Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

10 Ridiculously Simple Tips for Writing a Book

Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.
–Mark Twain

The hard part for most writers, despite what we say, isn’t getting published. Now, there are more opportunities than ever to become an author. No, it’s not the publishing part we struggle with. It’s the writing.

I’ve just finished my first book. And the hardest part, to my surprise, wasn’t the difficulty of getting published. It was the writing process. Looking back, I can see how I learned some things. Important things worth sharing.

What does it take to write a book? Here are 10 of my best tips.

10 MORE BONUS TIPS: I actually have 20 ridiculously simple tips for writing a book. Want the other 10? Get them free here.

Getting started

  • Start small. 300 words per day is plenty. John Grisham began his writing career as a lawyer. He got up early every morning and wrote one page. You can do the same.
  • Have an outline. Write up a table of contents to guide you. Then break up each chapter into a few sections. Think of your book in terms of beginning, middle, and end. Anything more complicated will get you lost. If you need help, read Do the Work by Steven Pressfield.
  • Have a set time to work on your book every day. If you want to take a day or two off per week, schedule that as time off. Don’t just let the deadline pass. And don’t let yourself off the hook.
  • Choose a unique place to write. This needs to be different from where you do other activities. The idea is to make this a special space so that when you enter it, you’re ready to work on your project.

Staying accountable

  • Have a set word count. Think in terms of 10-thousand work increments and break each chapter into roughly equal lengths:
    » 10,000 words: a pamphlet
    » 20,000 words: short eBook or print book
    » 40,000–50,000 words: good-sized nonfiction book
    » 60,000–70,000 words: longer nonfiction book
    » 80,000 words–100,000 words: typical novel length
  • Give yourself weekly deadlines. It can be a word count, percentage of progress, whatever. Just have something to aim for, and someone who will hold you accountable.
  • Get early feedback. Nothing stings worse than writing a book and then having to rewrite it, because you didn’t let anyone look at it. Have a few trusted advisers to help you discern what’s worth writing.

Staying motivated

  • Ship. No matter what, finish the book. Send it to the publisher, release it on Amazon, do whatever you need to do to get it in front of people. Just don’t put it in your drawer.
  • Embrace failure. Know that this will be hard and you will mess up. Be okay with it. Give yourself grace. That’s what will sustain you, not your high standards of perfection.
  • Write another. Most authors are embarrassed of their first book. But without that first, they never would have learned the lessons they did. So put your work out there, fail early, and try again. This is the only way you get good. You practice.

Every writer started somewhere, and most of them started by squeezing their writing into the cracks of their daily lives. The ones who make it are the ones who show up day after day.

You can do it, too.

Beating overwhelm & staying creative

Click here for 10 more ridiculously simple tips for writing a book. Tips that help you:

  • Beat feeling overwhelmed.
  • Stay creative so you never “run out” of ideas.
  • Stay focused, so you get your book done faster.

Get these 10 bonus tips here or by clicking on the image below:

10-more-tips

About Jeff Goins

I am the author of four books, including The Art of Work. I also run an online business teaching writers how to get the attention their work deserves. Every week, I send out an email newsletter with free tips on writing and creativity.

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  • Miss.America

    I’m currently writing a peculiar story about a boy who falls in love with his teacher. I’m having a few people read it but I was wondering if anyone else sounds interested by it. It’s based on a true story (of my life). I’ve been stuck on chapter 35. I’m meaning to end it soon but I’m not sure how to get there. If you are interested comment below your email and I’ll send you an excerpt.

  • Evan

    I am 17 years old and writing a novelette about my life, I come from a broken home and I want to let people know about the struggle children go through and for other children/teenagers like me to know that they are not alone and that help is out there.
    I was just wondering do you think I should ask my English teacher to read through it?
    What company should I approach to publish my novelette?

    • Miss.America

      If you trust your English teacher to read this without judgement then you should, but be aware that the private things in your novelette may not be kept private if you share this with a teacher. Especially if the teacher feels that you may need someone to talk to about what’s in your novelette and she might recommend you to a counselor. If you are absolutely certain that this is what you want to do, then do it. Good luck to you and your novelette!

      • Evan

        I am 17 years old and writing a novelette about my life, I come from a broken home and I want to let people know about the struggle children go through and for other children/teenagers like me to know that they are not alone and that help is out there.
        I was just wondering do you think I should ask my English teacher to read through it?
        What company should I approach to publish my novelette?

        • Miss.America

          Again, up to you. If you believe that she will be good help I think you should.

    • Tanna c

      Im 15 and go to counseling now i write more ever since then ive let a teacher read my writings and hes helped a lot he even supports me writing a book which im going to if you really trust a teacher do it I really recommend it my teacher has helped with my pain a lot more than my family has

  • srauttt

    i am writing a science fiction book.i was pretty much inspired by doctor who movies. my book is about the MECANTIS-the protagonist being Mr. Moracre(the creator of mecantis). the story is a novel that revolves around this device that can help brain as a secondary brain for the storage of data . however the devices start not only storing the data but they also start understanding it and creating emotion in themselves. Moracre aids up with Shane to stop the second version of MECANTIS by reaching the headquarter level of the mantis protocol using the same device they had used
    well i think of completing the book slowly with precision and time .

