Archive for writing a book

Two Tips to Help You Start Writing a Book

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 1, 2017 by Dawn Ross

Ideas for Writing a Book

Sorry I’m late today. I took the kids on an unexpected trip. Here’s your article this week for what I believe are the two most helpful tips for getting started in writing that book you’ve always wanted to write:

Have you ever had a great idea for a project, but never really started it? This happens a lot when it comes to writing a book. It all starts with an idea, but then ends once you start thinking about all the complicated aspects that go into it. Some people can just sit down and write. But they either know enough about writing to know exactly what is needed to make a good story, or they’re just winging it and hoping a good story will turn out well on accident. You’re probably not the first type or you wouldn’t be here. 🙂 And if your the later type, you probably don’t want to simply just wing it on your great idea. So here are two tips to help you start writing a book.

Break Down Your Tasks

Writing a book can be a very daunting task. If you’ve done some research, you’re probably overwhelmed with all the things you need to do. So the first step in getting that books started is to stop thinking about all of it at once. Break the tasks down into pieces and do one piece at a time. If you’re not familiar with all the aspects of writing a book, this list could change. But at least your brain isn’t trying to process everything at once.

What I’ve done is created a folder on my computer. The main folder is the title of my book. When I open that folder, there are more folders. There are folders for writing tips, research resources, my character journals, publishing information, and more. Several documents are found in the writing tips folder. One document covers plotting tips, another for character development tips, one for tips on adding conflict, and so on. The documents contain things I’ve typed out or links to websites I’ve found that provided good information.

You don’t have to do yours on your computer. You can also create a binder. At first, your computer folders or binder will have very little information in them. But as you write, you’ll find other things to add. This process will help you grow and help you keep organized at the same time.

Plot Storyboard

Plot Storyboard

Create a Plot Storyboard

To write a good story, you MUST MUST MUST have a plot. If your good story idea is about someone who gets into a lot of adventures with no end in sight, your readers are going to get very bored. A well-organized plot can turn even the most amateur writers into good storytellers.

To create a good plot, you need to think about what your character wants to achieve by the end of the book. They have to really want it and you have to help the reader really want it for them too. Then you need to think of complications that your character encounters that make it difficult for him to reach his goals. And these complications have to escalate to a point where your character considers giving up.

The above image is something you can use. You can also use note cards or consider software such as Scrivener. I, personally, like note cards. Note cards allow me to create subplots that I can put in story sequence around the main plot. I’ve heard a lot of other writers praise Scrivener and other software programs. Find what works best for you.

Next week, I’ll provide a generic outline for a storyboard. In the meantime, feel free to comment on this post.

Using an Editor When Writing a Book

Posted in Writing with tags , on March 1, 2011 by Dawn Ross

Grammar is very important when writing a book.  There is so much to worry about.  It’s not just the spelling, punctuation, or sentence construction, it is the tense.  When I write, I often find myself inadvertently changing tense.  In the Dukarian Legacy, I sometimes find myself saying ‘Tomis was’ in some places and ‘Tomis is’ in others.  Part of my editing entailed finding these tense errors and correcting them.  But which tense is better?  Present tense or past tense?  If I use present tense, this might make the story easier to get into since it seems everything is happening now.  But past tense seems to flow better for me.

“Tomis paralyzes with fear as the creature slithers out of the cave.”
“Tomis paralyzed with fear as the creature slithered out of the cave.”

Which one do you think works better?  Fortunately, there is no right or wrong way as long as the story is consistent.  The difficult part is being consistent.  Finding these types of tense errors is tedious.  That is where an editor comes in.  I have paid an editor before, but as per one of my previous posts I got scammed.  The editing was not done by a professional.  A professional would not only find spelling and wording errors, but would also notice details like tense.  She did not.  Nor was she able to tell me where the story was lacking in structure or where any discrepancies in the story were found.

Should I spend hundreds of dollars for a new editor?  Or can I count on myself and my friends to help me?  I’d like to think that I can do it myself.  But I am so involved in the story, that sometimes errors are hard to find.  I have only self-edited my book five times, yet each time I read it I find another error.

I think I should hire an editor.  Where do I find a good one?  How do I verify their credentials?  How much should I save in order to pay them?  So many questions, so little time.

Writing a Book – Front Matter / Back Matter

Posted in Writing with tags , , on February 17, 2011 by Dawn Ross

I am reading “Start Your Own Self-Publishing Business” and finding that I still have a long hard road ahead of me before I can sell my books.  One of the things this book talks about is the need for me to have front and back matter.  What is front and back matter?  It is the stuff in the book which is not part of the story but essential to the book itself.

Essential Front Matter for a Fiction Book:

  • Half Title Page – Includes book title and subtitle only.
  • Title Page – includes book title, subtitle, author, publisher, and more.
  • Copyright Page – includes copyright, all rights reserved statement, ISBN, and more.

Optional Front Matter for My Fiction Book:

  • Book Blurbs – quotes from those who read the book – preferable someone well-known.  I do not yet have any book blurbs.
    Map – As with most fantasy novels, a map is essential when writing about a fictional place.

Back Matter for a Fiction Book:

All back matter for a fiction book is optional.  I may have an appendix for people and place descriptions.  I may also have an About the Author section.  I may add an order form on the back so that people know how they can order more of my books.  And I will probably have a short synopsis of the book on the back cover.