Writing a book

A lot of work I’m sure, but one of my deepest dreams is to write a book. I haven’t told anyone this, just to protect myself from failure I think. But I’m telling you now!

I tried when I was a teenager, that went as expected, I got too busy and stopped. I’ve read all my life, when I’m not doing anything, you can find me reading a book. Reading will hopefully always be part of my life.

I’m currently reading a book that’s been inspiring me, it’s called The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair: about an author, a mystery and another author who writes all about it. Seriously, read it if you get a chanceIt makes me want to write. Write a story. But how? I have a laptop but how does somebody actually write a book? By hand? On a computer? Then how does it get edited? What is the process/steps to doing this? I don’t even have a clear idea of a story. But I’m interested to learn what you know! Looking forward to hearing from you all. Thanks for reading!

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4 thoughts on “Writing a book

  1. I wrote one some years back… it was terrible, but I learnt a lot. I’ve being trying to complete something better since. Of the advice I’ve heard, these things stick out:
    -Read loads. All the time. Try to figure out what the authors are doing in bits that really work. Why do you love the bits you love? Also, bad books that don’t work can be very instructive too!
    -Write loads. Even if it’s just a scene, a conversation, a description… anything. It’s all practice. A published author once told me he had to ‘write out all the crap’ before he could get to the good stuff. And there was a lot of crap! Several novels’ worth…
    -Keep going. It’s a marathon. I had a minimum word count per day. Over was fine, under wasn’t.
    -Don’t edit as you go. Just get it all down, keep moving forward and don’t look back. Otherwise you eventually spend all your time fiddling rather than adding.
    -Decide who your characters are, why and what they want. Plus a million other questions(!) about them. Some people plan the entire story, some throw characters into a situation and see what happens, but every writer needs to know who these people are first.
    -Don’t worry about commercialism or marketing now. Chances are you won’t (unless you’re brilliant, which you may be) sell the first one you write, so just concentrate on telling a story.
    -Tell a story that interests you! You won’t finish if you don’t care, and it wouldn’t be good if you did.
    -Try John Braine’s How To Write A Novel, Stephen King’s On Writing and/or Write a Novel and Get it Published: Teach Yourself by Nigel Watts. They’ve all got a lot of useful advice in them.
    -Have fun!

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  2. For pure writing inspiration, I love Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones. It’s not genre specific but applicable to all kinds of writing. Annie Lamott’s Bird by Bird is also great for inspiration. They’ll both agree, just start somewhere and let the shape evolve as you go. My book started with digital stories I made about my great-grandparents’ farms. Then I added material from blog posts about our own farm, many of which came from journal entries. One piece of writing can feed another–but you’ve got to start somewhere! Check out workshops from storycenter.org–you may find something in your area.

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