Trying to Write a Book: Tips & Troubles

I’ve always maintained that I would never write a book; I’m not sure why I felt so strongly about this, especially since I adore books so much. As you can see by the title of this post, I’ve suddenly changed my mind and have become obsessed with this idea of writing my own book. This post is going to talk a little bit about my process this far on my book, as well as some tips I have for anyone else who wants to do the same.

My Book

Without going into too much detail about what it’s about, I am in the works of writing a YA Fantasy novel. It doesn’t have a set title yet, but I have generally planned out what I am writing about, as well as started writing some chapters; I currently have written just under 19,000 words. This is definitely going to be a series – I’m leaning towards a duology, but I might have to make it a trilogy. I’m really excited about it and I’ve grown to love my characters so much. Even if this goes nowhere, at least I feel accomplished and have made something I love.

Make Pinterest Boards for Your Characters/World

The first piece of advice I have is to make Pinterest boards for your characters so you can really get to learn their aesthetic. It also helps if you create a board for your (most especially if you’re writing a fantasy book) book’s world/setting. This has really helped me to visualize the setting/character when I’m writing, and be able to give better, more in depth details about them. Here’s one that I made for one of my characters (all images found on Pinterest):

Fill out Character Charts/Develop your Characters

Another helpful device I found on Pinterest is character charts. These are charts that you fill out that really go into detail about all aspects of your characters, from hair colour to little quirks. I printed one out for each of my more central characters, and I’ve found them both enjoyable and helpful to this process. Something that’s helped me personally is deciding on the zodiac signs of my characters, since I’m also very interested in astrology. I use this to then find traits about the signs, and see if they match my characters.

Make a Writing Playlist

This is by far my most favourite tip for writing. I will say it over and over again – MAKE A WRITING PLAYLIST! Your playlist can include pieces of classic music (Claire de Lune – Claude Debussy), new age instrumental (Experience – Ludovico Einaudi), movie soundtrack songs (Visions of Gideon – Sufjan Stevens, Harry & Hermione – John Williams), songs that remind you of certain scenes or the overall vibe in your book (The Secret History – The Chamber Orchestra of London, Do I Wanna Know? – Arctic Monkeys), or anything you want! Listening to my playlist while writing gets me inspired, and I end up writing so much more. Here’s my playlist: Writing.

Set Time Aside to Write, But Also Write as it Comes to You

A few pieces of advice here: The first is to make time to make your dreams happen! If you really want to get it done, make it happen. Set aside time in the week for your writing, and see if you can devote an hour or so to just that. However, another thing is don’t put pressure on yourself. Of course you’re going to hit a block every so often and not know what to write next. Just stop for a bit and see if something comes to you over time. Finally, don’t feel like you need to write in order. The other day I wrote a scene for the second book in this series – the second book! You might be thinking Kayla, you’re nowhere near done the first, and you’re right, I’m not. However, you should write as it comes to you, don’t worry about going from chapter one to chapter two and so on, just do what you can.

Write it all Down/Leave Your Work Alone for a Few Weeks

I suggest first writing it all down, rather than constantly going back and forth editing and changing and fixing. This will make writing a less time-consuming process. An issue had before I did this was that I would read and re-read the same chapter over and over trying to perfect it, until I was disgusted with the words and I thought my writing was terrible. However, when I took time away, I came back to find that I actually liked what I had written, and I had a fresh pair of eyes to spot any new mistakes or plot holes.

Share your work!

This was an especially difficult one for me, since Ii came to realize that writing makes me really self-conscious. When I’m writing an academic piece of writing, I don’t mind sharing with my friends because I’m not really being vulnerable and writing with 100% originality as I am with this book. However, sharing with some friends and asking them for comments is something I’ve found to be extremely helpful, and has led to me making quite a few changes in my work. Also, it makes me feel like I’m on the right path, because my friends also reinforce my good ideas.

Look Into Literary Agents & Publishers

When you’re done your book, or actually starting to consider trying to get it published, start looking into what exactly this process looks like. I honestly knew nothing about this beforehand, but I found an article which really helped me: Start Here: How to Get Your Book Published. This outlines the different options you have when publishing your book, and it also led me to a page which speaks more directly on finding a literary agent: How to Find a Literary Agent for Your Book. I suggest reading into these if you’re interested.

Remember: You Have no Deadline!

This is the most important one! Don’t stress it, don’t overdo it. Take your time with it and find what works best for you. The ideas will come to you naturally, even if it takes a bit of a longer time. You have no deadline, and you should make this something you enjoy!

Let me know if you liked this post, and if you want to see more like this! : )

5 thoughts on “Trying to Write a Book: Tips & Troubles”

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  3. Excellent post and advice for writing that first or fifteenth book. The process never changes although it does get easier and more streamlined.

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