Tips for Writing a Book

Writing a book can be a labor of love.
Writing a book can be a labor of love. (Image: book image by Pali A from

Some people will tell you anyone can write a book. You may even have a teacher or an editor or a self-publishing guru tell you that you can write a book. But the reality is that telling you that you can write a book and telling you how to write a book are two entirely different things. Find out what it takes to start the process, outline the book and complete the project.

Things You'll Need

  • Small notebook
  • Pen
  • Word-processing software

Decide what you want to write about. Determine if you want to write fiction or non-fiction, and choose a topic. Be willing to spend time doing research.

Create an outline of what you intend to write. The more details you add to your outline, the easier it will be later. Ideas disappear over time and you may be unable to remember that great idea you wanted to incorporate into your book. For fiction, use stages of the storyline as chapter headings. List your characters and how they relate to one another in your outline. Insert them under the chapter headings where they will first enter your storyline. For short stories, list title possibilities with notes regarding your story ideas. List titles for poems in the same manner. For non-fiction, create an outline by creating chapter titles. Correspond the titles to what you want to say about your topic. Add notes that will help you return to your thoughts easily when you begin to write.

Set aside time to write. Use a specific block of time to write every day or write when you can fit it in or when you feel creative. Consciously decide when and how you will write.

Make notes about your book as they occur to you or as you do your research. Interesting thoughts may not occur to you when you sit down to write; they may occur to you randomly throughout your day. Incorporate your notes into your work when you sit down to write again.

Work through your outline until you have completed your book's first draft. Proofread your book from start to finish and make corrections and changes. Ask someone you trust to proofread your book.

Tips & Warnings

  • Document all references you use and give them proper credit.

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