What is a dream for many can quickly become a nightmare: write your own book. Because only a good idea is not enough for a good story. And very few of us are geniuses who can simply shake a complete novel out of their sleeves. So if the inspiration should eventually become a book, it needs a lot of stamina and help. Our tips will make things a little easier.
Writing inspiration for the book: Where can I get good ideas?
The best ideas are usually in your own nose, as self-publishing star Poppy J. Anderson (over a million Kindle Book sales on Amazon) reported in her column. That is, the first task of a writer is the close observation of the environment. Only those who observe closely can describe them in detail afterwards. “We are surrounded by them, they swirl around us like dust. Everything I do differently than others is to be mindful of it, “writes bestselling author Andreas Eschbach on his blog on the topic of novel ideas.
It is always advisable to have a notebook or similar in order to be able to capture interesting ideas immediately. We do not want inspirations to disappear as suddenly as they came. This notebook should also have a permanent place on the bedside table, because many good ideas come while we dream or are in the twilight state between being awake and sleeping.
Another, almost inexhaustible source of inspiration is, of course, reading. “That’s great, that’s what I want to be able to do” or “How terrible, I could do it a thousand times better” are two thoughts that have probably come to everyone’s reading. From there, the step to write yourself is not far away. Reading works by other authors not only trains your judgment, it also automatically acquires new knowledge and expands your own vocabulary.
Tips for finding inspiration
- Watch the environment and really perceive
- Take notes so as not to forget an idea
- See how and about what other writing
- Preparation: What do I need to know before writing about my book?
Once the idea for writing a book has arrived, the first structure can be developed with the help of brainstorming and mind maps. Few writers just start writing, but prepare their stories. That is, even before the actual writing the characters and their background are designed and a plot, so a skeleton of the action, worked out.
In the process, the story arc is roughly outlined, the story given a structure and a rough chapter plan drawn up. So you always know when writing, at which point of the story you are currently. Cumbersome plotting is not something for everyone, but rather a type question. Especially at the beginning of a well-prepared plot but makes sense. He helps to not lose track of writing, to get stuck because of missing ideas or to lose the thread because of an abundance of ideas. This also finds thriller author Marcus Johanus, who holds a plea on a blog plotting.
Helpful questions when plotting a book
does my story have beginning, middle part and end respectively conflict and solution?
are problem and solution realistic and comprehensible?
do the actions merge meaningfully?
Do I really know my characters?
how can I summarize my book in one sentence?
Research: The path to credibility
Depending on the topic and the plot of the book to be written, the research can be more or less time-consuming. One thing she always is: important. This includes that the author often appropriates more knowledge than he actually uses in the book. And that’s a good thing, says author Marcus Johanus and warns against Infodump, so the clumsy unloading of apparently fleeting information. The more basic knowledge is available, the more dense and, above all, more credible the story succeeds. The factual reality can be left behind in fiction. But a violation of the basic rules of logic or physics will not be very popular with most readers.
The research possibilities are numerous, as is often the case. The internet offers a good first stop and most of the information you need. In addition, the search in books and libraries offers. In addition, libraries are an excellent place to gather more inspiration, says Andreas Eschbach. Also, do not be afraid to ask experts for help, even if you’re not a famous author yet. Most are pleased about the interest and like to share their knowledge.
Tips for researching for writing a book
there is not enough background information
Experts help where you can not get on with internet and library
The first draft: Do not be afraid of bad texts
Finally, it is the actual writing of the book, but already the first half page is a disaster? No problem – just keep going. “The first attempt is always crap,” knew Ernest Hemingway. The first draft is basically just an exercise, or the raw material for what comes later. This means that the first draft is (almost) never good. But you should not be discouraged by that.
Even the first five attempts to literally walk into the bin after half a page are no help. It is best to concentrate purely on writing and not to look at the text for a second look until the first draft is completely finished. Then the whole thing is put away first. And lo and behold, after some time (no matter if hours, days, weeks or more), the text is not so horrible as you thought at first, but a very good working basis.
If you feel insecure about the actual hand tool, you can also take a step back and learn how to write yourself. For more information, we have compiled on the learn.net info page Writing.
Tips for writing a book for the first time
turn off the inner critic
stuck but achievable goals
write every day (even if it’s only 30 minutes)
Motivation: means against writer’s block and “Keine Lust”
The writer’s block is a myth. In most cases, there are very different difficulties, which are summarized under this term. The two biggest ones are the fear of the white sheet, the actual beginning, and of the inner critic. The most often comes out in the course of writing, sowing doubt and diminishes the self-esteem. The simplest remedy for acute symptoms: distraction. Going for a run, reading a good book or listening to music can help to clear your mind and to find new motivation. It is still only a short-term solution, where the real problem remains.
The real problem is often that you do not take writing a book seriously enough. Therefore, the only way to permanently overcome writer’s block is to make writing the necessary habit. If writing is an integral part of the day and is disciplined, there is no such thing as a writer’s block. Because every beginning is hard, it also helps to “write warm”. That is, you start with a small, different text or even a poem, before you go to the “real” story. And sometimes it helps to know that you are not alone with your problem.
Help with writer’s block
do not despair
Write firmly into the day
Revision: What should I consider when revising?
As soon as the first draft is complete with heart and soul, it turns from a gruesome attempt to a perfect masterpiece, which has just been created. But neither the one nor the other view of the text are very constructive, as far as the revision is concerned. Therefore, it is recommended to leave the finished design for the time being and get away from it. How long this period is – whether you’re just sleeping over it for a single night, waiting a few days or a few weeks – depends on everyone.
After that it helps, among other things, to read aloud to the text itself as if it were a stranger. Bulky phrases and incomprehensible sentences immediately come to light. It may be helpful to change the typeface or print the text to literally have a fresh look at it. It can also help to focus on certain aspects of the revision process, ignoring others first. In other words, at first the focus is only on the content: are the relationships logical? Is the action comprehensible and the motivating motivation? Then follows the review of the language flow (I have favorite words that I use above average often?) And finally the control of spelling.
Tips for revising
focus on individual aspects
not afraid of big changes
Feedback and correction: Strange eyes help against text blindness
Let’s be honest: No one wants to read a book – whether printed or as an eBook for Kindle or Tolino – that is full of mistakes. It does not matter if it’s grammar, spelling or logic. There are readers who stumble upon such mistakes, smirk eventually, and then read on. After all, everyone makes mistakes, even well-known authors are not immune to it. For others, however, they mean a significant reduction in reading pleasure. Only one thing can help: Correct, Correct, Correct. Or better still have others correct. Not for nothing it says: “Four eyes see more than two”. It can also be like six, eight or even more eyes.
Spending a lot of money on a professional proofreading is not necessarily necessary. In most cases, there are certainly a few volunteers in the family and friends circle who can look into the manuscript. Probably the manuscript will not be perfect even then. But one or two small mistakes a benevolent reader already overlooks when the content is right.
Tips for correction:
- more eyes see more bugs that can be fixed
- no correction without success