How To Write Your Book Yourself

write your book yourselfIf you can’t afford to hire a ghostwriter to help you, you will need to write your book yourself. Since you are working with a very low budget, you can make your book an eBook. Printing costs are expensive.

The good news is that an eBook can be any length, so don’t be concerned with reaching a word count target a publisher would expect (50,000 words or 200 pages is a typical minimum for a full-length book).

Start with an outline

Some people like to use flash cards, while others jot notes on a sheet of paper. I just open a Word document and start typing away.

When you’re writing an outline, keep in mind that you do not want to go into tons of detail. Just get the salient facts out of your mind and onto the paper. Who is doing what? Where?

When you have all your notes in order, review each event and see if it is necessary to the story. Does it move the story forward or is it just there because you like it? You must make sure every scene has a purpose.

Work on your dialogue

If you have never written dialogue before, and you plan to write your book yourself, you should practice this skill. Dialogue is a great way to keep a story fresh, exciting and easy to read. You can develop characters through dialogue as well.

The best advice I was ever given on writing dialogue was to observe others. A writer friend of mine used to hang out at malls and just listen to people, taking notes from time to time. I will write down phrases people utter sometimes, especially when they make me laugh out loud. I often tell them that one of my characters might quote them in my next book.

Take the time to notice how people talk. They don’t always complete sentences and their grammar usually isn’t perfect. They use slang and contractions. How do people answer questions? You’ll see the short cuts people use in natural speech when you really listen. Use these natural short cuts. You want your characters to sound realistic.

The opening pages

If you’re writing a novel or a memoir, it is important to grab the reader’s attention right from the start, dropping them in the middle of the action. A memoir rarely begins with the line “I was born…” Rather, it starts when something exciting happens.

For instance, if you’re an athlete writing your autobiography, you’ll probably want to start your book when you had an important victory or loss. If you’re writing a science fiction book, you may choose to land the reader in the middle of a fight or chase sequence.

However, I recommend going in chronological sequence whenever possible. It can be dizzying for a reader to bounce forward and backward in time.  When did that happen?  Where are we now?

Of course, you may need to flashback here and there, but use that tool sparingly and only when it is really needed to fill out the past. Sometimes, you can provide the needed information in a dialogue sequence between two characters and avoid the flashback entirely.

When you are tight on funds and can’t hire a ghostwriter, you’ll need to write your book yourself. It can be an enjoyable task. Take your time and enjoy the process.

Additional articles you might find helpful: How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Ghostwriter?

Writing a Book Proposal

Do you need help writing a book?

Working with a Ghostwriter – What steps should you take?

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