  • Hr

    My first memory sucking my arm to cause a bruise blaming it on someone in the playground. Attention you cry oh yes. A third daughter to an alcoholic wife beater and a mother too weak to make a change. Presently lieing in bed feeling nothing as I here my two young boys fight and play as their gambling manipulator father lovengly puts them to bed.
    Make a change I try every day but as I turn 37 tomorrow every eve of my birthday I lay depressed struggling to make a change myself.
    A book of life my life would make anyone second guess theirs.
    Another biography! no a learning point if you expect life to be a struggle every day, then one day a bright light will appear and it will be over.

  • Ling O

    I want to start a book something about my life and battle against cancer. I’m in the process of recovering and I thank god so much for my progress now. I want to my experience to help people who are struggling and in need. There’s is hope.

  • pookie

    I remember my second boss at the age of 22 ask ask where do you what to be in 10 years ?? I told I wanted to write a book.. He say OK ” he went on and said about what????? I say my Life …. He says Oh No” wouldn’t no one want to hear about you life, what make you so different cause a lot of people have books about their life already you need to write about something else. And here it is ten years from now I’m looking to write and publish a book about my Life!

  • aminata

    hi here, i’m an exchange student from africa , i’m recently in the US, i started writting a book about life in afric and the struggles me and my family has been through since there’s a war in my country and i’m talking about my experience here ( i’m 16 by the way ) but i’m having struggles with the beggining plus my english is not well developed so it’s a little bit harder

  • MAXWELL

    HEY EVERYONE I AM 13 PLEASE REPLY ASAP so im writing two fictional novels one is about a 15 year old sacrificing his mother for riches and that i was inspired by the concept of selling your souls and im on chapter two (20th page) but the reason im here is to ask what you think of the plot of my new novel

    Shane Bronzefoot, a recent graduate of appleby university(fictional), his uncle mason has just died and as he prepares to attend, a mysterious lady appears Gwen she says her name is and warns him not to go and then vanishes but shane shrugs off the warning and attends the funeral.
    at the funeral a loan shark crashes the funeral and demands that someone pays the debt that uncle mason left behind . but no one will take the debt so the loan shark, whom is called Bones kicks the coffin repeatedly until shane tells Bones to stop but Bones just Knocks him out as everyone stands back in fear.

    Shane wakes up in a Dark room and Bones comes in and tells him if he does not pay the debt his uncle left by Shanes sisters birthday ,maria, which is coming up in 4 months he would kill her and her two kids Shane tries to warns maria instantly but Gwen appears and stops him and tells him if the authorities get involved or someone is told Bones will just kill Shane and his sister and then as usual she vanishes.

    Shane does everything to get the 30 grand owed but he was just refused as £30,000 is just to much to lend. So shane is unable to get the money and he tries to save maria the day he was meant to pay up , breaking in to marias house rushing into her basement and witnessing Bones slit Maria’s Throat and her two childrens throat aswell Shhane tries to strangle Bones but is knocked out by one of his goons

    once shane wakes up he sees Gwen and Bones kissing and gwen tells him that he should of taken her advice and not attended the funeral and then she points a gun at his head and a gunshot is heard but i dont know how to make it seem like she didnt shoot him without making it to obvious????

    • Ethan

      If you’re thinking of ways to avoid the main character’s death, it is actually possible to survive a 9mm bullet to the forehead. He would be knocked out and presumably dead.

      • maxwell

        true but that is too boring he gets shot does he survive does he not and the reader comes to his own conclusion i want something completely different but thanks

        • Ethan

          Well you could say something like, “The gunshot echoed throught the room,” and just leave it at that. That way you’re not actually saying he got shot.

    • Hannah

      Maxwell, you have a really good idea for your story! Here’s a few things you could do…
      -Gwen cocks the gun and points it at his head and he shuts his eyes and waits. The gun makes a load thundering noise and the chapter ends. next ch it starts like “Shane opens his eyes in shock as he sees Bones, dead, laying on the ground. He is shot right between the eyes… etc. Then Gwen explains everything.

      -The ch. ends with something like, Gwen pulls the trigger. The next chapter can start with Shane realizing that the gun was unloaded filled with relief.

      they both need elaboration but they are just ideas, you can use them if you would like. Comment back when you have read this :)

    • Napoleon

      Well this is interesting, Gwen smiles sweetly at him mutters in a smooth even tone “Babe moment alone with charming?” Bones growls bur leaves the room. Gwen pulls the gun up smiling and pulls the trigger one shot in the leg.
      That’s kinda how I would craft that but PLEASE rethink the names? Bones is sooooooo over used try something more subtle. Gwen is a.no no I get the slut type vibe but try something else something unheard. The Maria name is awful and doesn’t go with Shane.
      Other than that work out the kinks try different things and HAVE FUN. ☺

  • Aimhigh01

    I’m seriously considering writing a book on Personal Finance. As I work hard to get my financial house in order, I’ve found that I enjoy giving people advice about the subject. There is a writing software program that I just learned about called Scrivener that I think may assist me in my efforts. My biggest battle will be with consistency but I like the statement that the author mentioned above-Every writer started somewhere, and most of them started by squeezing
    their writing into the cracks of their daily lives. The ones who make it
    are the ones who show up day after day. I love this! Happy writing to everyone!

