Writing a book can be a real challenge, and a lot goes into this; you have to have an original idea that will cater to the needs of a specific group/audience. I’ve been working as a book editor for the last two years, and let me tell you, I’ve read a look at first drafts, and a lot of them are bad, but there are a couple of gems out there.
Writing a book can be a really daunting task, especially if you are a new author and are writing your first book. So, without further ado, let’s dive into this blog and learn some of our practical tips that you might use if you want or are writing a book.
1. Set goals
Writing should never be rushed, but you ought to give yourself a schedule to follow because otherwise, you will never write. I know you might have writer’s block, but by writing even something unsubstantial, you can get a light bulb moment and have a realization that will develop your story.
One of the best tips we can give anyone, be you a novice or veteran, when it comes to writing is to have a writing goal. Make this 250 to 500 words per day if you are starting out. This might seem like nothing, but you will have about 1750 or 3500 words at the end of the week. For more experienced writers, we recommend writing an average of 2500 to 4000 words a day.
Remember, this is only a first draft, so don’t stress out too much on it and just write; the bulk of the first draft is to flesh out your story, characters and plot. There will be changes, but these will happen organically once you’ve planned your story.
Most novels are about 50 000 to 100 000 words long, so a good bet is to write about 75 000 words; if there need to be any cuts or addition, you are good. You recommend writing less than 75 000 words for the first draft because, remember, this is only a first draft.
2. Your voice
There are a lot of books on the market; what will set you apart is your voice and what you have to bring to the table. Originality is key here, and you need to keep your individuality when you are writing, which will set you apart from other writers.
Sure, you might read a lot, especially in your chosen genre of your book, and you can take inspiration from other successful books, but you should never forget that your audience doesn’t want a copy of a popular book. They want your version of a popular genre or trope. What sets you apart is writing about things you know that will set you apart from others.
Sure, you might have been inspired by Madeline Miller or Alison Cochurn, but remember it is your book, not a pseudo copy of their book or style. Inspiration doesn’t mean that you have to copy them; you have to set yourself apart for people to want to buy and read your book. The key here is to maintain your unique view of the world.
3. Think and idea
Sure, we’ve all read the Harry Potter books, but we don’t want to reread them from the view of a different author. If you love Harry Potter, then you might want to give Rainbow Rowell’s Carry On trilogy a go. It is a riff on Harry Potter but follows two queer wizards.
This is one of the ways how you can take inspiration from the source material and bring your own voice to an otherwise overwritten genre or trope. Getting a great or even perfect idea is primordial for your first book, which will set you apart from other writers.
This might take a long time, but once you’ve landed on the perfect idea, you just have to write your first draft to get a general idea of what you want to write and what you want to say. Brainstorming is a must in this stage of your writing process, and googling will also be helpful to make sure that no one else has the same idea as you.
Sound off in the comments section below and tell us if you want to read more about how to write, edit and advertise a novel.