When you want to write that book but need a little push, where do you turn? The internet of course. What do you find? Book writing courses at varying prices. But you don’t want a course, you just need a little help. This is why I have written this page of free book writing tips.
I will give you a quick overview of the few things writers find essential to get that book written. If you are looking for more indepth information why not check out our posts on:
Or check out our section on writing prompts for some inspiration.
Goals & Deadlines
When writing a book days can easily turn into months and months into years, before you know it you’ve been writing this thing for a decade. How does one combat this?
Set yourself small goals, big goals and a deadline to have it finished. This will motivate you to keep going, keep writing, let it be part of your routine and you’ll have a book in no time. Allow me to explain.
A small goal could be 200 words per day. A big goal could be 6000 words per month. A deadline could be a year. Is this doable?
Believe or not there are 210 words in the paragraphs before this moment. It took less then 15 minutes to write. That suggests that with just 15 minutes a day, in a month that holds 30 days, (6000 words a month) with 12 months in a year, (72000 words) and the knowledge that the average novel length is 70,000 words. You can have a book in a year.
Words Per Day
Of course, in order to meet the above deadlines and goals you have to write 200 words per day. Let’s be realistic, even 15 minutes a day of writing can be hard to keep up, so how would one make sure they write for 15 minutes a day.
Set a time that’s specifically for writing. Maybe it’s in the moment after putting the kids to bed, maybe it’s the first thing you do in a day, maybe it’s on lunch break with a coffee. Just set the time and stick to it.
Life can be strange the way it seems to deliberately go out of its way to screw with our schedules so be flexible. Be willing to change up that time of writing if you absolutely can not stick to your schedule for the day. Do not be tempted to simply write double tomorrow, you can so easily fall into a trap where you’ll never catch up.
Instead of skipping a day completely, do it as the last thing before you sleep. 15 minutes. You can do that.
Of course, it is always easier to write a book when surrounded by like-minded people. To this end, you can join a forum, join a Facebook group, get a writing group going, or join one.
I love using Nano month. For those of you that don’t know, nano month is a month of writers. In November a bunch of writers attempt to write their book. The Nano group I love the most spend the year thinking up characters, place, ideas and don’t write a thing until the 1st of November when Nano starts. Then they write 5000 to 7000 words every day until the end of the month. At the end of the month, they have the book.
This is an intense way of writing that requires a lot of planning. But the community is there, all trying the same thing, it is lots of fun, we rub off each other giving energy. Of course, this isn’t easy. I have yet to completely finish a book, I’ve always been working at this time. This year however I will succeed. And, yes. I say that every year.
Will you take part in the Nano? Comment below.
Leave The Editing
The biggest tip a writer can give anyone starting out as a writer is to leave the editing.
This means your first draft is going to look outrageous and may only be understandable by you. BUT you will have written the book. Editing is a long job and can slow you from ever finishing the story, so get the story down first. You can deal with the editing later.
I’m not saying to just write a synopsis or idea of what happens in each chapter. I am saying write as you think. This may mean your spelling is terrible, your sentence structure needs work or you have conversations that look like this:
Harvey: But we can’t do it alone.
Jason (with frustration): There is no one else.
When you go back and edit the book that conversation will look more like this.
Lowering his weapon in defeat Harvey walked over to Jason and put a hand on his shoulder. “Okay Jace, you are right. But we can’t do this alone.”
Jason shrugged the hand off his shoulder as he put his own hands to his head, barely biting back the screams of frustration itching at the back of his throat. “There is no one else!” he almost yelled.
This second section is written after going back over the writing once the story is completed and polishing it.
Start As You Mean To Go On
The biggest problem facing new writers is that they start great then they let it go by the wayside, the writing never gets completed because they stop. They start strong but do not follow through throughout the year, then they think, we need a clean slate, start again next year.
Get yourself a yearly planner like this one. Write in it what word count you want to hit when as a visual reminder. Aim for those goals throughout the year and don’t let it drop. Start strong and keep it up. If you drop the ball, pick it up again. Don’t add the word count goal that you missed to the next one, that’s just discouraging, move them all up and keep aiming for it.
Is This A Tried And Tested Method?
Some of the above tips were wrested from the internet, other tips from writers like John Lenahan. Tried and tested? YES. And I tell you something, it is a great feeling to finish a book in a year. It s now the method I use. It really works.
Let me know about your experiences with writing and if any of these tips have helped you.