  • Hannah

    Maxwell, you have a very good idea for your story! Here’s a few things you could do…

    -Gwen cocks the gun and points it at his head and he shuts his eyes and waits. The gun makes a load thundering noise and the chapter ends. next ch it starts like “Shane opens his eyes in shock as he sees Bones, dead, laying on the ground. He is shot right between the eyes… etc. Then Gwen explains everything.

    -The ch. ends with something like, Gwen pulls the trigger. The next chapter can start with Shane realizing that the gun was unloaded filled with relief.

    they both need elaboration but they are just ideas, you can use them if you would like. Comment back when you have read this :)

    • Danette Russell

      Guest, may I read one of your books, please?

  • Hannah

    I’m writing a story but I can’t come up with a plot? How did you come up with yours? Please let me know.

    • Ethan

      I find it helps if you come up with the end first. And make sure it’s something you enjoy because you’ll be working on it for a long time.

      • Hannah

        Thanks!

  • Gabby

    Hey, I’m writing a story but I don’t know how to start it yet. Everyday I seem to come up with a new plot, how do I stick to one? It’s a gift for my best friend as she’s turning 17 in some months. The story is about a boy named Jupiter who’s 8 years and lives in the mountains of Utah, well that’s as far as I’ve gotten. Some advice?

    • Hannah

      Pick the plot that you like the best, and if you like them all try to pick the one that provides more for your story.

      • Gabby

        Thanks Hannah, that makes sense.
        Hey, would you like to read some of them to let me know which one is better?
        If its not too much trouble.

        • Hannah

          Sure, that would be great

          • Gabby

            Okay, well I don’t even know if their worth reading through, I mean if they have any potential at all of becoming a book at all.
            These are few of the plots I picked from the many to share with you, the base is that all of the stories involve a boy named Jupiter something I really wanted in my story.

            1)A few people were kept frozen for some centuries
            as part of a science experiment. They were found in a cave after a long time
            (the organization that did this experiment deteriorated) by passing explorers,
            a few of the people were brought back to life, of which some had forgotten who
            they were, there were two people who were enemies. The bad guy lashes out on
            everyone and Bilton one of the “frozen guys” could save the present world using
            past techniques.

            2)Prehistoric items stored and some clerk
            discovers a ragged cloth which had a pocket watch inside it and goes on a
            journey to find out whom it belonged to and slowly pieces out a story based on
            a few lives (the simple struggles people went through before war wiped them off
            the planet), how a boy named Jupiter was in the centre of it all (in the past
            story). The clerk discovers a simple but beautiful story of normal people and
            their extraordinary courage. Years after the clerk found the watch , the museum
            placed the pocket as a display to honour the people who passed away.

            3)
            Jupiter is a young depressed boy, who hates his
            life and family. One day when he was grounded and was in the attic he finds an
            old book. It is the life story of his unknown Grandmother who also disliked her
            pretentious family and was depressed. When the neighbourhood that she belonged
            to was attacked by a terrorist organization and all the people were taken
            hostage during a celebration she bravely stood up to them obviously only with
            the use of words she showed compassion and told them how she felt scared and
            how her life wasn’t perfect when one of them asked her to come with them as a
            slave , he took her anyway because of the same clothing everyone were presumed
            as terrorists but it turns out the one who took her was on an undercover
            operation and he took her far away to an island to teach her life lessons they
            were almost of the same age , although she never met her family, she was happy
            with him and lived there the rest of their lives. The reason why he took her,
            whether her family survived or what happened on the island or why she wasn’t
            known to her daughter’s family are the answers we’ll find out in the book.
            Jupiter was so taken a by this story he searched for this place his whole life (
            in hopes of finally belonging to a place where different people were meant to
            belong).

            4)
            The place Jupiter had come from was Arbonai
            (I’ll probably change the name) which was a place for kings and queens, he had
            to build peace between a few kingdoms, realize his potential and find the true
            meaning of life. A story of survival and forgiveness but that was all in his
            head, in reality he was in a coma, until and unless he wins in his world he
            might not have the strength to wake up in real life, does he wake? Let’s find
            out in the book.

            5) Jupiter, a boy whose eyes are blue as the
            planet, his mum couldn’t resist but name her little son that. He’s a blonde boy
            of age nine and spends most of the days beside his dog Roger (brown retriever).
            He has 4 siblings of which he’s the second youngest. One day on a walk with
            Roger he finds a rock with symbols on it (which proves that earth was formed
            many more years ago or a certain type of species existed or a message from ET
            perhaps, I can’t seem to decide) What happens after could be a discovery of
            some sort.

            I don’t want to sound a bit insecure or unappreciated but I’ve never shown my work to anybody, is any of it good?

            • Hannah

              You do not sound insecure, I think your ideas are really good! My favorites are #2 and #4, just keep working on the development of the plots.

              I have an idea for #2
              -The watch could be passed down from generation to the next and Jupiter ends up with it.
              -Perhaps his family is really poor and all he has is the watch.
              -He ends up falling in love with a girl.
              -He gets drafted in for the war and he knows he will probably never be back (being the war that wiped them out)
              -all he has of value is the golden pocket watch his father gave to him so he gives it to the girl he loves before he leaves to go to war
              -Maybe the story ends with someone picking up the watch (in the future, maybe 80-100 years) and wondering what it is, and who its owners in the past were

              or

              kind of the same as above only Jupiter is a little boy and his grandpa is telling him a story of when he had the watch

              I kind of got carried away, but feel free to use what ever idea you like. Keep writing, make small goals for yourself, like “write a paragraph everyday,” even if it isn’t about your story. Other than that great ideas!

