Writing Books/n/a

Advertisement


Question
My book-project, is going to be non-fiction, and I intend for it to be about the sexes, leaning toward the humorous side, but need advice as to getting started and creating an even flow and making the story easy for the reader to follow.

Answer
Hello Cindy:

I agree you will need to learn about all these things, but these questions are too general for me to answer. However, here are some "starters" for you:

Writing a book is a long, thoughtful process that may take years. You will need a firm commitment to carry this through. Also, you will need to make sure you have the self-discipline to sit yourself down and write on a regular basis, every day or every other day or whatever fits your schedule.  

Before you start to write, you must plan:

1. First, you will need a premise. A premise is the thing that guides you in the writing, the main principle the reader will carry away from your book. A premise gives your book scope and depth. Your premise must be "global," that is, applying to all people, and it should be stated in this format: "Love + plenty of money = a good marriage." Whether this is true or untrue, you must believe it and be willing to "go to the wall" with it.

2. Once you have your premise, you need to look at your material and toss out all that doesn't support the premise. Choose those incidents that explain and explore the premise. Give each a name, "Beach Incident," "At the Zoo," etc.

3. Buy a pack of 3x5 cards and on each, write a name and a brief description on one of these "events" that support your premise. These may suggest chapters to you. Arrange them in an order that pleases you.

4. When you have done that, you may draft an outline, numbering the entries and writing the description below.

5. When that is done, make another copy and start filling it in. Just type the details in wherever they go. Don't worry about whether it's good or not, don't edit, just get them in. When you have that done, come back and we'll talk about the 2nd draft.

I hope this helps. If it does, a nice rating would be greatly appreciated. I am proud of my high score over 500 + questions.

And good luck with your writing!

Writing Books

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Susan Rand

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

Education/Credentials
BA degree in Written Communication

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.