When You Want To Write a Book but You Don’t Know Where To Start
by Denise Pass
“It was a dark and stormy night.”
These opening words by the character Snoopy in Charles Schulz’s famous comic strip Peanuts convey the struggle of starting a book. The cartoonist Charles Schulz wittingly used a dog to perhaps highlight his own writing struggles.
Sometimes getting started writing a book can be the hardest part of the writing process. We might think we know where we want the direction of the book to go, but getting the ball rolling requires much more than just creativity.
When the ink in the pen seems dry and you are encountering writer’s block, here are a few tips to get your message from your mind to the page and your message off the starting blocks!
Start with the end in mind.
Why are you writing this book? What is the main point you want to communicate? Knowing this focus for your book helps you to lay the foundation in the first chapter. Depending on the genre of book you are writing, you might not have decided how you want to end the book, or perhaps you have not completed your research and are not sure of the conclusion. That’s OK. You can still have a central point even if you do not know the exact details of the end.
Start with a map to your message.
Start with an outline of the chapters before you begin to write. Outline the chapter titles, and then create the flow for each chapter. The outline can be basic as details will be filled in during the writing process. But know what type of content you want in each chapter.
For instance, you might decide to have a famous quote or scripture followed by a story that opens each chapter. Just like directions from our GPS lead us to where we want to travel to, the outline should connect the process and direction you are taking the reader to.
Start with a brainstorm.
Having boundaries in place for each chapter, take each chapter on its own and brainstorm and research each chapter topic. Like puzzle pieces conveying one main point, each chapter contributes to the overall picture. This brainstorming can involve writing down key points you want to make in that chapter and will likely prompt you to begin the writing process.
End with the beginning in mind.
What is the central message that you wanted to drive home throughout the book? Look at the beginning and see if you stayed on course with your message and writing goal.
In the end, you may find that you have to rewrite the beginning of your book as you develop your message. This is part of the writing process that ensures that writing is cohesive and clearly communicates the central message.
All for Jesus,
How do you begin to write your book? What helps you the most to get the ball rolling? Share in the comments!
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