              • Gabby

                Thanks!
                Yes, I really like the part about him giving the watch to the girl he loves, I think I’m going at some more of that into my story.
                I think I’m going to continue with the second story for now. The real issue is I couldn’t decide one one, I know all of it has to happen simultaneously but I just felt like choosing one and then add more to it rather then think about all the stories at the same time, that would be difficult.
                Really kind of you.

              • Gabby

                Sorry, ehh..lots of mistakes, and the part about me being a guest.
                Thanks!
                Yes, I really like the part about him giving the watch to the girl he loves, I think I’m going to add some more of that into my story.
                I think I’m going to continue with the second story for now. The real issue is that I couldn’t decide on one, I know all of it has to happen simultaneously (the thinking process) but I just felt like choosing one and then adding more to it rather then thinking about all the stories at the same time, that would be difficult.
                Really kind of you.

                • Hannah

                  No problem, glad to help :)

                • Gabby

                  Are you writing anything currently?

                • Hannah

                  Yes, I’m trying to. Nothing official, just something I like to work on when I’m bored I guess. I have ideas for different plots but I never end up sticking with them. I’m currently working on a story, but I don’t have a clue where I’m going to go with it. Do you want to read some of it?

                • Gabby

                  Yes, I’d love to.

                • Hannah

                  I’m still working on the plot, I’m thinking its going to be a dystopian/fiction. This is just a part of the first chapter. If you don’t mind giving constructive criticism that would be wonderful!
                  ch. 1
                  “Let go of me!” I screamed as I thrashed my arms and kicked my legs, in hopes of breaking free. Two tall men wearing black suits were dragging me down a long narrow hallway, with white, concrete walls and no windows. Industrial lighting panels ran the distance of the ceiling. They were so bright. When I blinked, my eyes would cast shadows in long vertical shapes. I looked over at one of the men, he had a five parallel scars stretching down the left side of his face. They were long and deranged as if someone had dragged their fingernails into his flesh. The thought gave me chills. We took a quick turn into what looks like an operating room. Only it was very unsettling. My stomach turned. Everything felt cold and distant. The contents of the the room made me fear for my life. In the middle stood a seven foot long stainless steel table. Surrounding the table were three doctors wearing blue scrubs and surgical masks.

                • Hannah

                  If you want to read the rest of ch 1 just let me know

  • cdg

    i am gonna write a story but i don’t come with a plot

    • Hannah

      Think of what you want to write about, and then make the plot along those lines.

  • shadowrose

    I have a lot of ideas for books. Some have come to me as dreams others from imagination and others just from a slight bit of paranoia but each time I go to write this into a book I can’t even finish 3 paragraphs. I know what I want but I can’t figure out how to put it in words. How to stretch these thoughts over hundreds of pages using tens of thousands of words to detail how my idea will play out. Putting these things into words is my largest problem. But another is I seem to fill in a certain part with my thought but then that part is either the middle or end and I can’t figure out how to start the book to lead up or finish up what I am trying to write about.

    • Krummm

      Maybe concentrate on one idea and then just let your pen flow. That’s the amazing thing about a rough draft and no time line 😉

    • Jody

      Becareful not to be too verbose when you get to that point where you’re about to stretch your diction to explain/describe things.It wouldn’t make a wonderful book if verbosity is promoted.

  • Krummm

    I want to write a book about my life. I’m only 34. I have had a lot of trying and turmoil times in my life. I feel this may be more therapeutic than anything. I’m just not sure where to begin. I know its recommended to start at the end but, with me being in the middle of my life I find this difficult. Any suggestions?

    • Hannah

      Maybe you could lead up to a big event, for example something good like a wedding, kids, or something sad or traumatic, or you could lead up to the present and say your regrets or how your experiences changed your for better/worse.

  • Paige

    At this moment in time i’m writing a book that is a unconventional love story. I really am enjoying the creative process. I’m only 17 but i go this brilliant idea for my book. I have been working on it and its breathing with life. I have read a huge amount of books in my life time and i felt like writing one but due to my age i’m lacking experience…

    • Outworld Entity

      Don’t let are stop you. Ever. Don’t let anyone tell you because of a lack of a love life or love story experience you’re not ready to write WHATEVER you feel led to write.

      Start just by flowing every day….the word will come. Do you know how many famous authors are still teenagers because their best selling was written BY teens FOR teens because they know how to communicate to that are group.

      You got it girl!

      • Wanda Writeabook

        Amazed at all the typos from these writers-to-be. If one is cautious and particularly interested in the written word, how does this happen?

        • kei

          I am amazed amongst an influx of positive comments for new writers there is someone imposing there unwanted negativity. This is not English Literature you can relax Wanda (I promise).

        • Greg Preston

          Mistakes happen. Maybe the “writer-to-be” was drunk or high? Perhaps the “writer-to-be”, is just so much on a creative roll that they really don’t give a damn about “typo’s”. Details like that get caught somewhere along the line to publishing. Creativity, always, comes before the minutia.

