As an aspiring author working on their first manuscript, there is a lot that you have signed up for – and we aren’t only referring to the countless edits, cuts, and re-writes that you will be making while completing your first draft. What are some of the rules to follow for writing your first book? This article will give you some quick tips. Keep reading.
Of course, you will have the support of your editor and proofreader – but – there are several do’s and don’ts that you will want to know for the ultimate success of your writing project.
Let’s jump into the rules of writing your first book without further ado.
Write with Passion
We cannot stress enough the importance of choosing a subject that you are passionate about. Of course, writing must be your passion, which is why you will want to share something with the world. But –you will want to choose a story you are passionate about sharing with your readers.
The thing is that your readers will be able to tell whether you have been passionate about the subject or not. So, you will want to treat your writing project as something you are passionate about rather than something you are doing because you think you should be doing it.
Also, whatever subject you choose, make sure that you have done your research, as your readers will be quick to point out any mistakes that you might have made–especially–regarding historical references.
Even when you are writing fiction or fantasy, there can be instances where you might be referring to places from our real-life world. For instance, if your characters are meeting in London, you will want to know that you know what London is like and how the people of London are – if you have never been to London yourself.
Pay Attention to the Cover
Ideally, you will want to write a book that sells. It doesn’t matter how amazing the content of your book is – if you don’t pay attention to the cover design of your book. It wouldn’t be wrong to state that a book cover can either make or break your book.
You will want to know how to design a book cover or hire a professional book cover designer to help your book sell. Contrary to what you might have heard your entire life, the truth is that a book is always judged by its cover.
Just look at things from the reader’s perspective – why would they want to pick up a book that has a boring or dull cover? Typically, readers are attracted to books with interesting and catchy covers. So, you will want to ensure that your book cover mirrors the genre, tone, and subject matter of the book.
Write a Great Hook
Suppose your ideal readers have been attracted to your book based on the amazing book cover – the next step involves the to start reading your book, and they will start by reading the initial lines or pages of the book, which is also known as the hook of the book.
Now, you will want to pay special attention to the hook of your book because this is where you will either win or lose your ideal reader audience. The hook piqued the reader’s interest and made them want to read the story from beginning to end.
You can integrate different techniques to write a catching hook, such as starting with chaos in the book. You could also start the book by making the protagonist confess to a crime. The characters could also be running from something – dragging the reader with them.
You could also aim at connecting emotionally with the readers in a way that the readers feel sympathy or empathy for the character/ protagonist, which will then push them to read on to get to know the entire story,
When it comes to writing the perfect book, you will want to avoid boring opening lines, such as lines that refer to the weather. Now, suppose that you have to discuss the weather condition then you will want to make it quick by depicting a character’s reaction to the weather instead of dragging the entire weather condition for over a paragraph.
The readers will have expectations, and they will be looking for people instead of the weather.
Skip the Prologue
If you want to write an interesting book that will keep your readers hooked, you will want to avoid a prologue. The thing about prologues is that these are annoying – especially the kind of prologue that follows the foreword.
Usually, prologues are part of the non-fiction genre. In a novel, a prologue is more or less the backstory, which means that you can integrate the backstory wherever you want – especially when you are not following a chronological order, and you have started the hook with a flashback.
Understand that Writing is Real Work
You will need so much more than a cup of coffee while working on your manuscript. And we aren’t only referring to a grammar book or thesaurus – you will need to understand the secret to your success lies in hard work and dedication.
Undoubtedly, writing is fun, and it requires loads of passion to complete your first manuscript. You will need to have a strategy, so the best way to plan your book is by using a mind map. With the help of a mind map, you will be able to outline the different chapters, opt for detailed character portrayals, and plan the themes.
Never quit in the middle. Most writers never succeed in completing their first manuscript because they only write when they feel like it. And while the writing project might have started as a passion, they tend to lose their passion in the middle somewhere when their backs start hurting.
You will want to understand the simple aspect that you made the conscious decision to write on your own by applying some of the rules to follow for writing your first book. No one forced you to write – you did it yourself, which is why there is no need to whine about it. You will want to stay hydrated, eat right, and do some back exercise.
Do whatever it takes to reach your writing goal.