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How can I get help writing a book? 7 tips

Writer's Digest Magazine

❶To begin with, Giovanni is ten years younger than I am, and — like most Italian guys in their twenties — he still lives with his mother.

2. Get a writing coach

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“I Want to Write a Book.”
1. Join a writing group or community

When does it take place? This is one of those decision points you will come to right away. Say it actually takes place now, which leads to the next question, "How now? To move right along, lay out the beginning scenario: Your main character finds a journal—his grandfather's journal from WWII. This is a revelation, because Grandpa never made it home from the war, but nobody knows what happened.

Perhaps, in this journal, your hero will uncover the answer. You now have several key questions answered, right out of the gate: You don't know "why," yet. That is one of the things you must discover. Again, this must be uncovered through asking yourself questions.

Start with the obvious. In this case, you have already created two characters—a young man and his grandfather. You can determine characteristics of both simply by the setting, and expand your characters in the process. Grandfather would likely have been married, so there would be a grandmother in the picture.

There's a generation between grandpa and the young man, so there would be one of his parents who is also Grandpa's son or daughter. See how easy that is? Continue along in this fashion, extending from one character to all the others that they may interact with. Before long, it's possible that you'll have too many characters and interactions. This is good, especially in a mystery. You may have need of "red shirts," like the hapless, disposable ensigns from the original Star Trek!

In the process of developing your characters, you will likely ask yourself the same question your readers will soon be asking: Use these questions to develop the story. You know, for your story, that the young man wants to find out what happened to Grandpa. Since all he has is the journal to go on, he reads it, and discovers Grandpa's story that lead him from his small town in Kentucky and his pregnant wife grandma!

He never makes it home. Knowing these things, you see questions and a pattern emerge: Events take place in "today's" time, and also during WWII: As the journal is read, the date is As the grandson explores, it's today.

To add some action to the mystery, the young man must do something. Since Grandpa isn't coming home, send the young man to Germany to find him—dead or alive. Where was Grandma in all this? Continue along this process of creating the arc, but at this point you could even hazard a tentative ending: Then all you need to do is write down everything in the middle!

Now that you've created the basic story minus all the words , sketch your outline as a timeline, with each character's milestone events laid out on their own line. There will be times when two or more characters intersect, and where some disappear altogether. Just draw a line where those events happen. This too will give you something to kickstart your muse when she falters. If you find your plot goes nowhere, and nothing you can do will help it—back up to where it last made sense, and try something else.

Your story is not required to do anything you tell it to do in the outline. Sometimes, the story has other ideas where it wants to go. Wherever you are in the process, the muse may beckon you elsewhere. Follow her—this is part of the joy of writing. Write out the name of each chapter for your book and decide what you're going to put into it, that way you'll always know where you're going with the story. Writing about your characters at the start, too, can be helpful down the road.

You can use bullet points. Know the elements of a good novel. If you want to be a successful writer, think twice about taking creative writing as a course in college unless you've already done so ; instead, take English Literature.

You have to know how to read with discernment and a critical eye before you write anything. Sentence structure, character distinction, plot formation, and character personality development all fall into place if you know how to read critically before you write.

The setting of a book is the time, place, and circumstances in which a story takes place. You don't need state this outright, of course. Like a painter might do, you create a picture in the mind of your reader by painting around the subject. Write out your plot. This will give you a starting point to anchor your story. Nothing fancy, just a general idea of what goes on. Halfway through the book, look over the original plot you wrote down.

It'll be amazing how your perception of your book may have changed. You can change your book to match the original plot or scrap the plot and go with what you've written.

You could even integrate and mix the two——whatever you want. Remember this is your book! This is the best part. If you're having trouble starting, skip to the conflict of the story, and go from there.

Once you feel comfortable with your writing, you can add the setting. You'll probably change loads of things in the story, because the great thing about writing a book is you can let your imagination run wild. The only thing you have to remember is that you have to enjoy the process, or your book will probably end up in a cylindrical metal container flecked with deep brick-colored oxidation and peeling shards of turquoise latex pigment namely, a rusty old trash bin.

