Starting Your Book

For my entire life, I’ve played with story ideas in my head. Creating adventures and designing foreign lands and creatures. Fiction inspired by real moments in my life. But how could I ever share my stories? My worst subjects in school were Spelling, English and Vocabulary. Learning to write seemed like learning another language. As if my thoughts needed to be translated to paper.

I began telling family and some of my closest friends some of the stories that bounced around in my head and was advised to write them. I thought to myself, “Someday I’ll try to write these down.” But it took me six years before the ink from my pen stretched words across my first page.

Why did it take me so long to start? Lack of confidence and fear.

Was my writing good enough for a book?

Are my stories as good as I think they are?

What if I’m not successful?

What if I devote my days and energy putting a part of myself on paper and nobody likes it?

But then one day I realized, the only difference between me and published authors is they started writing. That’s it! Every writer fears rejection to some extent. You feel if your best writing creation flops, you have been rejected as a person, as writing is merely a reflection of the author.

My advice, get over yourself. Toughen up. If you never try than you’ll never know. Some of the greatest authors in history were rejected a few times before they became super rich and popular. You don’t have to do this alone. I’m going to give you a few tips to help get you started with your book.

  1. Start! The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
  2. Map out your idea. This is like building framework to a house before you start getting too creative and picking out what color carpets you will have. Just a few lines of “this happens then that happens.” Don’t be too detailed.
    • For Example:
      -Hero meets girl
      -Hero and girl become friends, slight romantic tension between them
      -Girl goes missing
      -Hero goes to girls house finding it ransacked
      -Hero follows leads to find girl
      -Hero gets attacked by “thugs” and wins fight
      -Hero interrogates “thugs” learning where girl is and warned about villain
      -(plot twist) Hero finds girl is the villain
      -Hero gets captured
      -Hero escapes with evidence of girls crimes
      -Villain is arrested
  3. Name the characters in your mapped-out timeline. If you have ideas for your book you don’t want to forget you can add notes into your timeline.
  4. Chapter 1. Where every book starts. Just start writing. WARNING! DO NOT READ WHAT YOU ARE WRITING AT LEAST UNTIL THE CHAPTER IS COMPLETE! If you read every sentence you write, you are thinking way too hard and you’re not letting the story flow.
  5. Move on to Chapter 2. After finishing Chapter 1, you may read over it and even do some light editing but don’t worry too much about it.
  6. Finish book, then edit the crap out of it. Show it to a variety of different people for their opinions. Most people will be able to spot the same errors and holes in the story. Don’t worry if you get some conflicting advice, it’s still your book. Nothing has to change unless you want it to.
  7. Publish it.

I hope this was helpful. I look forward to reading your book in the near future.

-Johnny

4 thoughts on “Starting Your Book

  1. Some great advice here. My biggest challenge was to start putting my work out there for people to read. I was worried about criticism. But, now that I’ve started, I feel like there’s no stopping me. I enjoyed the line ‘Get over yourself, toughen up’, I completely agree. Great post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for commenting. Yeah I was noticeably shaking the first time I told someone what my story was about. I’m not the shaky type but for some reason it terrified me. But once you get passed it nothing can really hold you back.

      How long have you been writing? What genre?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome. I understand that completely. I’ve been writing for little over a year. I’ve only just started putting my work out these past two months. I write sci-fi, horror and fantasy, mainly. I do like to try other genres too though, to be as diverse as possible. How long have you been writing and what genre? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. We seem to be fairly likeminded. Most of my writing is sci-fi or fantasy as well. However, I haven’t written any horror because…it terrifies me. I’ve been writing for just over a year. I’m only one chapter away from completing my book and starting the editing process.
    Are you planning on publishing?

    Like

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