    • Greg Preston

      Stop two things right now. “I’m only 17″. You diminish and humble yourself straight away with the “only”. You tell the world you’re to young, sweet and innocent to know what to do when you throw the “17” into the mix. You’re neither. You’re a writer. So write! And you’d better be quick about it or all that you’ve written thus far, that which is now “breathing life”, may very well end up on life-support. You got me, with “breathing with life”. Your heart created that breath. Your fingers did the manual labour necessary to bring that breath to print. Your heart, your fingers your soul and your determination
      , shall guide those first fragile breaths, to truly live and delight readers 100 years from now as they read and feel the tales you tel. Write on dear Paige. Always write from the heart to bring “life” to your characters.
      You are a writer Paige. What you are not, us “only 17″. As a writer, with a heart, you can be any age, any sex or anything, that you want to be. If you can feel it, and you can write it, then you can do it. Whatever “it”, is destined to be.

  • Fatimah

    i have lots of ideas, and i keep coming up with new ones, so by now, the amount of books i have started, are quite a few. but every time i start one, i write a few chapters and then don’t know how to continue. like, me and my friend started one, and then we couldn’t progress because we don’t know how to flow with the idea. how do you stick to one idea, and actually progress with it?

    • Ethan

      It helps to come up with the end first. That way you know where you’re going to end up, an the process of figuring out what to do next is made a lot simpler.

    • Outworld Entity

      Agree with Ethan to an extent. When I was getting my degree in literature and writing studies one of the most important things I took away from one of my professors was that most people have no problem starting their book. They don’t know where they’re going when they start and hope it comes to them as they type….but that’s rarely the case. Brainstorming and waiting until you’re able to form the books direction in its entirety and laying it out on paper is the hardest part. But once that’s done youll be amazed how fast you start to write :)

  • Brittany

    I want to write about my life as a hearing impaired person. I’d like to talk about my struggles and how I get through life.

    • Joe Spataro

      WHO IS STOPPING YOUMAKE IT REAL MAKE IT YOU AND MAKE EM LAUGH AND CRY YOU GOT THIS .

    • Outworld Entity

      Brittany… While I agree and support your wanting to write about struggles (since I have the same impairment), make sure the book goes somewhere more than just an autobiography of an individual. People that write about something that has happened to them usually ground the book in a direction that entangled the reader with more than just ones story. Fact gathering, interviews with some of the most famous hearing impaired people, or you could even go the fiction route of a girl who struggles to overcome obstacles despite her even further obstacle of being hearing impaired.

      Hope this helps a bit!

  • http://pedromatias.co.uk/ Pedro Matias

    Nice work, very good tips. There appears to be a typo.

    “Think in terms of 10-thousand work”

  • Isabelle Spencer

    I’m attempting to write a book; iv got my first 3 chapters sorted; I defiantly have the idea for the plot and my characters personality’s and looks are defiantly decided in my head, I am finding it so difficult as to when I should introduce them in, as I feel like I can spend such a long time describing them because I can see what I want them to seem like to others, I understand that we will all have our own take on how a character will look I! I fear there isn’t enough dialogue, I really need to stop describing objects and the scene so much, but i love doing that; I get so carried away! Has anyone got any advise ? thankyou!

    • HumanWorm

      Not wishing to be mean yet admitting it must sound that way – learn to proof your work! The word you want is ‘definitely’, not ‘defiantly’. Learn basic grammar: ‘personalities’, not ‘personality’s’. Learn to punctuate a sentence properly. So my advice (not advise) is, learn to crawl before you fly. Ambition is great but without an injection of reality it is the beginning of delusion and disappointment. Step by step. Conscious reading with a grounding in grammar should help. I wish you the best.

  • Hannah

    Do you think the idea of dystopian books with over controlling governments is too overused?

    • Craig

      write what you are passionate about. The reason why that topic is overused is because people like that sort of “something from nothing” story. I say go for it!!

      • Hannah

        Thanks

    • Joe Spataro

      NEVER ENOUGH AND WAY TO UCH >?

  • Nina

    I am 21 and I am writing a fiction, so I wanted to ask you that how long should my book be ? Like how many words in each chapter ?

    • Ethan

      A chapter doesn’t need to be a certain length. You can have some five thousand words long and some five hundred, as long as it makes sense.

  • Sarah

    I’m a third year university student studying photography but I decided for my final project I wanted to do something different. I’m putting together a book which composes of both text and imagery. The book is based on my father and the eventful life he’s led (fraud, money laundering, stroke leading to paralysis, living two lives with two families) etc.. It’s mainly for me to come to terms with it but I also thought it would be a good way to show my curation skills, fitting the imagery to the text. I’m having problems with writing it as I’ve never written anything like this before. I don’t want it to be as long as the unusual book but I need to be able to hook the reader! Has anyone got any tips?

    • Hannah

      Just be honest and put your heart/feelings into it and it will hopefully make others feel the same way. Good luck with your book :)

      • Kat

        Hannah, I’ve been contemplating writing a book about my own life, Cancer survivor then surviving years of drug addiction. My biggest fear is offending my family. I
        Don’t know why they no longer speak to me anyway? But out of respect & loyalty. Has that been an issue for you & if so how have you dealt with it?

        • Hannah

          Although I have no personal experience with this issue, I suggest just journaling. Its a great way to come to terms with the past and in your case, a great way to start your book.

  • Elleinnetgrace

    I’m struggling with balance, it bothers me when people over describe characters and in trying to make sure i am not doing that, i feel like i am not explaining them enough. Any tips?

