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The First Steps In Writing A Book

Updated on March 27, 2014

Does It Seem Overwhelming to You?


"Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing."
Thomas A. Edison

I know the feeling….truly! The thought of writing a 75,000 or 100,000 word novel or non-fiction book seems a bit daunting to say the least. Oh, for sure, anyone can write 100,000 words, but to do so in a cohesive form that flows and maintains the interest of the reader? That, my friends, is a tough task.

Many a writer has had a fantastic idea, and has felt compelled to turn that idea into a book, only to falter, stumble and eventually quit because it just seems too difficult. In fact, I dare say that most if not all writers have had a perfectly great idea, but that idea has died on the grapevine because making that idea a reality is just too much.

That’s why I suggest you break things down into manageable steps before you actually begin the writing process. The greatest journeys begin with a single step and blah, blah, and more blah, but it is true. Let’s see if I can’t give you a few of those first steps to play with so that your journey does not seem quite so monumental.

Before you actually start writing your book, try doing the following tasks. They just might make your job easier.

Slow and steady wins the race....plan first, write second.
Slow and steady wins the race....plan first, write second. | Source

DECLARE A WORKING TITLE

This by no means has to be the final title that you settle upon, but it should at least give you some direction….a focal point….that references your project. We all need direction. We all need a reminder of what we are trying to accomplish. A working title will do that for you.

WHAT GENRE(S) ARE YOU WRITING FOR?

First let me give you a little warning: do not lock into a specific genre too early. Stories have a way of taking on a life of their own, and many a writer has begun a book only to have it change on them in mid-stream. Still, it is nice to have some sort of genre in mind when you start out. So I recommend making a list of the possible genres that your book will fit into. It is quite possible that your book will be a romance and adventure at the same time. It is also quite possible to be a crime drama/fantasy/love story all at once. Make that list and then I think you’ll find things will clarify in time.

Decide who is going to tell the story
Decide who is going to tell the story | Source

DECIDE ON A POINT OF VIEW

Will you be telling this story in first person, second person, or third person.

First person allows you to dig deeper into the main characters personality. It allows you to be more reflective. Second person is the least popular of the three and probably the most difficult to write in. Third person tells the story from the viewpoint of an interested bystander not involved in the book at all.

And yes, it is possible to combine points of view. Many writers have successfully used first person and third person in the same novel, so consider that possibility as well.

If you are using third person, your best bet is to focus on the character who has the most to win or lose in each chapter.

WRITE A HIGH-IMPACT SUMMARIZING PARAGRAPH

Can you sum up your entire book in one paragraph? Try it and you will find it is not nearly as easy as it sounds, but for clarity and focus it is crucial that you do so.

In this summarizing paragraph you should have the conflicts, the goals, and the main motivations of the chief characters. In it you should answer the questions of who, what, why and why not (conflict).

Practice on an old short story you have written. Once you can do it with a short story you should be able to do it with a book after a little practice.

A novel is a long road to travel, and it must be interesting throughout the entire journey
A novel is a long road to travel, and it must be interesting throughout the entire journey | Source

NOW IT IS TIME TO ADD FUEL TO YOUR STORY

Just as an engine needs a spark from the spark plugs to run efficiently, your story needs similar sparks to continue running for a long period of time. These sparks are what carry the story. They add intrigue; they add momentum; and they continually capture the attention and imagination of the readers.

Most writers are quite good at writing the initial spark, but they falter when it comes time to add more throughout the story. Thus their story becomes front-heavy and then drowns in repetition later on.

If you are planning on writing a book of 75,000 words, then plan on having a minimum of three such sparks. For a book with 100,000 words, add a fourth spark.

THE LENGTH OF YOUR BOOK

If you just read the section about sparks, it then stands to reason that the more sparks you include the longer your book will be. It also stands to reason that the longer your book is, the more difficult your task is.

If you are just starting out as a book writer, plan on between 50,000-75,000 for your first book. Follow the K.I.S.S. principle and don’t try to become the next great Russian novelist by writing 250,000 words.

