Before You Start Your Book…

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A Few Tips from Your Coach

I’ve been talking with a few new authors lately about How to Start your Book. (Yes, that is the topic of a teleseminar I am finishing up with some new writers–its been totally fun to help them discover their stories and learn how to put in on paper!)

Here is a question that comes up a lot: How do figure out how to execute my idea? (Especially if it is a memoir from journals–there are so many ways you can relate that information!) I’m finding that I’m answering these questions often enough to share the answer with you here. So here goes:

Q: How do I know how to “frame” my story?

A: Good question. If you were a client I would advise you to do a few things to determine what style you want to use in writing your story.

  1. Pray. If God has laid this book on your heart, He will certainly show you how to tell the story.
  2. Go to the book store and browse the section of your genre. Look at different styles of conveying a story like yours and see what style appeals to you.
  3. Look at the top selling books in your genre on Amazon.com and again analyze them for how the authors convey their story.
  4. Determine what the point of your book is…beyond just telling your story your book should have some kind of point. Do you want to teach, encourage, show God’s work in your life? If you can determine the answer to that question, it may guide your story.

I also recommend that you read the following books before you write yours; these will help guide you as you write and answer many of the questions you have. It is also less expensive than hiring a coach to help you (but if you are interested in that, we can certainly discuss my fees). You will get the most out of reading:

1. A Writer’s Coach: The Complete Guide to Writing Strategies that Work by Jack Hart
2. 265 Troubleshooting Strategies for Writing Nonfiction by Barbara Fine Clouse
3. Keep it Real: Everything You Need To Know About Researching and Writing Creative Nonfiction edited by Lee Gutkind
4. Writing For Story: Craft Secrets of Dramatic Nonfiction by a Two-Time Pulitzer Prize Winner by Jon Franklin
5. Introduction to Christian Writing: An In-Depth Companion to the Complete Writing Experience by Ethel Herr

Let me know; did you find that helpful?