When you’re writing a book, there are a lot of things to keep in mind: character development, strong scenes, a plot that moves forward with each scene, etc. This applies to both fiction and non-fiction writing.
Joy E. Rancatore offers some helpful tips about how she kept track of her timelines and characters in her various writing projects, to make sure everything stayed consistent. This includes keeping separate documents of locations, timelines, and characters; displaying details on note cards; and making use of project boards.
Live Write Thrive talks about scene structure, and recommends studying the ending of lots of scenes to get a sense of how they show emotion and have impact. Live Write Thrive also shares how to become a sensitive, responsible writer. And, don’t forget to fact check your work.
And for fun, I recommend the site Useless Etymology, which has a lot of interesting posts about different word origins, such as “turtle” and “tortoise.”
As a writer, it’s important to set goals for yourself. It can keep you motivated, and help you accomplish big milestones over time. Lisa Poisso has an author’s guide for setting goals for novels, which include creative goals, such as delivering your story in a compelling way or having dramatic tension throughout your book. ALLi also outlines author goals, which can range from what you value to what activities you can do to achieve your goals.
Sometimes it’s easy to feel stuck and not move forward with your goals. In that case, take a page from The Happy Self Publisher and come up with a list of questions to help you work through whatever it is that made you feel stuck.
Remember though, even if you haven’t yet published your book, you are a writer. The Self Publisher offers tips for how to turn your writing from a hobby into a career. The important thing is to take it one step at a time. Also practice all the time and don’t worry about being perfect.
For fun, HuffPost a while back covered an interesting trend: beautifully illustrated non-fiction picture books.
Writing the Right Length
The last thing to keep in mind is the length of your novel or non-fiction book. Word or page counts may determine promotions you can qualify for on platforms such as Amazon, and you also want to have roughly the right number of words to meet your readers expectations in your genre, according to Kindlepreneur.
Knowing how long your book takes to read can also help potential readers decide whether or not to buy your book, according to Marketing Christian Books. Once you calculate roughly how long it takes to read your book, then you could add the read time to your back cover.
This post was originally published December 2020.