Once you have decided on the length you can plan on the placement of your sparks. One spark should always be at the beginning of the book. Obviously, if you are going to have three sparks then you will want on at the beginning, one in the middle and one towards the end.

One other thing that beginning novelists trip over from time to time is the inclusion of back story. Many first-timers will try to include way too much back story at the beginning of the book. Don’t do this; it only serves to weigh down the book and slow its momentum. Instead, plan on a little back story early on and then dollops of back story throughout the book.

Are you currently writing a novel?

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Now You Are Ready to Begin Your Journey

Finish those suggestions and your first step will have been taken. Please note that these suggestions barely require any writing at all. This is your planning stage. You are building the foundation before framing the walls. No, building a foundation is not exciting or sexy, but without it your walls will collapse….so do it!

Once you have done these things we can move to the next step, mainly identifying characters, deciding on some enhancements, some sub-plots, and some setting descriptions, and if you stay tuned I promise to deliver an article about Step Two soon. In the meantime, you have your homework so get started. Take that great idea that has been bouncing around in your head, and begin pouring your own foundation.

I know it all seems overwhelming but you can do it. I have written two novels now and I begin my third in a month. The first one was tough because I didn’t have a clue how to do it. The second was considerably easier, and I have no doubt that the next one will be easier still.

Like any other skill, it just takes practice.

2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, I doubt you need much instruction. You already have a book in you waiting to come out.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      More valuable information! I might even know what I am doing at some point...

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much Dianna! I'm just trying to give back.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      You are an inspiration for writers. I know I have to take this to heart!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Jo, it would appear that I answered this one in Part Two. Glad I could be of help. Good luck with those novels.

      blessings and thanks always my friend

      bill

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

      Jo_Goldsmith11 3 years ago

      Bill!

      You have left us writers with some great advice and food for thought!

      I don't mind the home work, not one bit! In one of my current novels. I am experiencing a difficult time with changing direction in the plot just a little to make sense. The main character has teamed up with a second antagonist, which this second one will continue to the end of this book. As the main character has reached his demise. Any suggestions? Absolutely love reading your awesome stuff!

      Shared & Up...:-)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Brian, you are right on with the Huck examples. Thanks for adding those so others could see what I was talking about.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      All excellent recommendations.

      I think the summarizing paragraph is very important. A challenge is to do it in one or two sentences, like a movie scriptwriter's logline.

      The concept of "sparks" is new to me. Can you give some examples from famous novels? Would that be like a happening that changes the trajectory of the story? Would the "sparks" in HUCKLEBERRY FINN be: a) when Huck's father comes back to town; b) when his father kidnaps Huck and locks him in a cabin; c) when Huck escapes and meets the runaway slave Jim; and d) when Jim sacrifices his freedom to nurse the wounded leg of Huck's friend Tom?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rajan! I hope many find this useful my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, working full time definitely makes this next to impossible for you....but you could do some preliminary steps, like coming up with a working title and deciding on the cities you want to include in your book. Just a thought.

      Thank you my friend and stay dry.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alicia, I'm glad you find them helpful. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      vkwok, thank you but I don't think you need these tips. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tina, it is doable if you just take it one step at a time. Don't think in terms of 75,000 words; think in terms of the next step. Six months later you will be finished.

      Thank you my friend and best wishes always.

      bill

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Useful tips, Bill. Writing is not easy and writing a book more so. These tips will definitely help those wanting a helping hand to ease out the teething troubles.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great advice Bill. For me writing a book seems like such a daunting task. I could never embark on a project of that magnitude while still working. But we never know what lies ahead for us so who knows. Great job as usual, now on to read part 2. Have a great weekend.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      These are very useful suggestions, Bill. I will certainly use your ideas if I try to write a novel. I love them!

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks for sharing more wonderful tips, Bill!

    • thougtforce profile image

      Christina Lornemark 3 years ago from Sweden

      Just what I needed Bill! I have bought so many books lately about how to start writing a book but I still have a blank first page for some reason. Sometimes too much information create an overwhelming feeling and it becomes impossible to sort the information out. You have done that for me and I will save this and pin it. Thanks for sharing and for making it doable, Tina

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Heidi! It is not as easy as some people might think. The title and book cover and huge considerations. I am now stuck on the book cover after taking several weeks to settle on a title. The work never ends in publishing.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Finally getting a chance to catch up on my HP reading! Agreed, the baby steps bring us closer to getting the darn thing done.

