stand out. Next you’ll need to start developing your setting. Think about the key locations where the story will take place and flush them out with details to make them feel real and interesting.

So for example in the Harry Potter series you have lots of memorable settings like Hogwarts,and platform 9 and 3/4. If you’re writing a fantasy story you’ll need to build a believable world from scratch and if you’re writing a story set somewhere you’ve never been ordering historical time period you’ll need to do research.

Even though for fantasy you make most things up, you still might need to do some research on things you’re not familiar with, like swords and bows, or castle life. This is also the point in the writing process where I start researching anything else I might need to know about, like police procedures, mountain climbing, the Italian mafia or whatever else might play a role in my story.

Once you’ve finished developing your setting and doing all your research, you might need to tweak your plot outline again. I found that when I start diving into my story’s world I usually end up getting more ideas which I then add into the outline. Sometimes
my research will make me realize that what I had originally planned isn’t going to work so we’ll need to make changes to the outline.

One last thing you need to do before you start writing is to decide on a theme for your story. Some writers might do this at the beginning stages of the writing process but for me it’s easier to weave in a theme once I’m more familiar with my plot and characters. I like to look at the conflicts in my story, whether it’s a conflict between characters, an internal conflict within the hero, or conflict within the society and then see what themes are might be able to draw from there.

A theme is basically like a theory you set out to prove or disprove with your story. It adds more depth of meaning and it’s shown through the actions of the characters in the plot. A theme usually explores or reveals something about the human experience. Think about what you might want to say about humanity in your story and how you could say it through your characters, then adjust your plot outline to show your theme.

After doing all that prep work you’re finally ready to actually start writing your story. I know it might be tempting to just skip ahead to this step, but trust me writing your first draft is so much easier and goes so much faster, and you’ve got all of those details taken care of. You know where you’re going.

When you write your rough draft, you want to focus on getting the story out of your head onto the page so you can mold it into something beautiful later. Give yourself permission to write crap but don’t beat yourself up about it. It’s easy to feel like a crappy writer when you’re writing crap, but you have to remember that the first draft is supposed to be terrible.

After you’ve gotten your story laid out on the page you can start editing and working some magic. In your second draft, you’ll want to focus on fixing any major issues, like plot holes, details that need more research, or scenes that may need to be altered or rearranged. Once you’ve got all that hammered out, you can then focus on smaller details, like dialogue, character descriptions and more choice.

In your additional drafts, you’ll probably end up with at least three drafts, and my average is usually three or four, but it’s not uncommon for a writer to have more. It all depends on how many drafts it takes to get a story you’re happy with, and feel good about.

After you’ve finished editing, it’s a good idea to let someone else read your story before you release it into the world. Preferably somebody beside your mom. I highly recommend asking other writers to read your story and give you feedback, even though it can be terrifying. I know I was nervous about letting my beta readers read my story, but the feedback I received was so valuable.

Beta readers can help you point out your story strengths and weaknesses, which means you’ll end up with an even better story than what you originally started with. Addressing any issues early on is going to help you increase your chances of getting published and also raise the odds of readers enjoying your book.

Once you’ve finished revising your final draft with your beta readers feedback, it’s time to begin the publication process. If you want to be published traditionally, this means looking for literary agents and sending out query letters or if you decide to self publish you’ll need to look into a publication platform like Amazon’s Kindle direct publishing.

For self-publishing you’ll also need a hire an editor and cover designer format your book for print and create a marketing plan and that’s it. Once your book is in your reader’s hands there’s nothing left to do except sit back and catch your breath.

As you can see, there’s a lot of work involved with writing a story. This entire process can take anywhere from months to years. It might seem overwhelming at first but I promise the more books you write and the more familiar you become with how this all works, the easier it becomes.

It may still take forever but you do get better at it, and if you have the driving passion for writing that I think you do, you won’t be able to stop yourself from doing it over and over again. Don’t forget to grab your free checklist of this process and the link below the video and also if you would like a more in-depth look into what goes into a story like plot, and character, and how a story works, I have a free ebook to help you with that as well.

It’s called ‘Writing 101’ and it includes over 100 pages of information and exercises to help new writers master the basics of writing a novel if you’d like to download a free copy of the ebook just click link below the video thank you so much for watching and good luck with planning your first novel.

They have their own objectives. They have their own dreams they have their own ambitions, their own needs. They’re just trying to be for themselves and what they’re doing and everything that pushes the plot to its conclusion is the dynamics that will create very convincing characters.

Again, working with your story outside of just writing it. If you can, have a piece of paper and draw lines marking out when and in the story certain important things happen with each plot.

When exactly the conclusion happens. What is the transformation at the beginning of each plot? What is the status quo and at the end what has changed? How is it how are things no longer what they were before?

Caitlin Ink and Quills PDF Download