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So, You Want to Write a Book Part I: The First Draft

I am so excited to introduce my “So, You Want to Write a Book” 5 part blog series! I get messages all the time from people who have a goal of writing a book and don’t know where to start. Truthfully, I didn’t either and I sometimes feel as if I’m still learning! Though there are so many pieces to writing a book and different ways of doing things, I am going to be sharing 5 important steps and how they worked for me. Be sure to subscribe now so you can receive each part of the series in your inbox every Monday morning. Let’s get started!

So, You Want to Write a Book: Part I

Decide what you want to write about

The very first piece to the book writing puzzle is simple –figure out what you want to write about. Narrow down your choices by asking yourself a few of these questions.

1. What type of book do I want to write? i.e. fiction, non-fiction, full length novel, novella, poetry etc.

2. What am I passionate about? Romance, history, science fiction, vampires, real life lessons, celebrity gossip, mystery

3. Who am I trying to reach? Adults, teens, children

4. What do I want to say?

5. What message am I trying to get across?

6. What do I want people to get out of the story?

Once you’ve answered a few of your own questions and narrowed it down, the next step is easy!

Start Writing

Now, here is something that will absolutely vary with each author and that is the structure in which you will write. Some authors outline their novel from beginning to end. Others write as they go. I classify myself as other. I have never written an outline for any of my 4 novels. Once I figure out what I want to write about, I focus on the climax. What is the big WOW moment in my novel? Where does the story all come to a boiling point? That’s always the part I write first and then I build everything around it.

Starting from the beginning, I build up to the climax, but sometimes while I’m writing, a scene or quote for later on in my story pops up and I go with it. It doesn’t matter that it may be long after the scene I’m currently writing, I write it anyway. I can always go back and close the gaps, but that idea may be long gone if I wait until I get to that point in the story.

This brings me to my next piece of advice…

Don’t go back and edit

You will have plenty of time for that, trust me. You will be editing so much it will feel like your eyes are falling out. No matter how much you want to go back and change something, DON’T DO IT! Keep writing. Keep the story going. The first draft isn’t meant to be fabulous, it’s just meant to be finished.

Your story is going to change with each draft. If I were to hand you the first draft of Tear Stained Beaches, you would be astonished at how completely different it is from the final product. To be honest, it kind of sucked. It was boring and unemotional. The words didn’t portray the emotions I was trying to get out, but that first draft was the foundation in which I built on. Don’t destroy your foundation, have patience, what you create upon that foundation will be magical.

Enjoy the journey

Sometimes when I reread my novels, I cry. So many hours will go into this novel you plan to write. The emotions you will experience as you type are ones a select few will experience in life. Your soul bleeds into every single word. Your eyes will hurt, your heart will break and you will drive yourself crazy wondering if it’s enough, but let me tell you something, when you hold that very first printed copy in your hands, it will all be worth it. Enjoy the entire journey from start to finish, because it is that journey that makes you a writer!

Subscribe to my blog today so you don’t miss out on Part II: Finding the Right Beta Readers! What are Beta Readers? Why do we need them and how do we find them? I’ll be answering it all!