      Being mainly a nonfiction writer, the title is the biggest step forward for me. Once I have that clearly in mind, have done some SEO research on it, etc., the book seems to build itself around it. In all honesty, I don't know how you fiction folks decide on a titles! So I can see how that might be quite a struggle... and an accomplishment.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Maria, the introduction is written; I'm working on the outline now. The work never ends my friend.

      Thank you as always....love, bill

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 3 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Bill,

      You practice what you teach...so glad you are already thinking to your third book.

      Meaningful and motivating...Happy Friday! Love, Maria

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nancy, I've been doing this for quite some time. It takes time to build a loyal group of followers and I am lucky and blessed here on HP...thank you!

    • Nancy Owens profile image

      Nancy Owens 3 years ago from USA

      This is very good advice for all of us aspiring novelists. Judging by the number of comments on this Hub, I am guessing that you have found a need are filling it beautifully.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh Flourish, it is very difficult indeed. I find it to be very challenging....and a synopsis at the end I find to be hard as well.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      These are great tips on how to get started. Summing a book up in a paragraph is indeed challenging!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, I will gladly accept your thanks now and then sit back and wait for you to succeed....but in my mind you already have. Thank you, Dora!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, you used the word "great" and it may be true of the great ones. :) Me....I'd rather get lots of sleep. LOL Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      cecileportilla, just consider me that nagging itch that won't go away until you scratch it. :) Good luck with those two novels; you are a good writer; believe in yourself.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks again, Bill, for these very sensible instructions. So many writers will thank you when they succeed. I hope to be one of them, so I'll say "thank you"now.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      I always envision great novel writers wracked with uncertainty and up into the wee hours of the morning, not knowing what to write, but I think that is because of the movies I've seen. I can see these suggestions being really helpful to novelists.

    • cecileportilla profile image

      Cecile Portilla 3 years ago from West Orange, New Jersey

      Thanks again billybuc for these words of encouragement. I have been working on two novels that I can't seem to complete. After reading this hub I think I am going to re-examine them. As usual you have a lot of great ideas. Voted up!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sterline, thank you very much. No, you are not crazy; it is a lot of work and there are no guarantees...but I can't think of anything I would rather do. Best wishes to you.

    • Sterline Welsh profile image

      Sterline Welsh 3 years ago from Virginia

      I like this post for many reasons. 1. It is very relevant to me. As I am working on a novel. 2. It's nice to hear that I am not crazy for feeling the hardship of writing a book. 3. It is encouraging.

      I hope one day to be a published writer. Hopefully soon we shall see.

      Thanks for posting this. It was great!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank goodness indeed, Ann, or I would not want to be his neighbor. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, Sally!

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you again, Alan!

    • Ann1Az2 profile image

      Ann1Az2 3 years ago from Orange, Texas

      I've always wondered about that myself, Bill. Afterall, what are imaginations all about? That was my point with Stephen King - I'm sure he didn't experience 80% of what he wrote about (thank goodness).

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      Billy,

      Thank you.

      Sally

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sally, yes it is. Once you publish the ebook you'll need to delete the hubs from HP.

      bill

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      Billy,

      Just wondered, is it possible to use the content one's Hub in an e-book?

      I thought this would be considered by HubPages to be duplicate content!

      Thanks

      Sally

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan R Lancaster 3 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      Here's a 'PS' for you Bill. I've posted a more involved version of this on your 'Artistry with words' blog. A 'quick' insight into the creative process I went through.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alan, when I grow up I want to be just like you. LOL People call me prolific, but when it comes to novel writing you beat me to a bloody pulp. Things will be changing soon, though, and then I'm going to devote all my time to novel writing. That's where my future lies for sure.

      Thanks for a look inside a writer's head...very helpful for any writer.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, I'm just doing what I was raised to do...and you, dear lady, always here even though you really don't care about these articles....thank you!

