You are here:

Writing Books/how do I start


I am interested in writing a book about my experience in raising my granddaughter as a encouragement to other grandparents raising a  third generation.  

Hello M!

Non-fiction books are simply long essays. Go to (you'll have to cut and paste as this site does not support hyperlinks). There you will find an explanation of the different types of essays. Choose the one that seems best to fit your material. Read the samples, and see if you can isolate the premise of each. A premise is a statement of what the article/book/story intends to demonstrate to the reader, i.e., "Raising a grandchild can be fun/is a horrid experience/shouldn't be undertaken by anyone over 85." Formulate your own premise.

The premise determines the structure of the work. How will you support it? By your experiences, and perhaps some experiences of others? If your premise is that raising a grandchild is fun, you will want to include experiences that prove it's fun. Naturally, you will also want to give some ground to the other side - "it is not! It's horrid!" for the sake of balance and contrast. If you can, meet these objections and show how the problems revealed can be overcome. (You may find an online support group on this topic, try, MSN, and google groups). Join one or two of them, and try out your ideas.

Once you have a collection, get some 3x5 cards and write one experience on each, not the whole thing but enough to remind yourself what it is. You should see a pattern developing. Prepare an outline, following the structure in the sample.

Once the outline is prepared, you can start writing. If you run into problems, come back here, and we will see what can be done.

I hope this has helped. If it has, a nice rating would be greatly appreciated. I am proud of my high score over 320+ 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, 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 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]