Deep inside, you know you have a book in you. The challenge is getting it from an inner desire to a reality on the page, be it print or digital.
I don’t know you personally, so I can’t recommend a specific book for you to write. However, I can offer some general advice that might help you figure out what kind of book to write.
Let’s presume you’re looking to write a non-fiction book first.
Before putting pen to paper, think about what you’re really interested in. Writing a book is a big project, so you want to make sure you choose a topic that you’re passionate about. This will help keep you motivated and engaged as you work on your book. It could take days or years – the critical thing is deciding on the first project, especially if (like me) you have a battalion of ideas jumbling around in your head. Start with ONE.
You might also want to think about what kind of expertise you have. Is there a particular field or subject that you know a lot about? This doesn’t mean you need to be the world authority but you likely know more than most people around you, or you may have a unique perspective on a topic. Writing a book that showcases your expertise can be a great way to share your knowledge with others. If you’re in business, it’s also a great way to establish your authority.
Another approach is to look for gaps in the market. Head into your local bookstore … is there a topic that isn’t well-covered by existing books? Or maybe you have a unique perspective or angle that hasn’t been explored yet.
It’s also important to think about your audience. Who is likely to read your book (hint: it’s not everyone)? What are their interests and needs? Writing with your audience in mind can help ensure that your book resonates with readers.
And finally, don’t be afraid to try different things. Writing is a creative process regardless of whether you’re writing fiction or non-fiction, and sometimes it takes a bit of experimentation to figure out what works best for you. So don’t be discouraged if your first idea doesn’t pan out – keep exploring and trying new things until you find your groove.
What if you have more of a fiction bent, or you want to do a memoir but make it a fictional piece to protect yourself and others?
Here are some general tips to get you started.
- Choose a genre: First, consider what genre of fiction you want to write. Do you prefer romance, mystery, science fiction, fantasy, or another genre? Choose a genre that you enjoy reading and feel confident in writing. If you read a bunch of sci-fi, creating a full-fledged romance book may be a challenge (but a sci-fi with romance subplots is very doable).
- Create a plot: Once you’ve chosen a genre, develop a plot for your story. Think about what you want to happen in your book, and how the story will unfold from beginning to end. Consider including unexpected twists and turns to keep your readers engaged. Depending on your style this can be a few bullet-point notes to a full-blown point-by-point outline. (Maybe try this method – https://melaniewass.wordpress.com/2023/02/28/5-principles-of-best-selling-books/)
- Develop your characters: Your characters are the heart of your story. Spend time developing their personalities, motivations, and backgrounds. Give them flaws and challenges to overcome throughout the course of the story. People remember the characters in the books they read.
- Consider setting: Where will your story take place? Will it be set in a real-world location or a fictional one? What kind of atmosphere do you want to create with your setting? How will the setting inform the writing?
- Find your voice: Every writer has a unique voice that sets them apart from others. Experiment with different styles and find the one that feels most natural to you.
- Write and revise: Finally, start writing! Don’t worry too much about making everything perfect on the first draft. Just get your ideas down on paper and revise them later. Don’t get hung up on detail (make a note to research later) or grammar (edit later once your ideas are down). Remember, writing is a process, and it takes time and effort to create something great.
The key to writing a great book is to stay committed and motivated throughout the writing process. It takes time and effort to craft a compelling story, but with persistence and hard work, you can create something you are proud of. Keep working at it. Progress, not perfection.
I hope that helps stimulate you into action.
Good luck with your writing!