  • HallieBeth

    I’m trying to write a book that fits more into the Fantasy/fiction section. My main problem inventing phrases and words that are unique. I keep running into an already famous book that uses the same or very similar terminologies. Such as, I’ll use a creature or stereo-type name for a group or species but then will read something new by a best-seller and it will always be used. I’ve tried using things like the Greek or Latin or other language translation of a word but then realize I’ve already read about those things. Any ideas?

    • Outworld Entity

      Hallie…I ran into the same creative rut myself with my book. The first thing I did was to back and research what all of the best sci fi names have in common and that is usually that they’re grounded in reality. It roots off a word we know or can play off of. JK Rowling was a master at coming up with them as you can see by the Harry Potter series.

      Also there are websites out there which will generate words for you that I’ve found are easy to use a variation of. Then once you’ve found one you like make sure you google the word and make sure it’s not used already :)

    • Ed Rose

      Try common words spelled backwards. Like, Yrt nommoc sdrow sdrawkcab.

  • maxwelll

    I have got the first 3 chapters of my book written and i think its amazing email me yung_maxbo428@hotmail.com to have a reader

    • maxwelll

      it a different one btw

  • eleanor

    Hey I’m 12 and I’m witting a book, but I don’t think it long enough. It’s only 154 pages. Any tips on how I could make it longer?

    • lilian

      I think it’s long enough, Harry Potters first book was about this long :)

    • kriz

      if you want it longer, go back to random parts and just insert more description. if you wrote “the day was cold” and then moved on in that particular paragraph, go back and add in “the day was bitterly cold. I curled my hands into my coat and my teeth chattered away” that’s a silly example, but it stretches out the writing and paints more of a picture.

    • Monty

      12! Jeez

    • joey

      I am in 5th grade and am also trying to write a book, right now I just have the basics, do you have any tips?

    • Gina K Hildreth

      Details. Plenty of details…smells, expressions, what kind of day, what is the atmosphere, the mood, feelings, surroundings, everything! It will give the reader a better understanding of the scene and the moment while adding to your length!

  • Mr Oliver

    Hello everyone,

    My name is Mr Oliver and i am talking as the happiest person in the
    whole wide world today and i told my self that any lender that rescue my
    family from our poor situation, i will tell the name to the whole wild
    world and i am so happy to say that my family is back for good because i
    was in need a loan of $ 100,000 USD to start my life all over as i am a
    single mum with 4 kids and the whole world seemed like it was hanging
    on me until i met the GOD sent loan lender that changed my life and that
    of my family, a GOD fearing lender, Mr Alvin Williams, he was the
    Savior GOD sent to rescue my family and at first i thought it was not
    going to be possible until i received my loan of $ 100,000 USD on the
    5th/Jan/2015 and i will advise any one who is in genuine need of a loan
    to contact Dr.Muhameed via email at fastcredit@blumail.org because he is the most understanding and kind hearten lender.

    thanks you all for listening,

    • bob

      lol fake

  • Emma

    I am 11 and enjoy writing I am in the middle of my 6th original fiction novel!

  • aniky regina

    Hi I’m Anna and I want to write a book about my parson life from childhood until now I only wrote 10 000 words I lose focus n get tired of writing

  • Rebekah

    Hey, I’m only 12 years old and I have thought of plenty ideas to write a book with and its about the real meaning about being famous. I really don’t know if it’s a good topic, or if many other books have used it. Can you help me by telling me my topic is good if not may you tell me one that is new and creative.

    • joey

      seems like a good idea

    • Sonai

      Rebekah just write it down….

  • kristen

    hey…………i have got many ideas writing a book but when i kind of start writing it i develop a weird feeling like…”shut this crap no one is gonna read this….”what do i do?….i mean its got dragons ,wizards,witches,elves and some other imaginary people of my own….

    • Ethan

      I have the same feeling when I’m writing too. What I do to get over it is to get someone to read it and tell you if it’s any good, but the main idea is perseverance. You have to keep trying, despite any negativity you encounter. I just finished my first book, so keep at it and you’ll get there eventually.

    • David Burton

      Remind yourself that the point isn’t to write something good: for the first draft, the point is to get something onto the page. You can edit the page later with something better.

    • Lydia

      I’d advise finding a professional and asking him/her their opinion. And by the way I think thatdragons, wizards, witches, elves and some other imaginary folk sounds awesome:)

  • John PG

    Hi, I started my book five years ago and it’s become three. The first is on amazon. Don’t forget smashwords is good as well, but you can’t be on both without amazon getting upset. My tip would be try free writing. If you are upset or very happy write it down and you can use it for the character. Sometimes writing without a plot is useful to see where it leads, you can fit it in your main story later if it works. The best thing is to work out the characters and do a full profile, colour of eyes, likes and dislikes and even if they can swim or not. The more you know, the more depth they will have. Last one, I switched from third person to 1st person in my story and worked much better and you might find the same in your story either way. Mostly just enjoy it.

  • Naveen the 12 Year Old

    My book idea: a group of
    friends have a sleepover on their last day of school, and, when they finally
    fall asleep, they find themselves in a cave, studded with precious stones. The
    son of a soldier, and his pet, a young phoenix, finds them. They see different
    marks on each of the friends’ bodies, and proclaim that they have, somehow,
    been chosen to save the land, which is called Andrea. To do this, they have to
    pass through many kingdoms on their way to Magia Regnum, the Kingdom of Magic,
    where an evil wizard has taken over. The soldier’s son also says that each one
    of the group of friends has been given a special gift in order to save Andrea.

