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Writing Books/organizing the writing process


Hello, I'm thinking of writing a book on the rehabilitation of an
historic building - the process, the history, the benefits to the
community, etc. I've never written a book, only short stories. Is
there a tried and true method to organizing and writing a book-
length piece? Or is it just the same process, just much longer?

Appreciate your response,

Christopher Smith

Dear Christopher,
Thank you for your letter. I'm a big fan of preservation and encourage you in your project.
Writing a book is like writing a short piece, multiplied by the number of chapters you have. Plus, the whole thing has to hang together as a whole.
The best way to start is with an outline. Take notes on what you want to say in the book. Then you can use clustering, if you are familiar with that (if not, read "Writing the Natural Way").
Make your outline and then write your first draft of each chapter. It may take many drafts, but you will get there. Force yourself to keep writing, even if it seems like complete garbage. Remember: rewriting is easier than writing from scratch. Your outline will probably change many times as you flesh out your topic.
I hope this helps. My page for writers may have more materials you will find useful. On the writing books link, check out the book, "On Writing Well," if you have any questions about style.
I hope this helps,

P.S. If you have a good story to tell, be sure to submit a proposal to Home and Garden Television. They have several good shows like Restore America, If these Walls could Talk, etc., that do segments on successful restoration projects.

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