How to Write a Book: Basic Step-by-Step Guide

how to write a book

We all have that one idea for a book we want to write. You know, the one you keep telling your friends and family about, and they just nod their head politely? The one that is constantly on your mind but never quite seems to get off the ground. Creating a book can feel like an impossible task initially, especially if it’s your first go-around. But don’t worry! Our team at Lucid Publishing has put together some tips to help make this process easier than ever for you!

Start with the storyline.

The first step in writing your book is thinking through and creating a draft of your storyline. This will be the basis of what your story centers around. Start by deciding what the topic of your book is and whether it’s fiction or nonfiction. Brainstorm the plot or twists and turns you’re looking to incorporate into the action. Creating a storyline is helpful when writing and during editing, since it ensures continuity throughout the novel.

Character Development

Identify who is going to be in your story and what their role will be. Developing your protagonist, antagonist, and supporting characters will be necessary for you to craft a believable and readable narrative. Creating the backstories of your characters during drafting also helps with continuity, as well.

Once the initial character creation is complete, it’s time to develop the feelings and attitudes for each personality. This can help shape dialogue between characters, so it feels more natural when talking back and forth, improving storytelling by making it sound less contrived.

Tip: Keep in mind that if you write about real people or use their names, make sure you have written permission from them first!

Creating an outline

Once you have a basic idea of who your characters are, it’s time to develop the plot. Creating a detailed outline is often more helpful than writing straight from start to finish without thinking about what happens next.

The outline provides structure and direction for how events unfold in your story. An outline also helps writers incorporate foreshadowing events into the storyline, which can be challenging if the circumstances aren't well thought out in advance! Having an outline readily accessible is also a great place to keep track of ideas that pop up spur-of-the-moment so that you don't risk forgetting those crucial details when you try to recall them from memory at a later time.

Tip: Have fun with this process but don’t forget to include research, if necessary, such as consulting timelines, historical settings, or geographical locations. This will make your book feel more realistic and engaging because the reader will be able to visualize the scenes in their head.

Begin the writing process

You’ve got your storyline, your characters are developed, and your outline is complete. So, the next step in writing your book is putting pen to paper to start writing!

This is your moment of truth: you’re finally going to put your thoughts into words. But where should you start? Well, if it’s a scripture, a small poem, or a saying in your head, then this step pushes forward automatically because there isn’t much else that can get in the way! If not, just come up with an introduction and go from there – think about what happened before explaining why things turned out the way they did.

We like to tell our authors to think of your introduction and beginning chapters like telling someone about an event: you start by describing what happened before moving on and explaining why you think things turned out the way they did.

Tip: If you have trouble getting started, try playing around with different word combinations until something clicks for you. This is known as ‘writing your way into a story.’ You never know which sequence will work, so don’t give up too quickly!

Find a partner in publishing

Last but certainly not least, your book is ready for a publisher to review it. However, finding a partner in publishing is not as simple as it may seem. The key is selecting a publisher who values your content and will help guide you with polishing your manuscript so that it’s ready for publication.

Also keep in mind that each publishing partner has their own guidelines for submissions – different requirements for writers who want to submit their work. For example, some publishers only accept manuscripts in specific formats; others may require an application form with a cover letter attached before any submission can be considered at all. Some might not take unsolicited material from authors without a track record of success.

Be sure to find out what marketing your book looks like with potential publishing companies. Some book agencies play a significant role in this area, and others do not. Be sure to do your homework to find who is the best partner in getting your book published and in the hands of your ideal readers.

While writing and creating a book can feel like a daunting process, it certainly doesn’t have to be. If you’re looking for help with any part of your story or need guidance for developing characters or storylines, reach out! We can work together so you know what needs to happen next without getting overwhelmed by all there is left to do before publication day arrives.

Contact us today to see if partnership publishing is the right fit for you!

Picture of Casey Cease

Casey Cease

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