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i want to write about life as a bi-polar individual & it's self-destructiveness & how it ruined my marriage of 23 yrs & how misunderstood this condition is. how should i start this?

 Hello Eric:

As a fellow sufferer, I can identify with your desire to write such a book; I have thought of doing that myself. Perhaps we should collaborate!

Many people want to write books and have some ideas they like, but they don’t know how to get started.

Getting started involves bringing this material under control and putting it into tangible form in a way that  suits your purposes. By “suits your purposes” I mean it guides and supports your writing and ensures you don’t wander off the path and into an abyss.

First, I recommend that you decide on a premise. The premise is what your story is “about,” and might also be described as the reason you want to write the book. This is critical for fiction; important for non-fiction. I would suggest something like: "By describing what it's like for me living as a bipolar, I hope to increase the public's understanding of the disease and the effect it has on its victims."

Once you have your premise, get some 3x5 cards and on each, write a few words around an event from your experience that supports your premise. Keep going until you feel you have enough events to fill a book.

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. Once that is done, you have something to work with, to make whatever changes are necessary.

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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