Book Writing: Step 4 of Six Preparatory Steps to Complete Before Starting your Manuscript

Yvonne Perry
 


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Okay, let's take another step toward getting your book ready to write, publish and bring to the market.

The following steps are explained in detail in my subscription-based teleclasses on freelance writing Writers on Call. Let me remind you of the other steps we have been working with.

1. Know What Type of Book You Want to Write
2. Do a Market comparison
3. Complete a Title Search
4. Create an Outline
5. Write a Query letter
6. Start your Book proposal

Now, here is step 4 of my six preparatory steps to complete BEFORE starting your manuscript.

Step 4. Creating an Outline

You hated it in school and now I’m asking you to do it again! Coming up with an outline may not be much fun, but it will help you stay focused and organized as you work on your project. There’s a big difference in writing a fiction book versus a non-fiction book and therefore, your outline will differ depending upon which you are writing.

Fiction - If you have a story line in mind it is a good idea to write out a time line to sequence the events in your story. Type a list of chapter titles that fit the time line of your fiction story into a Word document. Put Roman numerals by each one.

Write a short bio on each of the main characters. Now write a paragraph about the scenes/places you plan to create in your story. Keep these in a word document.

Non-fiction – Start with the main points you want to cover in your non-fiction book. Simply type them into a Word document and put Roman numerals by each one. If you know how to use the advanced features of Microsoft Word, you can use the outline tool.

Make sure all your main points reflect back to your title. Whenever I feel I am getting on a rabbit trail, I go back to my title and ask, “How does this information support my title?” Answering that question always gets me back on track and helps me decide if that chapter, quote, paragraph, or research data is necessary. Then I can go to my outline to see where the information will fit best.

Next, write a short summary of what each of those main points is about. One or two sentences are plenty. Put these summaries or character/scene bios into your outline underneath the Roman numeral and hit your “tab” key. This will indent the text and put a letter “a. ” in front of the paragraph if you have the bullet and list feature enabled in your Word program.

Your outline will need to be adjusted as you write your book, but at least you’ll have a working idea of what you want to accomplish while you are writing and researching.

I’ll be teaching a class on the advanced features of Microsoft Word program, so be sure to check my blog http://yvonneperry. blogspot.com for information on upcoming events. Now, go get step 5 of this article series posted at http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Yvonne_Perry.

All six steps in this article series are explained in detail via my subscription-based teleclasses on freelance writing Writers on Call. You may order the entire CD audio set of all the classes in my 8-week course on “How to Write a Book” at http://www.yvonneperry.net/Writersoncall.htm .

Yvonne Perry is a freelance writer and editor who assists clients with any type of writing project. Yvonne is available to assist your with telling your story or writing your book. Her podcast Writers in the Sky is filled with information about the craft and business of writing. See http://www.yvonneperry.net for more information about her writing services, books, newsletter, podcast and blog.

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