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan R Lancaster 3 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      As you probably already know, Bill, I have a few under my belt and one in the pipeline as well as the one I'm in the early stages of now (200+ pages, chapter 6 of 20).

      The one I've recently finished and awaits publication after the cover's been sorted, amounts to 705 MS pages, over 156.5K words and 21 chapters.

      My main characters are carried over from one to the next part of the saga, new ones added and some earlier ones killed off (I've become known as 'Lanc the Slayer' in the literary world). It's the Conquest era, after all. Some don't get killed off, some won't because when these stories finish with leafy old England they move on east to Denmark, Russia and Asia Minor - maybe even (secretively) back to England.

      Where do I get my characters?

      The main one is based on an idea I borrowed from an interview in a national Sunday tabloid with the singer James Blunt who said he had an ancestor who was related to the Danish royal family in the 11th Century, who fought alongside Harold at Hastings. Ker-chink!

      Just what I'd been looking for! Many are from the Chronicles, 1066-1072 and later, a number have been created. It's like the Bayeux Tapestry, a mix of fact and fiction!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      We all need sparks, whether writing a novel or whatever. I never thought about it being a spark. ( interesting word. ) and it makes good sense. Your helpfulness never ceases. Thank you.....

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Crystal, if your prediction is right then I want you for my agent in the future. :) Thank you my dear.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 3 years ago from Georgia

      A great guide on how to get started on what I would imagine is an overwhelming process. I predict the views on this hub will set a new record when your novel becomes a bestseller!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well Deb, that's a lot of crap! LOL Maybe you need a new set of eyes to read it and give suggestions. It is quite possible that you are too close to your own work. Good luck and thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, I need you around as my personal cheerleader. :) I'm glad you found this helpful. You are so creative; all you need is a road map.

      Have a lovely evening!

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Sheila...and I would add that you continue to learn with each new novel. Carry on my friend and enjoy the process.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 3 years ago from Iowa

      The spark definitely has gone out of my novel. I have about 300 pages of crap right now. I really either need to start over from the beginning or scrap it and start a new project.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      This is so useful for me! I'm one of those who gets the idea, writes a few things down, maybe the introduction, then I get stuck!

      I'm going to keep this hub beside me to use as I get down to my story next time. Thank you so much for the perfect guide - told you my week was going well and this has improved it even more!

      Back soon! Ann

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ruchira and I agree, he is a very good writer.

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      sheilamyers 3 years ago

      As always, your hub is filled with great advice. If I would've taken a creative writing class in high school or college, I would've probably known most of these basics before I wrote my first novel. Since I'm sure there are other people out there who never took those classes yet want to write a novel, they should find this article very helpful. I learned from experience, but you provide a way for people to learn these things before they even get started. Great job!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, I hear opposite opinions on the "write about what you know" argument. I don't believe it is necessary; I think it is easier for sure, and if you are passionate about something you know, it may show in your work....but not necessary.

      Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rev. Akins, I don't call those excuses; I call them reality. Good luck and thanks.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 3 years ago from United States

      Some valid pointers for a second timer who is trying to put things into perspective as a narrator.

      Enjoyed Rushdie's video. He is a fine author!

    • Ann1Az2 profile image

      Ann1Az2 3 years ago from Orange, Texas

      I like your ideas on the sparks. And your right - any novel I've read has them. Tom Clancy was a master at adding background. You did have to work at getting into his novels, but then once you did, you had trouble putting them down.

      I don't know that I'll ever write a book, but I will definitely keep these suggestions in mind if I do. I've also heard you should write about things you know about. Wonder where Steven King came up with a car that had a mind of its own and a cat buried in a cemetery that came back to life?

    • Rev. Akins profile image

      Rev. Akins 3 years ago from Tucson, AZ

      Thanks for the hub. I am trying my hands at writing a novel and I am having trouble finding the time to do it. I realize if it was important enough I would find the time, but I have a full time job and family needs (2 small kids and a wife) that are pulling me. I know, excuses. :) I am using ywriter (a great program to help organize thoughts) and that helps, but I appreciate the hub to push me to continue on!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glad to hear that Jackie. I hope you find them. LOL I love how you have grown as a writer. It is a joy to see.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sally, your reflections are right on.

