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How to write a book for dummies

(9 Posts)
forbooksake Fri 24-Mar-17 08:30:55

I've been thinking about writing a book for years now but keep doubting myself due to not having any higher education in literature or writing and everyone seems to have at least something when speaking about writing. Is it even possible to be able to write a novel successfully if you have no qualifications behind you? I'm a sahm and the only qualifications I have are my GCSE's from almost 15 years ago ! Although I did get a C in English literature this is basically all I have. I literally wouldn't know where to start or what the process is from beginning to end when getting a book published. I realise it's a long way off but I would like to know just a basic understanding of what to expect at each stage of the process and If it's even possible to achieve without any qualifications?

JonesyAndTheSalad Fri 24-Mar-17 11:50:50

Yes it's possible.

The only thing I would ask is, do you write at all?

The best indicator of talent is a habit of writing...if not, then I suggest a short course.

ImperialBlether Fri 24-Mar-17 11:52:14

Do you read a lot? Which books do you enjoy?

schmalex Fri 24-Mar-17 12:34:45

Yes, first thing is to get writing! Make it a daily habit. Don't worry about publishing until you're at least writing regularly.

Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande is a good place to start.

forbooksake Fri 24-Mar-17 15:46:28

Yes I love reading and I think that's made me desire writing myself. I always have a book with me. I buy my handbags around how many books will fit in grin. I have a bullet journal and tend to write a lot of notes down. I like to have it on me to write down anything that pops into my head while I'm out and about or things I want to research. I've always read just any genre of book but only yesterday did I pick up a copy of Jane Austens 'Emma' as I've never sat down to read any classics before and find I'm quite enjoying it so far. I just didn't want to get this idea in my head of attempting to write a book myself only to find it merely impossible without any experience or qualifications plus any heavy costs to incur while trying to get published.

The only qualifications you need to get started are something to write on, something to write with, and something to write about! And you're ready to start looking for an agent or publisher, your CV is your manuscript. That's honestly the only part that matters.

The more you write, the better you'll get, so get into the habit of writing every day. The first draft will always, always suck - don't fall into the trap of comparing your first draft with other writers' polished and perfected published work. The only way to write a novel is one word at a time - there are no short cuts - so be prepared for it to take a long time. And good luck!

Sorry, that should say "and when you're ready". Fine advert for my profession I am. grin

ImperialBlether Fri 24-Mar-17 23:51:23

I think your goal should be to write the kind of book you love to read. I used to choose my favourite books and break them down - how many chapters, how many pages per chapter, how many scenes in each chapter, what cliffhangers were there, etc. Look at the reveals that are made regarding your main characters and where they appear within the book. Read that book inside out!

WaegukSaram Sat 25-Mar-17 00:25:50

I agree that you should write, write, write. Write about nothing/anything if you find yourself sitting staring blankly at the screen. It works, it gets the brain in gear.

I found the short e-book "Take off your pants" which is actually a book on how to write novels quickly, very useful in terms of a "dummy's guide" to plotting and pacing.

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