How Do I Write A Book?

How do I write a book?

This is the most important question to anyone who has tons of ideas in their head but just doesn't know where to begin when getting them down on paper. 

Now, don't get me wrong, there is no right or wrong way to write a book. Everyone has a different process, but here is what has worked for me:

Step One: Note Taking

I mull it over. I wade in it. 

I think up my MCs, my setting, and some loose plot points. Then, I spend a few days taking notes of my thoughts (dreams, shower musings, voice-to-text ideas while driving in the car - whatever inspiration, whenever it strikes). I usually make a playlist of the aura and themes I'm going for, make a Pinterest board to spark my creativity, etc. Then, once I have a good amount of notes, I move on to Step Two.

Step Two: Plotting

There are what we call "plotters," and then there are what we call "pantsers" (those who just open a new Word document and roll with it). Now, pantsing a novel is all fine and good, but if that was what you were meant to do, you would already be halfway through your book...and holding on for dear life. 

I, myself, am a "plotter," so I outline most of my novel before I begin writing it.

Save the Cat! Writes A Novel is a wonderful resource for how to map out your novel, and this Google document wraps the whole process up into a simple, one-page worksheet that walks you through step by step. I use it with every book!

The One-Page Novel Worksheet

Plotting helps me build my framework, so I can fill in the blanks from there. You probably won't know everything, but that's okay because a novel is a continuous work in progress until the very end. 

Step Three: Writing

Now, it's time to begin the hardest part, the actual writing.

I write my books in Word before I move them over to whatever formatting software I'm using (currently Atticus), but you can use other avenues, such as Scrivener, Reedsy, etc.

If using Word though, save yourself some time and search out this template: "Write a novel."


This template automatically starts you off with all the proper font, spacing, etc that an editor, literary agent, or publisher would expect from your manuscript. 

You can then map out all your chapters and then just start filling them in. Don't feel like you need to start from the first chapter and work through one by one. Sometimes I start at the end and then jump around. With Fire On Fire, I ended up adding a chapter before my first chapter because it is what was needed. There is no rhyme or reason to how you write the book, so I would say start with the scenes that are most clear to you or interest you the most and go from there.

To keep yourself motivated throughout this 80-100K word journey, do writing challenges to pull info out of your characters and setting (follow me on Insta for monthly prompts), make mood boards, make character profiles, and listen to your novel playlists while writing. Set aside time each week to make sure you stay consistent, and if you get writer's block, walk away and then come back to it when you get the inspiration. Don't wear yourself out!

If you are committed and stay persistent, you will have your first novel in no time! (or a year if you're like me, haha)

Did this help you get back on track with your writing journey? Please let me know your writing tips and tricks in the comments!

XOXO, Kyrstie


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