About 81% of the world’s population wish to write a book someday, but only 1% get to actually writing it. And the only justifiable reason for this is that the actual process of writing a book isn’t exactly as easy as thought.
For starters, before you even reel over the idea, it’s crucial to make sure your writing skills are up to snuff. Also, you have to come to term with the fact that you’re going to write several drafts of the book, and polishing them several times in order to come up with an interesting copy that you’ll be presenting to the whole world to read.
Even more crucial is the fact that the first draft of the book is certainly going to suck. In which case, you’ll be required to keep rewriting it — but still with no guarantee on whether you’re going to like the final copy.
That aside, as an absolute beginner, here’s a simplified step by step guide on how to write your first book:
The Research Phase
The first step to writing a quality book is dedicating an ample amount of your valuable time to researching about the content you’ll be writing about. It’s important that you take some serious notes while at it for reference purposes.
The need to research on what you plan to write about will, for the most part, depend on the subject of the book. Most writers start by reading a lot on the subject; you might want to take a cue from them and consider doing the same on your part.
And while at it, jot down any valuable piece of information that you come across, and figure out how to knit it into the content of your book.
Flesh Up Your Idea
Jot down a one-line summary of the idea that you plan to write about. You can proceed by answering a series of questions along the lines of:
What exactly are you planning to talk about in the book?
What’s your frame or world-view regarding the subject?
What’s your philosophy in life?
Whether you’re writing a fictional book or self-help motivational book, there must be that one thing that you believe in as a person, and which will be shaping up the direction you take while writing the book. Make a point to know what it is before getting to actual writing.
Create a Mind Map
This is basically a brain dump of all the things you plan to include in your book. Revisit the one-liner summary of the book you came up with earlier and circle it, branching ideas off it until you’re finally able to come up with different subject lines that you’ll be covering in the book.
Some of the ideas you come up with will end up forming the chapters and subchapters of your book. But at this point, it’s important NOT to overthink them, but to scour around for enough meat so you can know the direction to take when you finally decide to sit down and write the book.
Create an Outline
After creating a mind map of the book, the next thing you do is formulate an outline around it.
The easiest way to do this is to revisit your mind map and regroup similar topics together. And while at it, you should be able to notice a pattern that you can use to determine the chapter and sub-chapters to follow while writing the book.
Write the First Draft
Once you’ve written the outline, the next thing you do is write the first draft of the book. This shouldn’t be any hard if at all you came up with a well-structured outline.
The point is to just write. Don’t reread what you have written, but continue writing as words and ideas flow-by.
Even more important is to concentrate while writing. You don’t want to be distracted while at it and miss out on important points as they come.
Read Your Book Loud
This is the first editing phase, and which demands that you read the content of the book aloud as you edit them to correct on careless grammar issues while expounding on some of the points you’ve written.
There’s no limit as to the number of times you need to edit the book before it’s finally done. But after reading it through and polishing on some of the common grammar mistakes you might have made, the next thing you do is read through the entire book, sentence-by-sentence, to make sure that every single one of the sentence you used in the book carries enough weight, in addition to being well-structured and grammatically correct.