Amazon is saturated with books that claim to help you to become a writer. They claim to tell you how to write a book, what steps you need to take, how to become successful – blah, blah, blah. Do me (but mostly yourself) a favour – don’t buy them.
A writer is a writer – it is as simple as that. Either you can write or you can’t. That is not to say that you will write well all of the time; you won’t. All writers experience lulls in creativity. At one time or another we all fall off the writing horse. Then there are those that just need to find something else to do – harsh, but true.
Whether you are a fledgling writer or a writer thrown into despair and desperate to get your writing back on track, buying a ‘How to write a book’ book is not going to help you. So don’t do it.
There is no uniform way to write a book. No proven strategy to stick to. Nope! There are various ways to write a book. In fact there are so many that I don’t know exactly how many there are!
If you are having problems and are looking for a new way to do things there are plenty of writers out there that genuinely care about helping you to do better. They will share with you how they do it. That does not mean it’s the way you should write, but it is insightful and free. You never know, one of these styles may work for you.
The last book that I wrote, I based upon a scene that played out in my head. I sat down with a pen and paper and started writing. I drew up a list of characters and their attributes and then I wrote and wrote and wrote and edited and edited and edited until it was ready for a Beta. That is my style.
Others write outlines so they have a good idea of the most significant parts of their story and then they write around it. Others write chapter by chapter outlines. I tried this method lately and it worked pretty well. You see? There are so many ways and none of them are wrong. Only YOU can find what works for you.
Of course, there are key things that we all need to consider when we are writing. Setting, plot, characters, description (show don’t tell), prose, POV, protagonist. And if you feel you need a little help – instead of purchasing a book, search online! Read the multitude of blogs that are available from published authors.
We all need to find our own style. If I try to write in someone else’s style my book goes off on a twisty bender because I’m not being true to myself.
I cannot stress this enough – write in whatever way you feel most comfortable.
Remember: No-one can tell you how to write! You must discover this for yourself. So leave those ‘How to write a book’ books on the shelf. You don’t need them!