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Writing Books/I want to write a book but, where do I start


I would love to write about the experiences I had had raising children.. A book for mothers to read.. Even though I am not the perfect Mother I ave alot to say about parenting...

Hello Robin:

Writing a book takes a lot of thinking and planning before you actually begin. Will your book be fiction or non-fiction? Do you plan to publish? Will the story be told by you or someone else? Someone once said that writing a book consists in answering a series of questions about the book; these are the most important ones.

Apparently you have some ideas for the book. In the next step you will bring this material under control.

First, you will decide on a premise. The premise is the “takeaway:” the most important "lesson" you want the reader to take away from your book - a life lesson of sorts. It should be universally applicable (applies to all people) - the one principal thing your life has taught you about this subject. An example would be “Courageous people make the best parents.” It doesn't necessarily have to be empirically true, it's a statement of your beliefs. This is the most important part of your book, so choose carefully.

Once you have your premise, get some 3x5 cards and on each, write a few words around an event from your experience that supports/illustrates your premise. Keep going until you feel you have enough events to fill a book. Go through and rate these events according to their influence on your parenting. Use Xs or numnbers or letters, whatever you like. The highest scores will comprise the main events of your parenting life.

At some point, a pattern should begin to show itself. Sort the cards around this pattern until the arrangement suits you. From that, make an outline, keeping the premise in mind at all times. Make sure there’s some kind of progression – some movement from A and B toward C.

When you are finished organizing your material, you are ready to write your first draft.

I hope this helps. If it does, a nice rating would be greatly appreciated. I am proud of my high score over 800 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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