How to Write a Book with No ExperienceSep 30, 2023
The Zero to Hero Guide: How to Write a Book with No Experience
Hey there, future authors! Today, we’re delving into a topic that might seem daunting at first: how to write a book with absolutely no experience. But don’t worry. By the end of this article, we’ll turn that daunting feeling into manageable steps with some practical writing prompts and exercises. So, let’s get those creative writing juices flowing.
The ‘Impossible’ Becomes Possible
Writing a book when you have no experience isn’t as impossible as it seems. Take me for example; I began my writing journey while juggling a demanding job and family life. I couldn’t afford writing courses, yet I had the imagination and the will to succeed. There are days when I pinch myself because I'm living my dream life. And you can too. There’s so much help and information available. So, if you’re wondering how to write a book with no experience, know that it’s never been a better time to begin.
Key Tip: Visit my website to download a free template on How to Plot a Book in 14 Days. It’s my way of paying it forward.
Take the First Step: How to Start Writing
The first practical step in learning how to write a book with no experience is pretty straightforward: just start writing. Overthinking will only hold you back. Engage in free-flow writing exercises and let the creative side of your brain take over. You’ll find that over time, your writing will improve. Think of it as training for a marathon. In those early days when you're running mile after painful mile, nobody is cheering you along. Some even think that you're crazy for trying, or say you'll never get it done. But then comes the day when you cross the finish line for real, and all the hard work has paid off. Keep writing that first draft, you're learning so much, and you don't even realise.
Organise Your Thoughts: The Power of Outlining
Once you’ve written some words, outlining becomes your next best friend. Think of it as the architecture of your story, offering you a strong foundation to build upon. It also prevents you from hitting what we call the ‘saggy middle’ of your book. It’s where the action slows down and some writers become stuck before giving up for good.
Writing Exercise: Use index cards to jot down main plot points and arrange them visually to make sense of your story. Various digital tools like Scrivener can also aid in this process, but you can use anything to plot. I’m always experimenting and once I plotted a whole book on the back of an old roll of wallpaper!
Creating Believable Characters and Worlds
Characters are the heartbeat of your story. Whether you’re writing science fiction or a contemporary romance, focus on creating compelling characters that evolve throughout. There are lots of writing courses online covering characters and worlds, and be sure to subscribe to my site if you'd like to see how I've created over twenty bestselling books.
Writing Exercise: Develop a character sheet outlining your main characters’ likes, dislikes, fears, and ambitions. This will make them more relatable and engaging to your readers. You can find an easy to use character bio list in my free download, Plot Your Book in 14 Days.
Daily Rituals and Writing Goals
So how long does it take to write a book? Well, consistency is key. Even a few hundred words each day will gradually build up your story. Don’t be one of those people who write loads to begin with then give up half way through. It’s better to write little and often to get the habit truly ingrained at the start.
Key Tip: Designate a specific writing time each day and stick to it. Consider signing a commitment letter with a finishing date for your book as a form of self-motivation.
The Revision Process
Revision is your chance to refine your work and bring your book to life. Think of the plot as your foundation, the first draft your bare bones, the revision process breathes life into your story. It’s so exciting to watch it take shape.
Writing Exercise: Reading your draft out loud will help you catch errors and improve the flow of your story.
Remember, consistency will set you up for success, even if it means writing in the car, during a commute, or even at the hairdressers. That wraps up our guide on how to write a book with no experience. Your unique voice deserves to be heard, and the world is waiting for your story. Don’t let inexperience or fear hold you back.
Adapted from ‘The Motivated Author’ podcast.
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