Three Key Points To Consider Before You Write That Book!

Steve Dempster

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According to recent surveys, over 70% of people questioned said they would like to write a book. This article touches on three key points that just might help them - and you - do just that!

First key point: willpower. Although 70% of people questioned may well have said they would like to write a book, figures aren't available for the number who actually did anything about it. It's an unfortunate truth that wanting to do something and actually doing it are very often a long way apart from each other. Part of this problem lies in the fact that, for the vast majority of people, writing a book is something they have no idea how to start.

It's all very well having a great idea for that blockbuster novel but turning that idea into a finished book is normally quite an undertaking. A writer must have the willpower to carry it through to a conclusion and even the strongest will can fail if the writer does not have a clear plan of what lies ahead.

Writing a book is a big task. Having your end in mind at all times enables you to focus on the task before you and, perhaps surprisingly, can bolster your willpower significantly.

Second key point: planning. There's an old saying - ‘fail to plan, plan to fail’. Originally found in books on positive mental attitude back in the 1980's, this sort of mantra-style catchphrase still has plenty of validity in all sorts of situations, not the least in writing a book.

A book - be it a novel or factual book - must be planned from the outset. It's very tempting to start off willy-nilly, trusting to luck that all will be well and that, at the end of a writing frenzy, your magnum opus will be finished, polished and ready for the reading public. Maybe it will - if you have a truly massive slice of luck.

In reality, you will in all probability manage to get to about 10,000 words before running out of steam altogether. How do I know this? Easy - it comes from painful experience. The realisation that your story has fallen apart can come as a crushing blow - in fact, it can lead to your giving up on the idea of writing a book entirely. Don't be caught out by lack of planning!

Third key point: Marketability. An awkward word for a possibly awkward concept - especially if you have never considered the fact that your book (when finished) must be a saleable product. I'm not for one minute trying to stifle the creative outpourings of any writer but, come to crunch-time, it has to be accepted that what you write has got to sell; if it is not saleable then, as a commercial proposition, you have failed in your endeavour.

Consider this: is the book you propose to write targeted at a specific audience? If not - why not? It has been said that writing for a target market stifles ‘the creative mind’. Well, I'm sorry but I do not agree. Emphatically. In my opinion, it is much easier to write a book on any subject you fancy than to write one that fits snugly into a market niche. The real task is writing for your reading public - after all, they are the ones who part with their hard-earned cash to read something they like to read!

To write a book that is marketable and will sell is very much part of a writer's skill portfolio. The vast majority of published writers are those who, whilst creating entirely original and valid work, conform to very tight and targeted publishing guidelines within their chosen genre or book type. If you can master this skill you are, believe me, well on the way to being published.

So what can be learned from this brief article? In a nutshell, it can be realised that commercial creative writing is written for a target audience; that planning is all-important if you wish to finish what you have started and - not least by any means - iron willpower is a prime requisite for the committed novelist. Put these three together and this ‘writers triangle’ can be the foundation for a professional approach to your writing career.

Steve Dempster writes articles for the web and works of fiction. If you would like to get the know-how a novelist needs to write professionally, take a look at this.


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