Do’s and Don’ts of writing a book

When you write your first novel, do:

1. Plan your book from the beginning

Writing a book is a long commitment (depends on what you are writing). Planning is really important. It gives you a deadline that motivates you to meet those deadlines on time. When we do not have deadlines to meet there’s a high chance that we may end up procrastinating and drag on with writing the book.

You need to have daily goals, weekly goals and also you should set a deadline for your first draft.

If it is possible try to structure each and every chapter before you start writing so that you will have a clear idea of what you will be working on that day. If you already have the outline of your story, plan which parts of the story you will write when. It is better if you keep a week or monthly planner with you to keep track of your progress.

2. Keep any research in an organized, accessible place

Whenever you start writing your book make sure you have researched about the topic completely so that you do not include facts that are not correct. Keep your research handy and keep it organised so that whenever you need to go back and read about that topic you do not need to struggle finding that topic.

3. Write every day

As we mentioned earlier it is very necessary to write every day without fail. You should make writing a part of your daily routine. The goal shouldn’t be to write a lot but to write often. It is not necessary you write 1000 words in a day, then take a rest the next day. Rather than that you can write 500 words every day. The daily goal should be realistic and attainable. Once you start completing your daily goals you feel more motivated and dedicated to complete your next goal and that’s where the momentum starts building.

We all have our daily routines that we do. You need to make writing the book a part of that routine. Only when you will be consistent, then you’ll be able to complete the book. You should set a deadline to write your book. Of course, holidays are necessary, but you need to time the holidays such that you do not miss a deadline or finish that work beforehand. You need to make sure that other tasks do not clash with your writing time because when it’s time to write, it's time to write.

We all have a place where we sleep, we eat and work. We do not work at the place where we eat and sleep. In a similar way you need to find a place where you just write the book. Every time you go to that place, you should reach your writing mode. Make sure you are not doing anything else at that place. That place should motivate you and remind you of the commitment to finish that book.

4. List down excuses for not writing and put them to one side

Many times, we feel tired and feel like not doing anything and we make up excuses for not doing our work. We may have reasons like “ I don’t have time” and “ I’ll do the work tomorrow let me rest”. Distractions are very powerful hence it is necessary to avoid any distractions. It is helpful to write down doubts, insights or anything that is worth keeping in mind. Sometimes just writing these doubts will make it easier to put them aside and focus on finishing your book

When you’re working on your first book, don’t:

1. Continuously change the plot of the story and start over

Many times when we start writing a book we come up with new ideas and most of the time we feel that the other idea will make a better plot and we completely abandon the first idea and start focusing on the other idea. It is because the other idea appeared superior and it promised an escape from writing challenges you might be currently facing. Every time a new idea comes to your mind it is better to write that idea down and store it away and use it when you start writing the other book.

2. Underestimate what it takes to write a novel

Writing may seem like an easy process but it is definitely not an easy process. It requires motivation, dedication , perseverance to complete a book. You need to have complete confidence in your story, it should have focus and direction too

3. Make everything fit your preconceived plot

It is not necessary that you write everything and try to fit it in your preconceived plot. When you start writing you may realise that some other plot is fitting better in this situation. You can come up with the main events from your novel, describe them separately and then combine them together only then you will have a clear sense if they all fit together.

4. Tell the reader everything in the first introduction

When we meet a stranger, we barely know anything about them. Slowly and gradually we come to know about their details such as their likes, dislikes, values, beliefs. The same should be for the characters in your book. You should keep at least some mystery and slowly and gradually disclose information about the character. You can even show the development of the personality of the character in your book

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