Advice for anyone who wants to write a book, but doesn’t know where to start.
If you’re like I was back in 2011 and have an idea for a book, but haven’t the faintest clue how to go about it, trust me, you are not alone. I, and so many others, have been in your shoes.
My biggest advice to you would be to do your research. These days it just isn’t enough to want to write a book because there’s so much competition. I have an entire bookshelf dedicated to how-to books centered around writing and learning the craft: everything from developing good dialogue, learning the secrets of plot and subplot, to finding your unique voice, and so forth. I even took an online class from a local university about writing fiction.
The other thing I recommend is reading. Lots of it. Find books by authors you like and read them. It may sound silly, but a lot of the things I learned in my how-to books I was already mostly doing because reading so many good authors had given me an ear for what sounded right. If I hadn’t been such an avid reader, I would have had a lot further to go in my learning.
Lastly, find the best editor you can afford (I’m speaking from the self-published point of view, if you go the traditional route and pick up an agent, they will provide the editor – but you still need to edit it to within an inch of its life before you ever submit it). Don’t think that using the spell checker in word, or your best friend’s cousin who was good in English, is going to be enough. If you want to be successful and put out something that people will love and enjoy, it has to be edited properly.
Remember, after doing all these things…write! Nothing will happen if you don’t write. You can’t publish a book until you’ve written it. No matter how busy you are, how many times you start and stop, keep writing. If you did your research, and wrote the best book you could, (with a little luck!) you’ll have something people want to read and you’ll be able to stop saying, “I’m trying to become an author,” and instead will say, “I am an author.”