Figure out what you want to write about or what type of book you want to write. For some people, ideas come naturally, but for others, it's a difficult step. If you’re having trouble, figure out what kind of books you like. Do you read a lot of Stephen King? Write a horror book. Have you been hooked on Eoin Colfer ever since the second grade? Write a story about elves and technology. If you try to write a book that you would enjoy reading, writing it will be more fun and easy. However, don't make your story too similar to the one you got an idea from. Poeple love a new, interesting, original book to read.
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Know the elements of a good novel.
* The setting. The setting of a story is its time and place. You don't state this outright, of course. A sentence such as the following will state this: Maria, walked down the large slope surrounding the castle. Before she could get very far, though, one of her father's maids stopped her and said "King Ferdinand would like to see you." This suggests that Maria, possibly a young girl, lives on castle grounds. This seems like it would be medieval times. Maria is also a Spanish name, which suggests where she lives. Background knowledge would confirm the time and place, because King Ferdinand approved of Christopher Columbus's voyage to America. He was the ruler of Spain. Columbus sailed to the New World about A.D. 1492, so this story probably takes place around that time.
* The conflict. A conflict is the problem the main character faces. Maybe Maria, the King's daughter, has been asked to make the decision whether or not to let Columbus use Spanish ships and sailors to explore. She continues to face this problem for most of the story.
* The climax. The climax is the point of highest tension in the book, the point where the reader is really holding their breath. Perhaps Maria has just decided against letting Columbus use Spain's money to explore when he shows up, begging her to let him go, saying he'll do anything to have this chance. This is the point where Maria has a big choice to make, one that changes the whole outcome of the story.
* The resolution. The climax is over, the problem has been solved, and any "loose ends" have been tied up (However, if you intend to make a sequel, be sure to leave at least one or two loose ends unresolved). Maria decides to honor Columbus's wishes, lets him go, and convinces her father to let her go with Columbus on his journey. It's often interesting for the reader if there is an ending you weren't expecting, so don't always make the ending of your book predictable.
* Details are one of the most important things to write in a book. Instead of just saying. "The sky was blue." say what kind of shade of blue it is. It can really boost the level of your story. But don't over detail. It can make you look like you're trying too hard.
Write your plot out. This will give you a starting point at where to anchor your writing. Nothing fancy, just a general idea of what goes on. Halfway through the book, look over your original plot you wrote down. It'll be amazing how your perception of your book may have changed. You can change your book to match the original plot or scrap the plot and go with what you've written. You could even integrate and mix the two. What ever you want. Remember this is YOUR BOOK!
Start writing! This is the best part. If you're having trouble starting, skip to the conflict of the story, and go from there. Once you feel comfortable with your writing, you can add the setting. You'll probably change loads of things in the story, because the great thing about writing a book is you can let your imagination run wild.
edit If You're Writing Non-fiction
Pick something you know about. If you have lived in America all your life, why write about France? Your nonfiction book could be information about a place the reader is vacationing to or information on a place in general. Or it could be about today's society. Anything you know about that is absolutely true is okay for nonfiction.
Research. Every expert has at least one new thing to learn about! You can never know too much about a subject. If you are having trouble learning more about your subject, try to do these things: go online, get another nonfiction book, ask a fellow expert, or read an encyclopedia.
Format your book. The books that don't get published are the ones that are poorly organized. For example, don't talk about good places to fish and good beaches in Europe in the same chapter. For more information, consult the Related wikiHows.
Add LOTS of descriptive details. No one wants to read a boring book! Good books are enriched with detailed criteria.
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* Don't be afraid to add anything to your story.
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* If you get writer's block listen to some music to clear your head.
* Get inspiration from reading other books. But of course that's not the only place a person may get inspiration (as in any other form of art)
* It would be great if some things in your book were based on facts
* Keep a small notebook in your purse, pocket, backpack etc. So when you're racking your brain for ideas, you can use something in your notebook. So if you hear (or think of!) a unique name, story, or whatever else, write it down! It could be the key thing that could make your book a bestseller!
* Participate in NaNoWriMo (link at bottom of page). It's a great way to get a novel done, through the magical power of Deadlines!
* Be sure your grammar is good. But don't let that slow you down -- see the last point.
* Let other people read your story. They can give you valuable feedback.
* If you can't figure out what to write for your fiction story, base it on something that happened to you, and turn it into a story about someone else.
* Practice ... it's just like anything else: you have to practice.
* Use good vocabulary. It's very important for both fiction (it makes the story sound better) and nonfiction (it makes your book more interesting).
* Use your imagination! It’s the key to a great fiction book.
* Find the main points of the book first. Save the minor details for later. A good story line is important, but a book is nothing without the details.
* Show the reader what's happening...don't just tell.
* The highly successful author Stephen King finds that to be successful at writing you must read at least four hours a day and write at least four hours a day.
* Take notes, notes, and more notes. They can be gathered into subjects and then turned into chapters.
* Just write. Don't get too hung up on perfect grammar, exposition, punctuation, etc. The editing process will come later.
* If you ever get stuck and can't think of any ideas, just start writing. If anything, this mock made up story could be your bestseller's intro or an "idea starter".
* Writer's Block is something you won't want to get. Try and have something like little fake gems or something that can inspire you to write your book. Animals are a great way too. If you have 2 different pets, mix em together and make up a name for the mix. This could possibly help if you are writing fiction. Just have something by you that can give you a little inspiration.
* It's sometimes easier for some people to write about something that has happened to them, it's more fun for the reader too! Example: I ate soup today. "Rhianna skipped down the stairs to eat her father's scrumptious chicken noodle soup."
* Remember "CLAPS":
o C- Characters
o L- Location
o A- Action
o P- Problem
o S- Solution
* If you are writing the kind of fiction with wizards and such and you are stuck for names,pick some random letters that sound good,mix them up and add vowels. E.G. prtlh=holtrop although it may be hard to apply that to something.
* HAVE FUN! You will enjoy it, and if you really focus, people who read it will enjoy it even more!
* Don't get discouraged! If you're feeling frustrated with your current story, take a break. Work on a short story, a newspaper article, an essay, or do a little work here on wikiHow.
* To escape from having writer's block, plan out your story in the very beginning. Make a list of very important words that you want to write in your story. Take a piece of paper and number it from one to thirty, and write a short summary of each chapter in the book.
* Don't forget to revise! If you don't revise (I don't mean edit! Editing will slow you down, and make rereading very tedious) then you're probably going to have a level one story. In newspapers the editors revise the story they are seeing.
* Be sure you research. Make sure the book you want to write doesn't exist already.
edit Related wikiHows