Writing a story doesn’t just happen overnight. It takes time and how long is dependent on you and your commitment to seeing it through. My first complete novel took me roughly six weeks to write, this includes starting all over again and rewriting the outline. Sometimes, you might think you have it all figured out but the basic thing is that it starts with an idea and when you’ve got it,

  1. Stick to the story idea

When thinking of what to write about, trust me, there would be loads of different ideas screaming, “Pick me! Pick me!” and if that doesn’t happen, friends and family would be telling you things they think you ought to write about. The plan is to stick to a story idea and with that, start running and …

  1. Outline it!

There are various ways to outlining a book. I love the snowflake method, which I personally call the developmental method. It opens your imagination like a flower awakening to the morning sun. I would be posting about this next week and you would find a link right here on a simpler way on how to outline your first or next book. The next thing to do is to

  1. Schedule time to write

If it’s important, you would create time. You can write a thousand words every day, or three thousand words. Choose a number, pick a time of the day or the number of hours you must sit to write daily. Stick to it and in no time you would be

  1. Creating your first draft (no edits)

This is a tricky stage. If you are looking to writing a lengthy book, your first draft should contain the basic from beginning to the end. You can decide to chapter it, or name them – this depends on your outlining. In this stage, avoid editing whatever you have written. Leave everything as it is and then take another bold step to

  1. Rewrite your first draft

At this stage, you are to make mini edits. Add more words, action, dialogue and setting. This is where the story or book begins to form. If it is a non-fiction book, begin adding references and if possible, more title or topics you know you should cover but haven’t covered, share links containing the drafts to friends with ideas in that topic and then you have a second draft.

  1. Go through your second draft

Flesh it up. Add more to it, make it real. Show, don’t tell and you can keep on fleshing until you feel you have exhausted all the ideas in your head. Then you move to

  1. Take a Break, Let it Sit

It has been an interesting journey yeah? Now is not the time to edit, it is time for you to take time out to free your brain. You can both completely forget you have written something awesome or you think about it and write ideas to be added or deleted in your sticky notes. This period lasts within a week to a year – it depends on you. You could also use this period to draft another story. This process makes your eyes fresh and different when you decide to look at your work again and begin to

  1. Self-edit

I would be writing more on this too in a few week’s time but this is the point where you go through the errors on your own with fresh eyes. You review the development of the character/story. You really do not want to send off your book immediately to an editor because they would naturally lighten your pocket to do your job. So, I advice printing it out and using a red pen to edit while doing this,

  1. Decide on a title

Your title is dependent on a lot of things. The story, the character, the plot, the epiphany, the problem, so many things! You might be lucky and already know what you are sticking with, but make sure it is catchy and it is something your readers can relate to or understand if they put their mind to it …slightly.

  1. Send to An Editor

Around the point where you are thinking of the title, you can send to an editor. I would be posting about this too and would be sharing a link. Good books are edited professionally, whether they are to be sold or not. It’s all about your image as an author as they would forget your book title, but they would never forget the author and what was written.

  1. Design a book cover

While waiting for feedback from your editor, it is time to design the book cover! Another selling point. Please don’t create one by yourself, especially if it is to be sold. I would also be posting more about this soon.

  1. Go through your editor’s edits

Once you get your editor’s edits, please go through them and know what you’re sticking with and what you’re disposing of. You would still have to make some slight edits as no one is perfect and your editor might not get your jokes or what makes the story so special to you. Good editors leave you to decide.

  1. Format and layout your book

You’re looking at an ebook or hardcopy? Give it to your graphics designer to sort out or download templates and save in the proper format.

  1. Print/Publish

Get an ISBN number, print copies and ensure you run through enough samples and have everything right. If it’s an eBook, upload to your preferred site or publisher.

Congratulations! You’re almost done.

  1. Promote & Market

There are so many ways to promote and market your books; from social media to guest blogging, to advance readers copies, to reviews, to book tours, to book clubs, book trailers, sponsored ads, giveaways, and a whole lot.

I would be sharing my journey later as I am still in the process.

Bonus – Repeat

Start writing the next story.

PULL OVER (Episode 1)

Thank you for reading and I hope I have helped in your writing journey. I will be expecting your responses and stories


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