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The phrase "you should write a book" from nearly everyone I have a conversation with, regarding my ongoing experiences in Iraq, has now got me seriously interested. I am one of the ones who did not pay attention in school, besides it has been so long ago it would not matter if I did.
Basically I could use help in taking that first step. I appreciate any direction you can advise.
Thank you, Rgrds, Scott  

Hello Scott:

This is decision time for you. Here are the questions you should be asking yourself at this point in the process:

1. Will I write this book for myself and family/friends, or do I hope to publish it some day?

2. Why should anyone be interested in my experiences rather than the next fellow's? Do I have anything to say that is different than what everyone else has already said?

3. What "lesson" do I want readers to gain from my book? What one thing do I want them to come away convinced of? What have my experiences taught me? "War is hell?" "People can endure anything if...?" This is your premise, and will guide the writing of the entire book. See if you can write it in one sentence.

4. Do I have the motivation/persistence/dedication to sit and type 80-90,000 words, when it may take years? Have I any experience or training (I didn't pay attention in school) to help me? (If you didn't learn it in school, you will have to learn it before you write this book, if you expect anyone to read it). How much preparation will I have to do?

When you have answered these questions, come back and we will proceed from there.

I hope this helps. If it does, a nice rating would be greatly appreciated. I am proud of my high score over 600 questions.

And good luck with your writing!

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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, 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

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