Remember that your notebook should only be used for planning! It is best to type up your story so you can create multiple copies of it, easily remove mistakes, and pitch it to publishers. Pick something you know, or want to know—about. Your nonfiction book could be information about a place where the reader might be vacationing, or information on a place in general.

It could be about today's society, or a contemporary or historical leader or person of interest. The only caveat for true non-fiction is that it be factual. As much as they may know, every expert has at least one new thing to learn! You can never know too much about a subject. If you are having trouble or reach a stumbling block, try these things: Sometimes it will take a bit of digging to narrow things down, but let the search engines of the world help you in your knowledge quest.

Follow not just the main articles, but the referenced articles as well. Leave questions on forums and other places in case anyone can help you resolve them. Read another non-fiction book about, or related to your subject.

The author may see things from a different perspective, and may have some information you were not aware of, which you will duly confirm from an independent source before including it in your story, right?

There is likely an expert in the field who has made it their life's work to know everything about the topic you're writing on. Seek them out, honor their time, and ask them if there is something that might be unique and interesting about your subject. Yes, it's a boring job, but somebody's got to do it. It might as well be you, as you gather all the information you need for your book. The books that don't get published are the ones that are poorly organized.

For example, don't talk about good places to fish and good beaches in Europe in the same chapter. For more information, consult the Related wikiHows below. Add copious descriptive details. No one wants to read a boring book! Good books are enriched with details and color. Write constantly—whether it's your story, or just a thought or an observation.

The more you do it, the better you'll get. It doesn't have to be perfect, it doesn't have to read how you want it to initially——what matters most is getting it out.

There will be plenty of time to review the approaches to writing taken later. Keep asking questions of your motives, your story, and your characters. Everything and everyone in your novel should have a reason for being there—saying the leaves are green shows the readers it's spring or summer.

Saying the character had a three-day beard shows that he's under duress of some sort or he's a Hollywood actor. Every character has a motivation for what they do, so ask "them" as you write. Take breaks to get back some perspective. Writing improves with distance. On returning to it, you'll often see what works and doesn't work in your written piece, whereas trying to perceive this when you're stuck in the middle of it is a lot harder.

Set aside a chapter for a week and come back to it later, refreshed and with new eyes. If you get writer's block, stop writing for a few days or so, and listen to some calming music to clear your head.

Find opinions other than your own. Let other people read your book's manuscript. They can give you valuable feedback, and perhaps even help you as you continue to write.

Ditch what doesn't work. Unsurprisingly, there will be plenty that doesn't work. Don't be afraid to delete characters, plots and anything else from your book if it isn't working. Equally, don't be afraid to add new elements and characters that seem to bridge gaps and give sense to what you're writing. In the case of non-fiction, never be afraid to find more facts to back up your statements!

Remember that many authors fail at many drafts before they find an actual idea that's good enough to stick with. Take Veronica Roth, author of the Divergent trilogy. She says in her blog that it took her at least 48 tries to find an idea to stick with, and that was in college!

Write what you know. This old saying can either work for you or not. It's good to not need to do a whole bunch of research before writing, but a little doesn't hurt. Also, it's a good exercise: Writing new things could help unearth an idea!

Try to make your mind churn out ideas all the time, so you never have an excuse not to write. If you get sick of writing, and just come to a stop, take a break and re-connect with the world outside, where you get some ideas from.

Or try free-form writing-just write, no edits, no erasing "because it sounds bad" just write, write and write, - even if they are scattered scenes, rhymes, or two words.

It can be the author, publisher, a friend, or someone paid to make it. The important thing is that it looks appealing and makes the book marketable. Not Helpful 11 Helpful I am having trouble naming a chapter in my novel. How do I deal with it? Get a friend or family member to read the chapter and ask what they think would be a good name for the chapter. What significant thing happens in the chapter? Is there any small line of the chapter you particularly love that you might be able to turn into a chapter title?

