How to Write a Book, or Many
I began writing books in the third grade. It was for a fictional school assignment and I wrote five pages compared to everyone else’s one page. That’s when I recognized my love for writing. Over the years and five books later, I’ve discovered a simple method that can help kids like me to write a book. I read a lot about authors and employ their writing tips during my writing process. Any kid can become an author with a little dedication and the support of parents and teachers. I have put down a few writing tips for those of you who want to write a book.
FINALIZE THE IDEA
Deciding the story that you want to write is one of the biggest challenges of writing a book. I have a notebook filled with future book ideas and thoughts. These help me remember the ideas long after I’ve had them. I browse through these ideas when I decide to write a book and choose the one that I’m convinced about.
If you are writing a book for the first time you can shuffle between ideas until you are convinced about one. If you are not convinced about your story idea, how do you expect your readers to like it?
CREATE AN OUTLINE OF THE STORY
Once the idea is set, I create an outline for the story and plan out its execution. Thereafter, I try writing one chapter to see if it will make for an interesting book. If I don’t think it will, I stop. If it does, I continue writing and eventually publish it.
The plotline must give a description of the events and characters in your story. You must be able to answer the basic questions ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘when’, ‘where’, ‘why’ to tie up all the loose ends in the plot. The story must offer something new to the readers especially when multiple books have already been written on a similar or same theme.
DO A THOROUGH RESEARCH
It’s important to conduct basic research for your story, even for the simplest ones. For example, if you wish to write a story based on animal characters, ask your parents to accompany you to the zoo. Watch the animals and their behavioral traits. Read about them online till you can supplement your animal characters with details. A good story must contain interesting details about the characters and the plot.
More research is needed when you decide to write complex stories such as those based on science or history. Any information that you put in your book related to such stories must be accurate. We must consider our readers to be the smartest while doing the research.
SET A DEADLINE
Planning your writing schedule is important in order to finish your book. I do most of my writing in the evening or on the weekends. I also take advantage of the breaks my school offers, and write on those days. Set hourly deadlines when I sit down to write. During long vacations, I dedicate two hours a day to write my book.
It may not be possible for children to write every day of the week because of school assignments and extra-curricular activities. Plan your writing schedule to dedicate those days when you have less or no homework. Write as much as you can on any day when you find yourself free by chance. This will help you keep ahead to achieve your goal. Finally, decide upon a date for finishing the book and do everything possible to complete it within this deadline.
REVISE AND EDIT YOUR BOOK
Read your book from beginning to end after completion. Then read it again. Here are a few more things to do when you are at it.
- Edit it to make the story interesting and easy to understand.
- Delete any unwanted information that is lingering in the story.
- The entire book including chapters, incidents, and characters should be tightly woven.
- Tie all the loose ends.
- Check the grammar, including sentence construction and ambiguous pronouns.
- Rewrite the first page if needed so your readers are hooked to your story and the last page so they are satisfied when they put the book down.
GIVE AN ATTRACTIVE TITLE TO YOUR BOOK
This is the first thing that attracts a reader before they even buy the book. Choose a title that justifies your story. Avoid titles that may have shock value but are unrelated to the content. Read as many book titles as you can to create an effective title.
Ask your parents and teachers to read the book and get their feedback. Incorporate their feedback into your book if you think it can improve your story. The first response to your book will give you an idea about what to expect. Take their feedback seriously to improve your story.
WORK WITH A PROFESSIONAL EDITOR
Look for a professional editor who can edit the final draft of your story. Hire one who may have some experience with editing children-and-teen books. Give your editor the liberty to make small changes in the plot or general construction of your story. Give your inputs if any big change is needed in your book.
Send your manuscript to as many publishers as you can. Do not get disheartened if your work is rejected. Find out the reasons for rejection and improve your book with those inputs. Do not give up.
There are many self-publishing platforms where you can publish your book if you do not want to go through traditional methods of publishing. Usually, they charge a very minimal amount and a part of your profits. These are trusted and sell a large number of copies depending upon the quality of your work. Take the help of your parents to reach out to some of these platforms.