    Excerpt from the book: It all started on a
    breezy, sunny day. It was the afternoon of April 16th, as well as my
    last day at a school I had spent nearly 7 years at. On a day like that, you
    would expect something . . . fine, I’ll say it: magical to happen. Although, at the time, I thought that in a
    metaphorical sense. Now, well . . . once you finish reading, I think you can
    figure out what I think.

  • red

    Hey, I could really use your help. I want to write an autobiography. My life is not that interesting but I know that I can get an amazing book out of it, actually a few good books out of it. I’m terrified of what will happen when my family reads it. I have a lot of skeletons in my closet. I don’t care what strangers think are far a judging me. Its just that I have suffered in silence for a very long it. A lot of when I’ve been through it was just me. I know that it will freak my family out and they tend to be very judgmental. How do I go about this, should I do it as a fiction or now fiction, my point of view or third person. Im just lost. Its hard for me to start writing because of what they will think of me.

    • Christopher Johnson

      um, did you not just say “”My life is not that interesting “”??
      how do you get “an amazing book” out of that?
      Just curious, not harsh.

      • red

        people have told me I should right a book ages ago because they tell me my life would make a best selling book. I personally don’t think its interesting

        • David

          You might want to start with some grammar lessons? You would WRITE a book – not right one! Also the word in your context would be it’s interesting – as in IT IS. “It’s” is a contraction of it is. Its is a separate word that is the possessive of it, or belonging to it.
          You could still write an awesome book, but you might want to get someone to proof read it. Perhaps you have a friend who is better in this area? You would need to tidy it up before you sent it off.

  • Sofia Iliadou

    Hello, I started writing a book a long time ago, but although I have the hole story In my head, I am find it hard to write it, I wrote 3 small chapters and after I stucked and stopped. Can you help me because I really want to finish it.

  • hallie

    How do I know if a creature, name, or aother type of title is okay to use? For instance, if I was trying to give a species of horses with a single cone shaped hor on its forhead would it be okay to call it a unicorn? I would assume it is okay to use teh term “unicorn” as it has been used many, many times, but if i was finding a word for a normal person I proabably shouldn’t call him or her a muggle, mundane, mortals, or others similar. What’s the difference?

  • Christopher Johnson

    I had decided to write a book “about what!?” I thought but I didn’t know.
    I had pondered for years, constantly searching for a topic.
    One day I witnessed a horrible murder, the police had crept into my back yard and were lying in wait for my elderly grandfather who was tending his opium plants, creeping up through the underbrush they leaped out of a tree with their automatic shotguns blazing – and my grandpa was killed in a hail of bullets.
    Suddenly a topic popped into my head, I would write a book about talking daisies.

    • Alex Gonzalez

      This is seriously one of the best comments i’ve seen on the internet

  • Phil Ema Jane Hess

    I have a Master’s Thesis’s that I want to spring board into a book. My Thesis was an investigation of a policy change with the FAA. Allowing all (Transport, Commercial, and recreational) pilot’s to fly while being diagnosed with depression. In light of the German Wing’s suicide crash I feel it important for society to know actually how many pilot’s flying that have this condition and the various issues with this policy that is counterproductive that will keep pilot’s from coming forward!

    • Keith Reeder

      You might want to learn some basic grammatical stuff first – sort your apostrophes out!

      • Chelsea

        I think your comment is a tad rude and honestly a little huffy.

        • lynn

          yeah keith reeder. We cant all b comment moderators on other peoples blogs in our spare time. Hopefully i just gave you something else to do slash comment on with all the grammar and spelling mistakes i deliberately made in an effort to get you to spend more time griping about others mistakes for fear you might actually be writing a book. A book I am sure will be a really awesome flawless pageturner.

  • sharikul

    I’m currently writing (or trying to) a book on HTML. It’s quite a technical book, and I understand that most people would not be interested in reading it if I wrote it in a manner that assumes that the reader knows what I am thinking about. I find it so hard sometimes to just carry on writing, because whilst trying to simplify concepts, I briefly forget what I’m writing about!

  • http://www.millieho.net Millie Ho

    I tried tracking my progress using word count, got up to 440,000 words, but scrapped all of it due to my writing perfectionism. Despite finishing multiple drafts, I wasn’t writing honestly and my story focused more on plot, not characters. It was REALLY HARD to stay motivated and continue writing after that.

    So I revised my method to focus more on quality, not quantity: http://millieho.net/2015/06/03/3-challenges-writing-the-first-10000-words/#comment-9639

    The visualization tip I used really helped me stay sane and stay writing. Hope this helps you if you’re in the same boat!

  • http://foreignsanctuary.wordpress.com/ Constance – Foreign Sanctuary

    Great list of tips!! I am at the tail end of finishing my memoir and the actually writing part has gone relatively smoothly for the most part, but some aspects of my life were hard to write about at times [finding the perfect words to document an experience and bring it to life can
    be tough.] And I think it is important to schedule time off. Recharging the batteries does wonders for your writing ability and flow.

