How do I start a book? As a a course in miracles authors writer myself, I suggest below some dos and don’ts to help you avoid the headaches I used to put up with.
Tip 1. Make some brutal decisions. They will help you identify the kind of book to write. Plump for fiction or non-fiction. Immediately you have eliminated thousands of categories. Continue this exercise until it bores you. Identify the sort of book to write.
Tip 2. Passion. The more latent passion you have about the subject matter the better. It will come to the surface as you write. Passion is hard to fake.
Tip 3. Find a theme that expresses your passion. An example. You are worried about the elderly. A theme could be, how cruel we are to their needs. Another example. You like birds. One theme could be, ‘Robins are not just for Christmas’. Play with these ideas and you will come up with themes to alight on.
Tip 4. Think about your readers. Will they be seeking thrills, information, or something else entirely? Will they be academics, professionals, children or adults?
Tip 5. You now have focus. But the title escapes you. Your book is difficult to encapsulate. Give your book a preliminary title and when the book’s first draft is completed you can return and solve it quickly. Your brain will know how to summarise all the work you’ve put it through.
Tip 6. Have a skeleton structure in place for the book. A series of headings will do: death in the park – vicar finds body and accuses bishop, reporter blackmails organist; or – slugs eat lettuces, the life cycle of slugs, things they hate, poisons that kill, ways to keep them at bay…. If you enjoy planning, then you can spin out this stage. But a word of caution: it’s easy to become so devoted to the planning that you never get round to the writing. This needs to start. So, let’s hit the keyboard.
Tip 7. The first sentences. Critical to get these spot on… but not on day one. Most writers are dissatisfied with their first attempts at giving their books a flying start and know that, once the manuscript is completed they can return and polish or rewrite.
Don’t be distressed if your first book isn’t a world beater. Few are. But you will have written a book, had enormous fun self-editing it, and in so doing learnt a lot about the craft of book writing. Your next book will be even better. And if you are anxious to become a published writer, then ebooks could be your initial route to fame. Your book could be available online in days for the world to enjoy.
An excellent 2012 guide for aspiring writers has recently been published on the Amazon Kindle Store entitled. In ‘How to Write a Book or Novel – An Insider’s Guide to Getting Published’ you will find up to date information to help you get published, or self-publish, in either ebook or printed versions. Jonathan Veale’s WriteAway website helps aspiring writers who help themselves. Now this latest 2012 guide for writers provides tips and advice that only an insider could know. You could be dipping into this expertise in seconds.