Thanks to Omar K. Alleyne for giving ACES Aspire readers 5 top tips to help them write their own book.
The book writing process is not easy, even though it’s as simple as getting out a notepad or opening word and writing, there are stages you have to take, especially if you want to make something that is ‘good’. You wouldn’t just pour out your cereal without first getting a bowl out and some milk. If you did, you would just pour the cereal out onto the floor and you would have an entirely new set of problems so why should you dedicate months of your life to something without planning first?
Firstly, research. Research is going to be your go-to when you’re stuck mid-sentence with a description and accuracy is key to making your story believable, even if you’re going to write a story about golden horses who go to the disco once the sun comes up. Shouldn’t you know the parts of the horse? Shouldn’t you research reasons as to why pigmentation in the skin makes colour changes? The more you know, the better your quality of writing can be.
Secondly, it’s planning time. Map out everything. Characters; what do they look like? What do they like to eat? Do they tie their shoes a certain way? What do they feel when they are three bites away from finishing a meal? If you’re stuck, base it on someone you know. Go on to plan settings and don’t forget the 5 senses that make up an environment. Books are an item of the mind. Don’t forget that your audience doesn’t know what you’re thinking when you’re writing so you have to say it!
Thirdly, conspire. It’s a point that I could say fits into stage two, but you have to take this stage very seriously and that’s to think of as many plot developments as you can. Odds are that your story will follow the plan you have for it. Odds are, your first plans are going to be absolutely terrible compared to the final product. So let’s get as many bad ideas out the way now. Maybe after, say,; 10 storyboards (these can be chapter by chapter boards, as I recommend) you can select the best one and begin writing. Don’t forget. Your plan will change again, but by now, you have a chance to either think of something great, or select the best bits of your 100 drafted chapters.
My forth point, is to write every day. Yes, writers block exists and it can exist for weeks. The biggest problem with writers block is the fact that it’s delaying your progress and as writers, we already struggle with procrastination. I myself could study all day without a break, but give me my own time to write and I couldn’t do an hour straight, no matter how quickly the creative juices are flowing.
So when you do hit a bump, don’t let it get you down, even though it can last a few days. Meanwhile, don’t be afraid to conceptualise when you’re in the shower. I today thought of a new possible plot ending whilst relaxing on the stairs as I tried to find some shade. What I then do is either take out a pen and notepad, or I open up word and write something. It might be a word, it could be a sentence. Just remember, you’re a word closer to finishing now that you’ve done something. Nothingness is the enemy to productivity.
Fifth: Live it. The biggest problem when you get to the middle section of your story is that you’re going to feel a certain laziness to it. At this point, I like to write out a death scene for my main character based on the surroundings and I ask myself. “Do I want it to end here?”I usually say no because I have an end game for my character and the only way I’m going to finish it is to find a reason to stay sharp and enjoy the writing experience. Yes, it’s tough but at the end of the day, do you want to be the person at the dinner table when someone goes: “Do you remember that silly project you started how many years ago that you never got to finish?”Or do you want to be “Hey, do you remember that book you wrote back when you were 15,16? It was pretty cool of you to finish it. Most people give up on a writing career but you stuck at it.” One of them is making fun of you and the other is celebrating you. Be a cause for celebration.
Overall, you can write your book in a number of ways; the right way, the writer’s way and the wrong way.