  • Timothy McIntyre

    This is an awesome article. I am writing my 2nd book, and I wish I had read these tips before I started my first, it would have saved me a lot of time! Especially important are having an outline (don’t be afraid to continually revise it as you go), write 1st thing in the AM when you are fresh, and set realistic deadlines you can meet. Also, TAKE THE TIME TO FIND A GREAT DESIGNER. I interviewed several until I found designbyindigo.com, Audria there came up with a fantastic cover, and my book has sold extremely well. Don’t skimp time and effort on the cover, or you’ll be sorry!

  • Campbell

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  • Denisse Molina Fisher

    Thank you so much

  • Cesar Encalada

    So, I am currently dealing with a dilema, to write or not to write the book I believe one day can get far. And it so happens, the book I want to write is more of a trilogy that takes place in a Medieval/Fantasy setting, more specifically a World known as Eragos.

    Should I continue to write it? The book has already been copyrighted and is named Dynasty of Kings.

    SYPNOPSIS:

    Eons ago in a time long forgotten, existed the Ancient World of Eragos. The Barbarian Wars have left the Eraganian Empire fractured and broken; very little prosperity and safety condemn the people of the Realm and the Emperor’s reign is soon to come to an end trailed by a deadly plague that has taking over his well-being.

    In return, he launches a great tourney in the name of his daughter, and whomever would win the tournament would surely wed the future Queen and rule the Empire of Eragos in his absence. Many of the Empire’s noble families would travel from across the Region to the Capitol in order to attend the Royal tournament.

    But dark secrets lie in the shadows of the realm, soon to uncover themselves amongst the Empire – tragedy and death, victory and glory, betrayal and love, all revolve through the conspiracies and schemes that will endeavor a deadly conflict between families and great dynasties of the noble empire: all for the hand of the queen.

    ——-

    Unlike many fantasy books these days, my book tries really hard to make fantasy elements in the world blend in with reality to give certain credibility to the world itself.

    Long story short, magical elements are very, very, very subtly used in this universe, to help the reader understand that magic is a dying element and it is used by political means. It has taken almost a year and a half to perfect and to create this universe of characters and places in my book, as well as to create a story compelling and strong enough to make the reader feel he/she is in this world.

    The only issue being: fearing people will think my book is too similar to A Song of Ice and Fire Saga. Although the story does start off in the Capitol, (Like Kings Landing) and like many other fantasy books the book uses multiple characters to explore different points of view from within the capitol.

    It also includes many royal dynasties or families that compete for the crown, ultimately doing what they feel they must in order to become descendants of the crown. The storyline and the subplots all have several outcomes for each character. Even though the story plots are quite different, they do tend to deal with certain situations similarly to ASOIAF, due to the nature of people in Medieval setting, such as; ways of saluting noble people, Shakespearean dialogue, having a monarchy and some certain type of political power and having royal families compete against each other.

    The entire nature of the Medieval Ages was similar to these, meaning George R.R. Martin did his research thus making ASOIAF so damn close to reality. I have revised the story and changed the plots but I still hate the fact that only because it concerns families trying to compete over a crown people immediately think of Game of Thrones, hopefully you guys will let me know what you think!

    • H Suruagy

      Follow your passion and write the book! You never know where the story will take you. What makes ASOIAF & LOTR so unique, in my opinion, is the richness of the characters. I would focus on developing a dynamic set of characters in your plot line that will enthrall your audience and help engage them in the nuances of your fantasy world. Good luck!

    • Kayla Ahrens

      Go for it. It sounds like a great story.

  • https://twitter.com/MrAnthonysMind Joshua Anthony

    Very useful Information for the novice author, many thanks!

  • Hannah

    I am a teen writer and I currently have several books that I have written over the years that I have stopped in the middle of them but somehow keep coming up with new ideas and topics… which leads to a start of a new book and, yet again, unable to finish. One thing that holds me back from finishing my books is that I cannot come up with a title for any of them. I don’t know how I want them to end, just that I go with the flow and write in them whenever I get an idea then stop again. All my books range in topics, but mainly paranormal. I’m thinking about waiting until I finish these books/series before coming up with titles but if I cant sit down and write a book start to finish without stopping, how can I ever finish what I have? I need help, please!!!

    • Alexandria Farmstrong

      that is incredible hanna keep at it its hard but you need to focus that happens to me a lot its normal writer have great fast pacing thoughts.

    • holly

      That’s great, try and make a plot or plan and write it down maybe make chapters so you can plan and write so much and include certain events in chapters and that way you’ll be able to finish it.

    • Kayla Ahrens

      I have the same problem. I haven’t finished a book yet, but I have been able to stick with one. I asked some friends to remind me to write every day. They read my book, and give helpful advice. For a title, I would make it something important to the main character, or the main character’s name. And I have a separate notebook where I write everything I want to happen, how the story is going to go, etc. I hope this helped.

    • Toria

      I have the same problem, and I am a teen too. :-)
      I am just about to finish the first book i have finished in two years. What I did is I got an idea (from a song) and I started writing the first chapter or two. I lost interest, like always, and started four more drafts. Then I went back to the first one and I saw so much promise. I made myself write for one hour every day, even if that process included massive headaches from banging my head against the wall. I did this for about a month, and then I lost interest again. About 2 weeks later, I went back and wrote four or five more chapters in two weeks. So I guess what works for me is starting one, and if I get bored, do something else, and then come back to it, and repeat until I’m done.

  • Richard

    Im trying to write a new book but I guess Im tired of people saying that it is about myself. Does anyone get this same reaction from people?

  • Mike

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