How to Start Writing a Book for Beginners: Learn to Write a Book in 5 Steps Even if You’re a Total Beginner
How to start writing a book for beginners: learn to write a book in 5 steps even if you’re a total beginner, If you are a total beginner and you want to start writing, there’s only one thing I can tell you: welcome to the club! This is amazing! I am very happy that you are starting this journey.
I imagine that you are here because it’s the first time you’ve ever thought about actually starting that book. And you probably thought: I want to do it right, so I’ll get some survey done.
And this is amazing. I can tell you that you’re already ahead A LOT of so-called writers out there.
Because before you break the rules, you must know the rules. Before you create your own concept, you have to know the concept first. You wouldn’t try to paint Mona Lisa before knowing the basics of painting and drawing, right? This is the basic thing to learn how to start writing a book for beginners.
Having said that, you must know that there is no right or wrong way to do it. Do you have to be a genius in grammar to write a book? No. Do you have to use the Hero’s Journey on your book for it to be successful? No. Do you have to write fiction because it is the only thing that sells? No.
You can do whatever you want in your book. The only rule is: you have to write. Without writing, it will never get done, and you will never be a writer.
However, there are some things that if you do, there are much more chances of you being successful. There are things you can do that guarantee that you will actually be able to finish the book and afterward sell it.
So I’m going to tell you those things. How to start writing a book for beginners? You are going to find billions of techniques around the internet, and you must choose the ones that apply to you. There’s no single rule ‘one fits all’ when it comes to literature.
How to start writing a book for beginners?
1- Before you start writing, think about the duties of a writer
What this means is that you have to think about what a writer does in their daily lives. They plan the story, they write daily for hours, they edit it for hours, they come up with a publication plan afterward. It is a lot of suffering. Writing a book is VERY hard. Think if you want to spend the next year writing every day. Ask yourself if you enjoy writing.
Many times I see people thinking about writing a book because you can do it apparently alone. You need a HUGE team and enormous amount of money to create a movie. The same goes with games. If you want to make a comic book, you are going to need to know how to draw well. Sometimes, people don’t even WANT to write, they don’t enjoy this activity, but they get into this because they think it’s ‘easier’ to come up with a book than it is to draw a comic or create a movie or a game.
Boy, are they wrong.
Writing a book is very hard. And I don’t say this to kill your motivation. I say this for you to know beforehand in what you are getting yourself into. It is hard but you can do it. However, you need to WANT TO DO IT. Daily. For hours per day. It can go on for months or even years before you finish it. If you are not passionate about the writer’s duties, don’t even start. This can sound harsh, but it’s true. Or start it, but if you are not in love with writing a book, you will probably give it up because it is A LOT of work.
2- Learn at the same time as you write
Learning writing techniques is vital for you to be able to construct good characters, good world-building, dialogue, description, everything. However, you are only going to really understand it when you write. I see people spending A LOT of time only researching about it and never really beginning it. And the opposite as well: people that think they know everything and coming up with bad stories, because they simply didn’t have the skills to tell it and couldn’t be bothered about learning it.
I tell you to do both at the same time. I mean it now. Look away from the computer for 3 minutes and think about what you want to write. Open a file and write a paragraph. Then come back here.
Write and learn at the same time.
3- The Step by Step
Okay, you want to write, but where do you begin? How to start writing a book for beginners?
I can tell you that there’s a step by step. There are basically only 5 things you need to do to create a novel:
1- Inspiration: getting an idea that is worth a novel;
2- Deciding the basics: genre, fiction or nonfiction, who your main character is. You don’t need to know everything now, but you need at least the basic of the basic so you can start exploring it.
3- Outlining: some people start by outlining, other people write the whole thing before trying to make sense of it. I tell you to explore a bit your story, come up with some scenes and then outline it. Outlining means that you are going to create a path from the first scene to the last. When you outline it, you see it all like a big puzzle. You see every step until the ending. It helps you not getting stuck and to know when you are going to put the key parts of your story, so you’ll create a great thing.
I have an article that teaches how to outline here.
4- Edit it: you are going to edit. A lot. You are going to make a first draft, a second draft, the third one, etc.
5- Let it go: one day, you’ll have to let it go. You’ll never think it’s finished, I guarantee you. But now it’s time for you to hire a professional editor, a proofreader, and decide on your publication plan. It’s not worth it to let your story inside your drawer. It will be frustrating and it will work like a stone weighing you down. You have to let it go for you to evolve. So, start with the conviction that you WILL finish it and you WILL let it go, which means, PUBLISH it, and you will start another story.
I also have a step by step tutorial on how to write a novel. There I talk about how to get inspiration, I teach a technique, I talk about character creation, world building, outlining and more. Check it out here.
4- Learn a lot about writing. Everything you can.
I promise you that if you spend some time learning about writing, it will get so much easier. You will be able to achieve your objectives and finish it much easier than people that go blindly.
That’s why I tell you: learn, learn, learn EVERYTHING that you can (while trying to write, remember tip number 2?).
5- Write what you love the most in your life
There’s a reason people don’t finish writing a book. They don’t love it enough. This one is a bit like tip number 1, where I told you that you have to at least not hate the idea of spending years writing something. I mean it. Years. Years and years talking about THE SAME TOPIC. With the same characters. In the same world. From writing it from scratch to editing it a million times to sending it to your editor, re-reading it ten times, defending it after you’ve published.
Sometimes I see people that want to write a whole novel out an idea they got from hearing a couple talking in a restaurant. This is great. However, are they in love with this subject, with this idea? Sometimes you get an idea that is only a sparkle. It will fade away. Write it down, of course, and even play with it a little, but could you discuss it for 4 years if you had to?
Which is the topic that you can talk about for the rest of your life?
What’s the topic that your friends beg for you not to start because they can’t stand it anymore?
Write about that.
Not about the second thing you love the most or the third. It has to be THE THING.
Learn more about this in this article that I wrote on why can’t you finish a story. And this is the answer.
Bonus: How to start writing a book for beginners? The answer: Trust yourself
This can be absolutely overwhelming, I know.
If you ever tried to write, you see how sometimes you are in the clouds, everything is flowing easily, other times you are stuck, sad, frustrated and angry.
You have to keep writing. Even if you feel like you are the worst ever. You have to keep writing.
Because writing is the only thing that makes a writer. And the only thing to improve writing is, well, WRITING.
Everything takes practice.
Don’t be afraid of not being as good as the professionals. Some of them have been doing that for thirty years, sometimes more. They were bad once, but they continued writing.