Not Helpful 15 Helpful Plan out ahead of time what the story will be for each book. Make sure the series is going somewhere. Like in Harry Potter, the story keeps on building until the showdown between Voldemort and Harry. Not Helpful 13 Helpful Write the book first, then an idea might pop up. Make sure it connects to the story, for example, don't give a romance title to a horror book. What do I do if I have an idea and someone else thinks I'm copying off a book I've never heard of?

Keep notes of your brainstorming and workings, so that if you ever really had to, you can show the inner workings of how you go to the story. The reality is that humanity builds upon the stories, legends and histories we are all taught from a young age, along with cultural tales intended to keep us acculturated.

This tends to seep in deeply, so there are bound to be similarities in many stories we tell, it is only when we deliberately copy another writer's exact plot, characters and motivations that originality gets breached. If it does happen, get a lawyer well versed in intellectual property and don't be bullied by people who make more noise than offering proof.

Not Helpful 18 Helpful How do I decide what to write about? I know what type of book I want to write, but I'm having trouble coming up with a plot. If you propose that your book idea will be competing against 5 books that were all written in the mid s, that tells the publisher that your idea is dead, otherwise someone would have written about it in the past 15 years! This is where it starts to get serious, and we find out if you really want to write a book, or if you are just toying with the idea.

This is another good test to prepare you for the process. And writing those chapters will give you a great idea of how long it will take you to write the entire book. For example, if it takes you 3 months to write the first chapter, that could be a big red flag. This is where you want to mention any speaking you will be doing on this topic over the next year, as well as your online profile, your following.

If you can get a suitable deal with one of them, fine. I could not, and decided to go with an agent. The huge immediate benefit is that you get access to several dozen publishers and these are publishers that the agent works with regularly. The agent can also look over any contract you are offered, and help you with the terms.

For me, while a bit disappointing, this was also a big help. Because most of the publishers would explain WHY they turned down the book. As long as they explain WHY they are saying no, that gives you something to work with when you send it off to the next publisher. I should have been more clear here, your advance is against the money you will make from royalties on the book. Thanks to Andrew and Don for the clarifications. Before you email me asking how you can get your book idea published or leave a comment here asking the same, read this post.

This is the best advice I can give you on how to get a book deal. Let me be perfectly clear: I am not an agent, I am not a publisher. So I am not the person to be emailing about your book idea because all the help I can give you is in this post. Thank you for creating this very helpful collection of tips for someone looking to get their first book published. I get a ton of emails asking me about this each week and will direct them here. I would like to add that some of your readers might consider self-publishing.

And in the end they will be a published author! Hi I have pre written ideas for a book who would I contact in Australia as in a draft copy concept. Without sharing too much. I would be very interested in speaking with you and share what I am working on. I am truly sorry for your loss. I am literally in tears right now.

I could not imagine losing my daughter. I could not imagine my mother losing me and my daughter to the hand of anyone let alone my husband. This is just terrible I will never understand even in a situation where someone was leaving me how you could do this to your own children, to your other half. It will never make sense to me and I do wish the best to you, and the most unimaginable fatality to the son in low.

May he never rest in peace. My name is Ashlee , I always wanted to write all my life. I seen you said to start a blog first. How do you go by doing that? What I need to know is? How many chapters to write a successful book, also I probably got the money to start off.

Hi, I’m Jeff. Can I send you something?

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Oct 22,  · If you’re a small organization, a book can help you compete with the big players. If you’re in a crowded field, a book can help you stand out. And so on. I believe all of these reasons are good ones to write a book. A combination of several reasons makes even more compelling an argument.

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Get help writing a book! If you've ever said to yourself, "I want to write a book," now you can get help writing a book and you can become an author. Business book? Personal story that must be told? Family history? Get in touch.

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Here you’ll find guidelines, advice, and inspiration for taking those first steps from blank page to finished piece. You’ll also find resources to help you learn how to write a novel in three months or fewer and practical tips on writing a book made easy. A self-published author, writing instructor, and journal-writer, MJ has now added “book coach” to her extensive list of accomplishments. “I refer to myself as ‘the book whisperer,’ she says with a laugh.