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10 Steps to Writing Your First Book

When I was 14 years old I wrote my first book. When I was 19 I published my first book. And when I look back at that first book I laugh like a lunatic because I did not know what grammar was. Or a decent plot line. But the experience of writing it taught me everything.


Writing a book – no matter what age you are – is an experience unto itself. To complete an entire book is difficult and time consuming and not everyone can do it. Or wants to.

But if you want to finish your first book, even if it may be the worst piece of literature to ever exist, here are the steps I took to finish not one, but several novels from blank page to last chapter.

10 Steps to Finish Writing Your Book

1. Write your book jacket summary

I don’t believe in starting with outlines despite that I always try to. I find that by writing my book jacket summary – the exciting one that makes you excited to read a book – that I find the direction I’m going for. The events seem to fall into place and the plot makes a bit of an appearance. Get excited for your book by writing the summary you want to read!

2. Make a list of characters

After the summary I come up with characters. Characters are truly the backbone of the story. And by coming up with the character backstory, I come up with a plot within how the character’s stories intertwine. It’s a great way to set up storyline and to learn your characters intimately.

3. Write the first chapter

Yep, it’s time to write! Using what you now know, write out that crappy first draft. Just write. It can be bad, it can be short, but once that first draft is out and the juices are flowing.

4. Outline

Now that you’ve got the juices flowing and a bit of the book already planned, let’s outline! Work with what you have and outline the rest of your already awesome book! Feel free to make changes to characters you have already made (and your book jacket summary) because it is a constantly changing process.

If you’ve been reading this and are interested in my writing, check out my debut novel (which yes, is aimed at YA) Affairs

5. Write, write, write

Go wild and write! No joke, just sit down whenever you get the time and write. It doesn’t need to be good, I’d prefer if it wasn’t too bad, but overall it just needs to have a full plot. Is that too much to ask?

6. Revisit outline

Once you’ve written a majority, go back to your outline and see where needs revising and where you maybe missed a plot point.

7. Write

That’s right, bring on the write!

8. Take a break

Now is the time to put down that writing utensil and enjoy a little rest. Drink some hot chocolate, enjoy a bath, watch TV, give your significant other attention, etc. You need to recharge those creative brain cells and enjoy your life a little.

9. Write that last chapter

Now it’s time to write the last chapter. This should be a single event not grouped with any other chapter. You need a fresh mind and hope that you can wrap your novel up – or not, maybe you’re making a series! – in a decent way.

10. Find a coffee shop and edit

And finally, edit. I believe editing should be done in a quiet, yet creative-inspiring place, like your favourite coffee shop or library or easy chair. I love any place that has big windows because anything can happen when you’re looking out a window.


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#writing #book #bookwriting #writingfirstbook #novel

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