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How To Write A Book

How To Write A Book

“The most important thing is to read as much as you can like I did. It will give you an understanding of what makes good writing and it will enlarge your vocabulary.”

J.K Rowling: Author of the Harry Potter series

I’ve been approached, on several occasions on my various social media channels, by people who want my help with writing a book. They want me to give them a magic answer; however, unfortunately, there isn’t one. If there were, there would be a lot more people writing books!

But before you throw in the towel and give up your dreams of  writing your magnum opus, there are a couple of pointers that you can follow if you’re really serious about penning your novel or autobiography. 

Here are some of them.

Read, read, read – and then read some more

The first step – and I agreed with J.K. here – is that before you decide that you want to write a book, read everything that you can in the particular genre that your book is going to be a part of. While you shouldn’t use this exercise as a means of finding a book to copy, this will give you an idea of how different people write and could give you some inspiration in terms of aspects such as your characters, storyline as well as tone and register.

Do your research

Before you put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard), you need to do a lot of research as this will guide your thoughts in terms of what you want to write. 

Meticulous research is equally as important for a novel as it is for an autobiography. Don’t think that just because you’re writing about your life that you don’t need to do any research because you are intimately au fait with the subject matter – in other words, that it is your life! 

There may be certain things which you can’t remember quite accurately so it would be a good idea to ask your family members about how they remember a certain thing. The more people’s opinions that you get, the better chance you will have of getting a precise picture of the events.

Two pairs of eyes are better than one

Editing is an integral part of the writing process. As an author, you go over your work time and time again – so much so that you effectively stop reading the text and just skim the meaning as your brain effectively autocorrects the text because it fills in the blanks based on the repetition that has come before.

So during the editing process, I recommend that you have a beta reader as well as an editor. The beta reader will engage with the text as a reader and will give you a high-level overview of what they think. The editor will critically evaluate the deeper meaning of the text in order to ensure that it flows correctly and says what you want it to say.

Writing a book is not beyond anyone. All it requires is a message that you want to tell the world and a bit of determination. The rest will fall into place!

Blogpost by Lia Marus:

About Lia Marus

Lia Marus is an editor, writer, and proofreader. She has over 10 years of experience in the publishing, communications, and digital marketing fields and comes highly recommended by all of her clients.