You’ve done the hard work, you’ve outlined your book, you’ve toiled over the right message, and now the fun work truly begins. It’s time to write your book.
In today’s episode, we’re finishing out the How to Write a Book The Right Way series with a topic about the process I use to actually write my books. I’m also going to show you what I do to edit before handing it off to an editor.
1. Write a page description of everything you want to include in each chapter.
Take your outline, find your next chapter, and write a 250-word detailed page. This page will serve as a catalyst when you begin to write your chapter. Make sure to include everything you want in this chapter, your outline should already help you with most of this. I use a yellow legal pad to begin this process.
I write a shortened version of the chapter, include dialogue, and write as if it’s a full-length chapter. Think of it as a Reader’s Digest version of the book. Each chapter gets its own page.
2. Write your first draft.
Now that you spent the time to write out a page description of each chapter, the act of actually writing your chapter begins. Writing your chapter can take as little as a couple of hours, to a few days. It all depends on how easily the words flow. But the goal is to keep moving forward chapter to chapter and just knock out that first draft.
I encourage every writer to not go back and edit anything that they’ve written prior. Your goal is to actually get the book written and to not edit as you write. Don’t worry about sentence structure. Don’t worry about writing mistakes. The main goal is to just put it on the page.
3. Rewrite your book several times.
Ernest Hemingway says the *first draft of anything is s*** (crap). This is why there are so many poorly written books on Amazon today. Everybody puts their first draft into an ebook and publish.
Your goal is to rewrite your manuscript numerous times. Rewriting your work is key to good writing. This is something I have found to be true in my own life. The more I fix the mistakes the better the work becomes.
So how do you rewrite your work?
- Print out your manuscript, and highlight all bad grammatical mistakes. Then correct them and tighten your prose in the process.
- Print out your manuscript again. Now begin looking at where you can tighten up your work. What paragraphs don’t work, what sentences are confusing, and how can you make your point even clearer with fewer words or more words.
- Print out your manuscript a third time. This time highlight all adverbs and adjectives and ask yourself, do I really need these? Stephen King says avoid adjectives and adverbs at all cost unless they are absolutely necessary.
- Each time you go through the manuscript, do everything you can to tighten up your work and make it better.
4. Give your book to an editor.
Most people don’t like to have their work edited or critiqued. It feels wrong and it makes it seem you don’t know how to do your job as a writer. I’ve heard writers say editors are for those who can’t write. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Stephen King’s said in an interview, the more famous he becomes the more he relies on his editors. Editor’s or your friend and they will make your book sing.
5. Give your book to either a proofreader and/or beta testers.
You want to make sure that people actually enjoy your book, catch any other mistakes that you may have missed or your editor may have missed, and tell you what they think of it. Your readers may say they don’t like the ending and you may have to rewrite your ending. But the goal is to get people to enjoy your book so that when it’s time for pre-orders you have people who are willing to do reviews to kick off your book the right way.
If you follow through on these five things, you’ll be sure to have a book you can be proud to know you write that sucker. Now go and write the book of your dreams. If you’ve missed any of this series… check out episodes 112, 113, and 114.
Question: Where do you struggle in getting your book written? How can I help you? Leave a comment by clicking here!
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