There are some very easy-to-understand tips that could really make the difference in a situation which looks like you have lost all of your hope in trying to be concentrated, determined and focused on writing something that’ll be your next book.
If you are keen to publish a new book, you must devote time to understand how to organize the whole process, then how to plan your book writing.
For this reason I’ve decided to collect info and suggestions on book writing planning from some experts and authors.
Let’s start! 🙂
Outline, organize, devote time, take a break
Janet Ruth Heller, fiction writer, has published 6 books; You can find her at janetruthheller.com
Here they are her suggestions for planning to write your next book!
- Authors should make a detailed outline of a book before they start to write. This will structure the ideas or story in a logical way and prevent repetition of the same material. The outline will also make sure that every idea gets fully supported or that every scene has specific examples and details.
- In nonfiction, using chronological order may be the most logical and effective way to organize material. However, in fiction, authors often use a flashback structure, beginning with an exciting moment and then skipping back in time to trace how the main character(s) got into this difficult situation. The flashback captures the reader’s attention immediately, giving the reader more patience for the necessary background/exposition details.
- Writing goes most smoothly if authors can devote time to the book every day. This will also help authors to finish more quickly and preserve the intensity of the plot or argument.
- If authors get stuck, they should take a walk, go shopping, do some laundry or take a break in some other way. After an hour or more away from the book, writers’ brains will have time to relax and figure out a solution to the problems. I often get great ideas for solving a book problem while I’m taking a walk.
How to write a detailed outline
Here they are his thoughts:
“You have to have an outline. I’m a ghostwriter and fully half my clients come to me not because they can’t write but because they can’t organize. We start with me sitting down with them and interviewing them, sometimes for as long as half a day. I record the session. At first, all you want to do is just get everything out on the table that’s going to go into the book. Conceptually, of course. Not the details. The details come later. Then I transcribe the conversation and put the information into an order, depending on the type of book. It can be by subject (in the case of your standard expository nonfiction book), by steps (in the case of a how-to), or by chronology (history or memoir, for instance). Then I write a detailed outline and the outline tells you what the chapters will be.
Will it change as you go? Absolutely! You have to be prepared for that. Something you eventually write in chapter 7 will make you realize that chapter 2 needs to be altered. You have to remain flexible. That’s why the outline doesn’t need to be perfect or comprehensive. It just needs to be there so that you can get started and so that you have a direction to go.”
Be aware of the numbers
Jessica Mehta, author of 6 books, founded mehtafor.com, a writing service company.
Here there are her tips for planning:
“The very first book I wrote was a business book: 100 Ways to Make $100k with Your English Degree. I’ve also written several collections of poetry and novels. As you might be able to guess, the business book kind of wrote itself. The idea of writing a book is daunting. But writing “just” 100 mini chapters about 500-750 words in length? That was much more “grasp-able.”
I’ve adopted the approach of a chunk-by-chunk strategy for all of my books, excepting poetry. For my first novel, I researched the average word count for literary fiction. Obviously, there’s no such thing as “standard,” and you shouldn’t let word count completely dictate your writing. However, there is such a thing as “average.”
I found that the average word length for literary fiction was about 80,000 – 90,000 words. Next, I researched average word counts per chapter (anywhere from 3,000-5,000 seemed common). Finally, I picked a chapter count that fell within those guidelines. For me, it was about 24.
Writing one chapter per business day meant just 24 days of writing. In less than five weeks, I’d have a book … and that’s exactly how it happened.
I’m not a huge fan of overly mapping out what I’ll write. I don’t outline. Instead, I make notes of key events I’d like to include. When I complete each chapter, I create a bullet point list of what happened (otherwise, I’ll quickly lose track). It’s easy to skim over the bullet points before moving on to the next chapter.
For me, writing every business day was key for staying motivated and keeping the book’s events fresh.”
Simplify Your Actions with Checklist!
Brian Tracy writes 4 to 5 books per year, being published by seven different publishers in U.S. and translated into 38 different languages in more than 60 countries. He has helped a lot of authors thanks to his carisma and his useful material. For this reason, I’ve decided to share with you two FREE e-books you can download for starting your writing process right now or for planning your work!
Here they are:
- 20-Step Author Quick Start Guide – This free content will lead you to understand the main techniques of speed writing, as well as tips for organization and planning; you will find suggestions also for getting your book into publishers’ hands immediately!
- 6-Step Book Planning Worksheet – This resource is mainly focused on planning and organization aspect. I strongly recommend you to download this e-book if you want to understand how to plan your writing process and how to organize your book!
If you want to add some more value to this article, feel free to share in the comments some of your tips and suggestions regarding the planning process of writing a book.
PS. Don’t miss other resources on writing:
- How to Become an Author: Tips from 6 Gurus
- 4 Suggestions to Write Better
- Step-by-step Process to Publish your First Book
Starting a Profitable Blogging Internet Business
Little tip for bloggers: If you love writing and want to start a blogging experience, check this Blogging Guru Blueprint to see how to do it well! 🙂