      As for your books, I would think you almost have the felting one done with all of your articles. Just compile them into an ebook and write an introduction. :) I hope you write that story some day; I'll bet it is interesting.

      Thank you as always

      bill

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I think I will dig out my latest novel billy and check it for these sparks, they do sound important and of course we want what we do to be the best it can be. Bookmarking this and again thanks for all your help and advice. ^

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      Billy

      Fascinating read. I have wanted to write 'my story' since I was a young girl. I hope I get to do it sometime though I have this idea that I would like to write a non fiction book on felting.

      It is strange how one sometimes start out with a goal in mind and then the posts shift when you are least expecting them to. That I guess is what makes life so very interesting. The trick I think is to have your eyes wide open for the opportunities and seize them before they too are lost.

      Best wishes,

      Sally

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      grand old lady, I wish I could. I have never experienced it so I'm not sure I'm a good source of guidance. If it were me, I'd write it under a pseudonym and be done with it. Many famous writers have done that and it certainly hasn't hurt their careers. Why not you? :) Good luck and I hope you work through that freeze.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kathleen, I just finished my second novel and I was worried about that happening all the way through it. I'm so sorry it happened to you. Well, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start writing it again. Best wishes to you and thank you.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      I have ghost written a number of books and ebooks, but every time I think of writing a book with my byline I get writer's freeze. This is when you become completely immobile with fear. It's a phrase invented by me because of my personal experience. I presently have a novel, completed but needs editing, close to copywriting, and this has been the situation for the last six months. I wrote the novel pretending I would use a pseudonym. Now, as we near the end I am at writer's freeze. it sucks. if you could tell me how to deal with writer's freeze I would be very, very grateful.

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image

      Kathleen Odenthal Romano 3 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

      Great hub! I would love to writer a full-length novel one day. I have gotten half--way through a manuscript once but neglected to finish it and then lost it all (200 pages approximately) when my computer crashed :( oh how I wish we had cloud storage back then! It makes me scared to start again having lost so much, but I hope one day I will finish!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Eddy! I'm just glad I paid attention in class many years ago. :) Have a wonderful evening my friend.

      billy

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      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      More great ideas Billy; your teachings are endless and how lucky are we to have as our Teacher. Great hub and voting up for sure. Enjoy your day .

      Eddy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, good morning my Arkansas friend (actually I have two friends from Arkansas, but who cares, right?)

      The YA market is huge right now...jump on that bandwagon and ride it to glory. :)

      As for prologues, I have one in my new novel as a matter of fact, and speaking as an avid reader, I always read them because I know they are crucial for the backstory and for better understanding of the novel. By all means use one.

      And thank you for the visit. Part Two comes tomorrow.

      bill

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 3 years ago

      I learned some things from you today, namely that I went about planning my novel backwards. I got an inspiration from a very unusual ancestor and decided to do a novel based on her. It had to be fiction because I found one paragraph describing her. After I wrote a couple of chapters, I realized two things: one, I had to postpone writing the novel until I had time to check out some historical facts, including the lay of the physical geography, which were pertinent to the story; two, since I don’t go for writing a bunch of sex and gore, it was sounding more like a teen novel. I realize that the teen and YA market is a great market, so I want to re-slant the book toward older teens and young adults. In the meantime, I’ll keep reading your hubs and learning. Thanks for the advice.Voted up++

      P.S. What do you think of prologues? Do people (I read them faithfully) actually pay any attention to them or do they skip to the first chapter? I want to include one instead of using a back story to explain the beginning.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh, Linda, I'm pretty sure there is a very good book inside of you. I hope it comes out one day soon. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      BNadyn, I avoided writing a book for years and years because it seemed like too much...turns out I was wrong. :) I hope you do some day.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well Nikki, it will be out tomorrow. Thanks for reading...you are a fast worker. :)

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Excellent tips and very motivational. One day I'll get around to my book. Hopefully :)

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      Bernadyn 3 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida

      All these tips are so useful, especially for anyone who has never wrote a book. The thought of that really is overwhelming but you make it sound much more possible by breaking it down into these steps. I especially like the advice on having those sparks and avoiding writing too much back story in the beginning. Those are so helpful to keep in mind. I'll be pinning, as well, for reference. :)

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      Nikki Wicked 3 years ago from Louisiana

      I have followed these first steps and ready for part two!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      A smashing day indeed, Jo, and I wish you the same. I hear too many people say that they can't imagine writing that many words....when really you don't have to.....just take it a step at a time and consider each day a small task; after about six months those small tasks add up to a novel.

