How You Should Write Your Book
Although I am no expert, I have two methods with which I use to write my books. The first is to structure the book into small manageable chunks that I can write without getting overwhelmed and the second is to do multiple versions of a book, each time getting closer and closer to the point where I am happy to publish. I will give you a more detailed idea of how you can use these methods to write your own book.
- Method 1 - Breaking Your book down into sections
- First, I start off by creating a Table of Contents which holds the chapter headings for every chapter. Underneath the chapter headings I write a brief explanation of what will happen in this chapter, what effect I want to have on the reader and how it will lead into the next chapter. Then I write down a number of sub-headings for each chapter that will guide the story from one point to the next with each sub-heading having its own story. I then write out the story for each sub-heading making note of the ideas and main points that I would want to talk about in that particular chapter. By doing this I can then see how the main points of the story develop over all of the chapters. I can then insert sub-plots and side-stories into sections of the book where I would want to deviate from the main story a little giving me an overall idea of what the book will look like when it is complete.
At this point I can look over my chapter plan and make any refinements that I deem necessary or as the case often is add-in extra ideas that I come up with at random times later on. I use Microsoft OneNote to write down every good idea that I have and each of the books that I am writing, of which there are nine currently, has a section of a page in OneNote. Whenever I come up with an idea for anything I am doing, not just my books, I put it in OneNote, even if I wake up in the middle of the night I have OneNote on my phone beside my bed and I can quickly write down what I thought of. So it is important to somehow have a way of writing down your ideas whenever you have them. These ideas can then be incorporated into your book whenever you have time at a later date.
The good thing about this method is there is no limit to the creation of smaller and smaller sub-sections that you can create. My basic rule of thumb is that I like to do a page a day of at least one of my books but mostly I try to do more. This means that after a year you will have another book written depending on its size. This method is therefore a good way of spreading out the work in such a way that you are not overwhelmed with what you are doing and to me it makes a big difference to have a plan in front of me with the story laid out step by step so I would definitely recommend this method to anyone taking on the writing challenge.
- Method 2 - Multiple Versions
- The second method is a little different. Here I work in stages. In stage one I write out a Table of Contents for the entire book listing all of the chapter headings. In stage two I write down ideas that describe everything that I want to be in each chapter so, for example, in the case of my autobiography I write down all my memories relating to the time period that the chapter talks about and I also write down beside this the ideas I want to discuss about those memories. In stage three I start a new Word document for each chapter and I join all the ideas together in chronological order or whatever order I want to talk about them. Since it is my autobiography I want them to occur in the book in the same order that they occurred in real life, this may not be the case for another book but for my autobiography it is relevant. In stage four I begin to write the story but I don't really bother where exactly I am going, I simply begin to weave the story together in a coherent way that reads well and sounds good. At this point I am not yet thinking about how the finished book will sound I am just experimenting with the story to see where it will lead and what good ideas may come out of my writing as it happens. This method takes time since you basically write multiple versions of your book but I find that you can come up with some excellent ideas as you write and rewrite each chapter. In the next stages you rewrite each chapter until you get them to the point where you are happy with them and you can continue to rewrite certain chapters if you find that they don't come out as you had hoped. As I say this method can take its time but it is very effective in getting your book to point where it reads and sounds good. The good thing about this method is you don't do too much at one time, in each stage you have a particular aim but you are also leaving a lot to the next stages so it cuts down what you have to be concentrating on which makes it a little easier at each stage.
- Whatever way you decide to write you book my main bit of advice is two-fold. One, break the book down into manageable chunks that you can work on without it being overwhelming and secondly try to do a page a day, this might take as little as an hour leaving you plenty of time to do the rest of your life and if you can do more on certain days then that only serves to help you get to the finish line. Whatever process you undertake don't give up and persevere and you will be successful.