Writing Your Book 101

Beginning the process of actually writing and formatting your book can be quite daunting, especially if it’s your initial attempt. You might have the greatest stories in the world and not understand how to get started. This can often times be the difference between sharing your story with the world and simply walking away from the dream.

As part of Kingsbridge Publishing’s mission statement, we will make it one of our goals to always provide the best advice and guidance for those seeking our assistance.

Whether you’re looking for advice on how to create a blueprint, create chapter outlines, or how to track your word count – We will share articles from the industry leaders, as part of our blog. We will also share our own advice as experienced writers and novice publishers, to help you on your journey towards becoming a published author.

Let’s get started:

Keep in mind that your blueprint will come to be the most important part of your book. And if done right will allow you the chance to work on your project over many months and years without losing your way or becoming discouraged.

The first thing you need to do is create a chapter outline…

Example:

  1. Chapter 1: A Day in the Life of your protagonist – In this chapter I am going to write about what it’s like to spend a day in the life with my character. I’m going to start out by writing a strong narrative that paints a picture in the readers head of what my character sees when he first opens his / her eyes – what they see in the room, what surrounds them, what emotions are running through their heads, etc.… Use as many descriptive, honest and raw feelings as you can to paint the picture for your reader that they’ve just woken up in your characters bed. Each chapter can be outlined in a few paragraphs. Again, the key is to allow you to pick up where you left off, even if you’ve been unable to write for a few months. So ensure that your chapter outline includes how the chapter will open and close, but equally as important, what will be covered throughout that chapter.  
  2. Once you’ve outlined all of the chapters you can assign a rough word count to each chapter to give you an idea of how many words your book will be… For example if I wanted to write a book that was 80,000 words I’d want to write 14 to 16 chapters and find out what that respective word count is going to be… For 14 chapters – you’d write about 5,700 words per chapter. For 16 chapters you’d write 5,000 words per chapter… The easy way to do the math is take 80,000 words divided by 16 and you’d get 5,000 words… Some writers like to write shorter chapters because they can’t keep a theme going in a chapter with too high a word count, so you’ll see a novel with 32 chapters at 2,500 words each chapter… This is really a personal preference, what works best for you and what type of word count are you comfortable with… A small book will be about 60,000 words, while a much longer read will be in the 100,000-word range… Most memoir / novels fall around 65K to 80K though… 225 to 260 pages.
  3. The importance of writing out your blue print in advance, knowing your word count and knowing what each chapter is ‘basically” going to be about is that it allows you to keep from becoming overwhelmed… In the beginning I myself would write five pages and throw them away figuring I’d never accomplish a 250 page manuscript… It can become overwhelming if you let it… Once I broke down the format and understood that I could write a book one chapter at a time it started to seem like a very achievable goal. You have to make it realistic so that you don’t give up on yourself. When you make it manageable you provide yourself a better chance of pushing through the difficult days, when you want to give up most.
  4. Once you begin your journey of actually constructing your chapters, make sure you have a very strong opening for every chapter, a strong middle to keep your readers engaged and a very powerful ending that keeps them needing to read more… Use strong transitions to take you from chapter to chapter and leave the readers with questions that they’ll only learn the answers to later; this will keep them engaged, intrigued and wanting to keep flipping the pages and learning more about the character and story as they go.
  5. The most important thing is BELIEVE everything you’re writing – even if it’s fiction… If you don’t believe it, your reader won’t!! Even the most unbelievable situations can be written in a way that leaves your reader emotionally invested and wanting to read on. Trust in the words that move you… If you write something and it evokes emotion inside of you, makes you laugh, makes you cry makes you jump back and say, “Oh shit…” Then most likely you’re reader will react the very same way… You have to trust yourself and why you’re writing what you’re writing…
  6. The worst manuscript is the unfinished one! A lousy book is the one that was never shared with the world… So share your story… Your voice is important!! You’re pain, suffering, life lessons are all important. And people can learn from them!

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