      My best to you and yours

      bill

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      Jo Alexis-Hagues 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Bill, this is great information, simple but effective. You are spot on, 100,000 words is very daunting, but I think this hub will help me to get back on board and take it a step at a time. Bless you, I'm pinning this for reference. Take care and have a smashing day my friend.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, thanks for the eggs and toast. How did you know I was extra hungry this morning?

      Good for you my dear. Well done starting that book. I love that you are using first and third person....tricky but a great approach. Good luck with that and thank you for being you.

      blessings always

      bill

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, that used to be a writing exercise I gave the kids in school. Write the intro and then write the conclusion. "But we can't do that, Mr. Holland, without writing the story!!!!" Little whiners. Turns out they could do it quite easily. LOL Billy always knows best.

      Thanks as always, Sha!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      breakfastpop, if he can do it then you can do it. Let it percolate in your brain for awhile; an idea will surface when you are ready....and thank you for the kind words.

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      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Morning Bill, I am sharing breakfast with you this morning, although I have eaten a couple of hours ago LOL, anyway, off to the doctor today, so at home for the moment.

      These are truly helpful tips here. I am off to a great start in the writing of my book and also have a great ending. However, it is that transitioning of writing a story by starting really at the end and then going back to the beginning, which is very tricky! I am using both the first and third person.

      Those sparks are oh so important at just the right places!

      Enjoy your day,

      Faith Reaper

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      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Your reference to the difficulty of writing the first novel versus the ease of subsequent novels reminds me of what my mother said when she gave birth to my sister. She said the third one was a piece of cake. Just thought I'd share that random thought with you. :-)

      I had an interesting assignment a couple of weeks ago in my fiction writing class. We were to write a beginning passage then a final passage tying the two together. I'm using my novel-in-the-works for all of my assignments. At first I thought it would be difficult but I actually found it enlightening. I used the first few paragraphs of The Gifts of Faith, chapter one as the base. Then I actually wrote the final paragraphs of the book. I felt thrilled and excited after completing the assignment. I now know how my story will end. All I have to do now is fill in the events leading up to the finale. Pretty cool!

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      breakfastpop 3 years ago

      As always this hub is inspiring and unbelievably helpful. Everyone keeps telling me I have a book inside of me. I haven't found it yet! My 90 year old uncle is currently writing a book. He reads me a chapter every now and then and I have to say it is fabulous! Voted up, useful, interesting and awesome.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad to hear it, DDE; thank you for stopping by as always.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      dearabbysmom, it is my pleasure. I had to learn by my mistakes. I'm just trying to spare you from that. Thank you for the visit and good luck with that book.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, before you know it the girls will be in school and your day will free up a bit. It's amazing watching those girls grow...thank you for sharing them with us.

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      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A well-advised hub on writing a book I have been thinking about my good first book your ideas are helpful.

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      dearabbysmom 3 years ago from Indiana

      How timely this hub is for me. I've finally started working on the first chapters of a book with a story line that's been floating loosely in my head for years. Two chapters in and I'm still not sure if I want to be speaking in first or third voice. I had not thought of planning a strategy for the 'sparks'...only knew that there needed to be some. Thank you for putting some direction behind my march!

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      Janine Huldie 3 years ago from New York, New York

      Wonderful tips Bill and I totally think you laid it out perfectly and simply here. I have written the actual book.novel myself, but the editing for me is what I can't truly get back to right now. Hoping when I have more free time, maybe once my girls are both in school full-time, but totally pinned this, because you always do give great book writing advice and very much do appreciate it. Have a beautiful, Thursday now!