Idea for a bookYou want to write a book? Join the club! How do you leave the ranks of “dreamer” and join those crazy alcoholics who call themselves “novelists”? Turn your idea for a book into reality? Read on, my friend…

First, you have to start. Everyone has a different style of writing. Some people need to outline their novels, planning out every scenes and turn of the plot. Others fly by their seat of their pants, making them “pantsers”. Many times, it’s hard to know which you are until you start writing, but here are some tips on how to know which one you are.

Plotter vs. Pantser

Plotter: You want to know what you’re going to write before you sit down to write a scene

Pantser: You’re excited about the fact that you can sit down with a blank page and see what happens.

Plotter: You have a specific plan for where the characters are going.

Pantser: You have no idea what’s going to happen, and you’re okay with that. There is no wrong or right way! Stephen King is a pantser while Brandon Sanderson plans out his novels. Think about it: are you excited to see where your story will take you or do you look forward to crafting each chapter beforehand?

Don’t stop here!

The Snowflake Method of outlining: http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/articles/snowflake-method/
How to Write a Book Now: http://www.how-to-write-a-book-now.com/writing-an-outline.html
No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty: http://www.amazon.com/No-Plot-Problem-Low-Stress-High-Velocity/dp/0811845052/
How I Plot a Novel in 5 Steps: http://thisblogisaploy.blogspot.com/2011/09/how-i-plot-novel-in-5-steps.html
Write Your Own Book and Become an Expert – 11 Reasons Why You Should: https://cascadiaauthorservices.com/write-your-own-book

Now that you’ve decided how to begin, there are a few essential elements of fiction that every writer needs to know how to handle:

Plot

Plot is basically what happens. Most plots follow the formula of inciting incident, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. Some writers will be turned off by the idea of following a formula, but I’m afraid that’s just how a story is told. Think of every movie you’ve seen, every book you’ve read — the majority of them follow a format that’s been followed for years. It’s what readers recognize as a story, and it’s what writers learn from writing novels.

Don’t stop here!

Writing the Six-Act Two Goal Novel: http://www.authorsalon.com/page/general/sixact/
Types of Literary Conflict: http://www.storyboardthat.com/articles/education/types-of-literary-conflict

Character

Who are your characters? What do they want? What makes them who they are? There are a variety of character building exercises out there to help you flesh out your characters. Fill out surveys; interview your characters; have them interview each other; write down what they’d have in their wallets, purses closets, refrigerators, and medicine cabinets; figure out their favorite books, movies, and TV shows. They can be fascinating if you take the right steps. If not, then why would your readers find them interesting?

Don’t stop here!

Sheets and Charts from the F*** Yeah Character Development Tumblr: http://fuckyeahcharacterdevelopment.tumblr.com/post/50825149893/character-sheets-and-character-creation

Setting

Setting is where your story takes place, but it can be more than that, too. It can set the mood of a story. It can present its own challenges and conflict for the characters. Sometimes it can be a character in and of itself.

Don’t stop here!

30 Days of WorldBuilding (fantasy/scifi geared): http://www.web-writer.net/fantasy/days/index.html
Building a Setting: http://www.novel-writing-help.com/novels-setting.html

POV (Point of View)

First person: “I got a lot of strange looks as I walked down the street in my Big Bird costume.”

Third person: “Amy couldn’t believe she was seeing Justin Bieber get arrested.”

The rare second person: “You think you see your mom, but then you realize it’s your reflection and it ruins your day.”

Whose point of view you choose also factors in. Is the narrator the main character, or is it someone on the outside, like Nick in The Great Gatsby? Is there one point of view through the whole book, or do you change the point of view, like the multi-charactered saga Game of Thrones?

Don’t stop here!

Grammar Girl helps with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/first-second-and-third-person
Writers’ Workshop: http://www.writersworkshop.co.uk/PointsofViewinFiction.html

The real key to writing a book? ACTUALLY WRITING IT.

BICHOK: Butt in chair, hands on keyboard. Write. Give yourself goals. Compete against yourself throughout the days. Write! Writing a book is one of the most exciting things you can do with your life. You won’t regret it. And as you keep writing, you’ll keep learning, and you’ll keep growing as a writer. It’s an amazing journey. And we haven’t even gotten to what happens after you write “The End.”

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