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How to Start Writing a Book: A Peek Inside One Writer’s Process

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❶Some were heavily pre-planned.

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We found an existing MasterClass account associated with this email address. Create a password to link your Facebook. Apple and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. See More Instructors Log In. Set out to write a best-selling book James Patterson, the author of 19 consecutive No. Class Workbook Each video lesson is paired with notes, reading materials, and assignments to make sure you get the most out of your class.

Office Hours Submit your rough drafts and assignments for feedback from other students taking the class and possibly James himself! Part 2 James has never shown the outline for his best-seller Honeymoon to anyone not even his publisher until now. What should they think about yours? By the time the last lesson was over, and Mr.

Patterson Jim, to me now had set me loose to write my best seller, I had developed a genuine respect for the man.

Joyce Maynard Cover story for The Observer. Patterson is not only a great writer, but a natural teacher as well. His style is casual, uncomplicated and straightforward. Max Rogue Writer from Virginia. James Patterson delivered each lesson with great intricacy. I will continue to adhere to much of what I learned in this program and revisit it throughout my career.

Cody Collier Writer from Los Angeles. This class has been so encouraging and affirmed my desire to write great stories. Thank you, James Patterson! Shannon Redmon Writer from Candler. I look forward to implementing the wisdom and tools you have given me through these lessons. Thank you, MasterClass, for featuring Mr. Judy Blume Teaches Writing. Shonda Rhimes Teaches Writing for Television. Aaron Sorkin Teaches Screenwriting.

Some like to write their entire first draft before attacking the revision. As I say, whatever works. I alternate creating and revising. The first thing I do every morning is a heavy edit and rewrite of whatever I wrote the day before. Then I switch hats, tell Perfectionist Me to take the rest of the day off, and I start producing rough pages again.

Compartmentalize your writing vs. Most who fail at writing a book tell me they give up somewhere in what I like to call The Marathon of the Middle. The solution there is in the outlining stage , being sure your middle points and chapters are every bit as valuable and magnetic as the first and last. If you strategize the progression of your points or steps in a process—depending on nonfiction genre—you should be able to eliminate the strain in the middle chapters.

For novelists, know that every book becomes a challenge a few chapters in. Force yourself back to your structure, come up with a subplot if necessary, but do whatever you need to so your reader stays engaged. Fiction writer or nonfiction author, The Marathon of the Middle is when you must remember why you started this journey in the first place. You have something to say.

You want to reach the masses with your message. It still is for me—every time. Embrace the challenge of the middle as part of the process. If it were easy, anyone could do it. This is just as important for your nonfiction book as your novel. But even a how-to or self-help book needs to close with a resounding thud , the way a Broadway theater curtain meets the floor. Agents and editors can tell within the first two pages whether your manuscript is worthy of further consideration.

That sounds unfair, and maybe it is. Because they can almost immediately envision how much editing would be required to make those first couple of pages publishable. For my full list and how to use them, click here. Imagine engaging a mentor who can help you sidestep all the amateur pitfalls and shave years of painful trial-and-error off your learning curve.

Many masquerade as mentors and coaches but have never really succeeded themselves. Look for someone widely-published who knows how to work with agents, editors, and publishers. There are many helpful mentors online. I teach writers through this free site, as well as in my members-only Writers Guild.

Want to save this definitive guide to read later? Click here or below to download a handy PDF version: Struggling with knowing how to write a book? Tell me in the comments and feel free to ask questions. Before you go, be sure to grab my FREE guide: How to Write a Book: Everything You Need to Know in 20 Steps. Just tell me where to send it: But what if you knew exactly: My goal here is to offer you that plan.

Assemble your writing tools. Break the project into small pieces. Settle on your BIG idea. Set a firm writing schedule. Establish a sacred deadline. Start calling yourself a writer. Find your writing voice. Write a compelling opener. Fill your story with conflict and tension. Turn off your internal editor while writing the first draft. Persevere through The Marathon of the Middle.

Write a resounding ending. Become a ferocious self-editor. Want to download this step guide so you can read it whenever you wish? Establish your writing space. What were you saying about your setup again? We do what we have to do. And those early days on that sagging couch were among the most productive of my career. Real writers can write anywhere. Scrivener users know that taking the time to learn the basics is well worth it.

So, what else do you need? Get the best computer you can afford, the latest, the one with the most capacity and speed. How to Start Writing a Book 3. An old adage says that the way to eat an elephant is one bite at a tim e. Try to get your mind off your book as a or-so-page monstrosity. So keep it simple. To be book-worthy, your idea has to be killer.

Go for the big concept book. Run it past loved ones and others you trust. Does it raise eyebrows? Or does it result in awkward silences? What separates great nonfiction from mediocre?

Ideally, you want to schedule at least six hours per week to write. I used the phrase carve out above for a reason. But beyond that, the truth is that we all find time for what we really want to do. A favorite TV show? An hour of sleep per night?

Be careful with this one; rest is crucial to a writer. Successful writers make time to write. Without deadlines, I rarely get anything done. I need that motivation. Admittedly, my deadlines are now established in my contracts from publishers. K Rowling began with an idea that came to her on a train, an idea she refused to let go of. If you truly want to learn how to write a book — the best book you can — begin today with one easy action.

Maybe do an exercise you find by clicking one of the links on this page. I am writing about a immortal character who lives around years and keeps journals of his life how far can I skip in time through out his. Can you use the confession of a thief, for example, as a way to answer some questions that the reader might have? Now that I understand how a novel is structured, I will rewrite mine, confident that it will be a more interesting novel.

It has helped me in so many ways, and has given me more confidence about myself and my work. Thank you for making this valuable resource, for me and my fellow writers. Thank you for making this available.

Yes, it is a bit complex, and it does take time, but I love it because it works. It is a plethora of knowledge, written in a simplistic way to help aspiring writers. I truly appreciate all of the information you have provided to help me successfully relative term write my novel. Thank you very much!

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