Writing Books/1st book


I really want to write a book, ive never written anything longer than a couple of pages. I want it to be a fiction book based on the SEALs (US navy). I have no idea where to start. I dont even know that much about SEAL teams, so should I find out ALL I can? or is it OK to find out most then improvise? How should I start? (Im not a professional or anything)

Hello Chris:

Right now, you should be asking yourself, what do I want to do with this book? If you are writing it just to please yourself, write whatever pleases you. But if you have publication in mind, there are a few things you should be thinking about.

I don't recommend - especially to someone who has never written more than "a couple of pages," that they start with a book, especially when they know little about the subject. Would you advise a hiker who has never even attempted the hill behind his house, to launch  himself at Mt. Everest? Writing a book for publication - even when you are quite familiar with the subject - is difficult enough, without making things even more difficult for yourself. To write a salable book about Navy SEALS, you will need to spend a long time, maybe years, researching the subject.

There is a thing called "verisimilitude." It has to do with credibility. I can write convincingly about writing because I've been doing it for 50+ years now. Wm. Faulkner could write plausibly about the south because he lived in the south.

The best thing for you to do, if you want to write, is to start with  short pieces. Describe your neighborhood: try to include as many colors, smells, sounds, textures, and evidences of emotion as you can. Try to write it so that someone else might want to read it. Go to the library, check out some books on writing fiction, and study them. Keep doing that until your friends and famly can't wait for your next piece to be produced.

I hope this has helped. If it has, a nice rating would be greatly appreciated. I am proud of my high score over 1350+ questions.

And good luck with your writing!

Writing Books

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Susan Rand


I can answer questions about the elements of fiction and non-fiction writing: how to get started, writing techniques, re-writing, etc. I will NOT write for you, do critiques except from my website at http://pygmypress.com, or give you ideas. I will not answer home-or-schoolwork questions in any category. If English is your second language, please say so, and I will make an exception. Please submit no more than one or two questions at once, as I tend to go into detail in my answers.


I wrote my first book in 1957 and have been writing and studying writing since. I have a BA in Written Communications, and have taught writing both privately and through adult education for 15 years. Have also edited (fiction books) for an online publisher and edited/wrote more than 100 articles for a teen sex education site. Currently writing web content and mentoring beginning writers.

BA degree in Written Communication

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.