Ideal for aspiring authors who only dream of actually finishing their works in progress, this guide features proven, field-tested tools guaranteed to successfully complete that romance, expert guide to business success, or great American novel. The chapters simplify the writing process by breaking it down into a series of discrete tasks, from creating a schedule in order to finish within a reasonable time, brainstorming sections of the book, and organizing ideas into chapters to rewriting, editing, submitting for publication, and even marketing. This reference is tailored to help writers avoid distractions and delays by establishing and maintaining a powerful writing momentum, thereby carrying their projects to completion. The psychological blocks that prevent writers from completing their manuscripts as well as how to combat them are also explored.
Write Your Book Now!
Theres a story told that supposedly explains how Michelangelo
carved his magnificent David. The theory is that Michelangelo started with
a block of marble and then chipped away everything that didnt look like
David. The tale is mythical, of course, but it is apropos here because thats
how youll begin this book-writing adventureby chipping away at the project
until it begins to look like a book.
In this step of the program, youll begin shaping your book. Remember, I
said that no one can write a book. One can only write a part of a book, which
is how youll begin to shape your bookby writing only part of it. And it
will be a very small part indeed. Just as we mentioned earlier that you carve a
16-ounce porterhouse steak into bite-sized chunks, now youll begin writing
your book by creating small, manageable chunks.
Sketch Out an Initial Idea
Start with one chunk.
Lets assume for the moment that you want to write a book about sculpting
portraits in clay. Where do you start chipping away at that? Well, think of
somethinganythingthat you want to tell your readers. Jot that something
down and, while youre thinking about it, jot down a few supporting ideas.
Thereyouve now begun to shape your book.
Lets say that the first thought that pops into your mind is that the readers
should know what tools theyll need to work in clay. Fine. You jot down that
idea and label it Tools Youll Need. You begin to fill out the idea by noting
several of the basic tools that are essential. You may also make a note to tell
the readers where they can obtain these implements and approximately how
much theyll cost. Maybe youll make a note to explain briefly how these tools
are used and for what purpose. You might even remind yourself of an entertaining
anecdote about someone who tried to get by with the wrong tools.
There. You have now noted one major ideaquite possibly the basis for
a full chapterof your book. It may not be the first chapter, but at this point
thats not important. It is the stuff of a chapter and you have got it recorded.
Sketch Out Another Idea
Now, think of something else you want to tell the reader about sculpting in
Lets imagine that you realize that the eyes are a particular challenge in
carving a clay portrait. OK, you label your next segment Shaping the Eyes.
You note any ideas that would support this chapter, e.g., eye-sculpting techniques
used by the masters of the craft, major mistakes to avoid when shaping
eyes, etc. This probably wouldnt be Chapter 2 in your manuscript, but it will
probably find a home in your book somewhere.
One by One, Sketch Out the Other Ideas
You Have for Your Book
You now have ideas in place for two chapters. Theyre certainly not finished
products; theyre merely notes to yourself at this point. But they are parts of
the book you intend to write.
Now, continue to think of things you want to say. Jot them down and
add any supporting ideas that pop into your head. Remember again that
youre not writing the entire book; youre writing parts of your book. The idea
here is to let ideas flow from your mind onto the paper. Get as many concepts
as you want to cover jotted down so that you can organize and arrange them
later in this process of completing your manuscript.