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How To Write A Book

Jan 7, 2008
Many people dream of writing their own book. The sad fact is that for every 500 people who want to write a book, there might be only 1 or 2 who actually do it. Somehow, we get it stuck in our minds that we "can never do that" and that writing "should be left to the professionals". Nothing could be further from the truth! I am 100% convinced that anyone ... even YOU, can write a book successfully if they just understand a couple of basic principles. In this article, I'm going to cover the exact steps that anyone, including you, can use to write a book, essay, or article of any length.

Step 1 - Collect

Collect what? Collect everything. If you are writing nonfiction you will collect information about your topic. You might collect magazine clippings, newspaper articles, along with various notes and quotes from any variety of sources. You might also collect things like sights, sounds (record audio), and smell (take notes about how things smell). If you're writing a novel the things you collect will be differ a little from this. Instead you'll collect thoughts, ideas, character ideas, and scene ideas, along with any information (similar to the above) that involves research for your novel. If you're writing a crime novel you might collect information above the criminal justice system. If you're writing a romance you might collect notes and ideas from relationship books, dating websites, and your own relationships and experience. The important thing to do is to collect, and to do nothing but collect at this phase. Don't analyze stuff; don't try to figure out the order of things too early. Just collect!

Step 2 - Categorize

In this step, you are free to unleash your inner control freak. Organize, categorize, analyze, criticize, hypothesize... I think you get the point. The whole purpose of this stage is to take what you collected in the previous stage and organize it into an order that makes sense. Read the articles and books, sift your notes down to the finest details, and sort it all out into related areas that make sense together. Once you have the related areas grouped together, put those "categories" into an order from first to last. If you have a ton of notes and other collected stuff, don't stress about trying to tackle the whole pile at once. Just take part of it, and work on ONLY that part until you have it organized and sorted. Then grab some more notes and do the same thing with those. You can add to either if you need to later. Once you have everything analyzed, described, and sorted you can then move on to the third step in the process.

Step 3 - Communicate

This is the fun part! This is simply the act of actually communicating everything that you've put together from the first two steps. In other words, write it down! The sorted, organized collection that you have from steps one and two is now your outline. All you have to do is follow your notes in order and write about each note and topic in turn. If you have your notes broken in to sub-categories, treat each one as a book in itself. This allows you to focus on just one small part at a time rather than trying to tackle an entire book all at once. Just get through one section, and then, move on to the next.

If you have done this right, by step 3 your book is practically written for you.

"What about grammar?" Here's a little secret about grammar and punctuation: 90% of your grammar and punctuation problems will go away if you will keep your writing (and by writing, I mean your sentences) short, concise, and to the point. Keep it short. Keep it simple. The best writers aren't the ones who have sentences three paragraphs long. The best writers are those who can get the same information across in just a few words--no matter how complex the topic might be. As for novels, if you can "move" people with 5 words as opposed to 50, you are doing a great thing.

Knowing and applying these simple steps can be the difference between having a dream of writing a book and having a stack of books that you've written. I have written five books so far using this method.

You've just learned one of the easiest systems of writing in existence. Whether you're 40 years old or 10 years old you can use these steps to accomplish just about any writing task that is set before you. Go ahead and try it and you'll see. Your new writing career starts now!
About the Author
Brian Vogt is a Programmer, Author and creator of Text Block Author, the software designed specifically for use with this method of writing. To learn more about this system and the writing software it inspired, visit the Text Block Author Home Page.
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