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if i decided to write a book how many chapters would i need  what would i need to do who do i go to and also i am sixteen years old will this possibly be to hard of a task for me to do at this age considering school and everything

Dear Jameelah,

Often, a book isn't something you "decide" to write; ideas just start to come to you, and you can't help but write them down -- a book is of course then structured into chapters, once the main theme/idea is outlined.

You'll also need to figure out characterization, narration, whether you want to write in the first person, third person, etc., what time and place in history (or in the present) the story takes place, whether you may to do any research, and, of course, plot.

It doesn't really matter how old you are or how busy you are; if you're meant to write a book, you will. If you really desire it that much, you will make time for it, and you will learn as you go; there aren't really any strict "guidelines" about "how to write a book," or how many chapters you need, etc., but I'd start first with the library, which I'm sure has several books on this general subject, to get a better idea.

Also, the more you read, the more easily you'll fall into writing, because you'll begin to understand all these topics I mention, as well as how dialogue works and punctuation, etc.

And always write what you know about and/or feel passionately or very strongly about. This is just the "short-list"; there are many other ways to go about it, but don't get too caught up in the mechanics of writing, how to do it, the "rules," etc. -- just write down what you feel, what you want to say, and come back to organize it later.

All Best,
Catherine Van Herrin

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Catherine Van Herrin


I am an American-born, native English speaker with a BA in English and more than 26 years of professional editing, writing, and proofreading experience. I have edited several books and book-length manuscripts. References and titles available upon request.

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More than 26 years' U.S. publishing industry experience, editorial (print). I provide crystal-clear, clean grammar; strict attention to style, consistency, flow, logic, accuracy, and spelling, and I work quickly and efficiently.

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