Wednesday 11 June 2014

Writing a Book - How to Start Writing a Book.

I thought I'd share some advice on writing a book with you. I have written four books and have lots of experience to share with you. I can offer some tips that should save you time, effort and frustration.

My first tip is to start by writing short stories. This may not appeal at first, but there are many advantages. It helps you to develop your own style and to also build a reader base. Readers are brilliant for helping you to develop characters and plots.This is a far better approach than seeking opinions from family or friends. No one wants to upset you and getting positive feedback from a complete stranger is a far more satisfying achievement. Also, people will automatically engage in a genre they, too, are interested in.

There are plenty of sites to publish short stories and some encourage feedback from your readers. This is helpful in seeing whether you can connect with your readers. It also allows you to judge your best style, chapter or whatever you would like. Often your readers will tell you which short story has the most appeal, just by the numbers of readers that engage. This approach helps to build your confidence and if your first few stories need some revision then that's a far easier starting point than writing and having to re-edit an entire novel.

I would recommend Wattpad for publishing short stories. Start off by looking at other people's stories. Comment on some, but remember to be polite as you may be on the receiving end of comments in the future. It is very daunting to publish your first story and it is a worry that the entire world can see it and comment on it. Break yourself in gently and you will gain in confidence and ability. Writing a short story is an art in itself and requires a different style to writing a novel. It needs to have an ending that leaves the reader satisfied and engaged.

More recently I have discovered Write-on run by Amazon and there, unlike Wattpad, other authors will provide a critique, but usually you have to critique theirs first.

Tops for Writing a Book - How to Self Publish
Should You Pay for a Review -- yes or no?
Making Your Writing Interesting
My top tips
Choosing a genre
How to Start writing a Book?
Creating a Plot for Your Book


  1. You certainly have some good points, here. I've written some stories, but I haven't gotten around to publishing any yet, myself. {Smile}

    I'm curious... you say to write short stories before attempting a novel. I'm wondering how you set out to write a story of a specific length? I have no idea how to do that. I was taught to sit down and write a story. If you have to back up to find the beginning, then do so. If you write out of order, that's fine, too, just write until you have a complete story, with beginning, middle, and end, and no missing scenes. Then -- and only then -- count the words to find out what it's classified as, and to help figure out which markets might be interested in it. That's how I learned to write. That doesn't seem to be how you write. So what are you doing differently? {curious smile}

    Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

    1. Anne, the suggestion to start with short stories is just that - a suggestion only and it may not appeal to everyone. My experience is it's a good starting point.

      That's an interesting question though about how you deliberately write a short story and I like what you say - "sit down and write a story".

      In some respect a short story is just a chapter in a book. You have to introduce your character in a short story which you may not need to in a book. However, that can still be useful to do in a book even in later chapters, to bring out different traits about your character that you may not have dome so already. I agree that a short story could then continue, but that's the beauty of writing short stories -- readers will let you know which worked for them. What I am therefore suggesting is that your best short story might then become a chapter in a book. All tales continue, after all life goes on and next generations are born and die.

      The other reason for suggesting short stories is to gain in experience and confidence of course.

      These are my views and are a guide only, of course.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, Pria. Best wishes with the writing. David

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