In the previous newsletter, I had explained what you need to do to complete your manuscript.

So, if you are willing to commit to everything required to complete your book, it is time to get started! Here’s how!

First Book

Choosing your Genre:

Books are Classified into two Genres:

• Fiction: These are books that tell a story that is created purely for the book. These stories may be inspired by true incidents and built into a story by adding creative elements. However, the final narrative is imaginary. Fiction books maybe romance, erotica, thrillers, mystery, etc.

• Non-fiction: These books may be biographies or autobiographies that are based on real life. Self-help books, academic books, or those that talk about specific subjects like technology or management, etc. fall in the non-fiction genre.

Many authors make the mistake of choosing a genre that “sells.”The problem with this is that if you choose a genre just because it is popular but you are not connected with it, you will have difficulties in completing your book. The book-writing experience will become an ordeal instead of pleasant. And, if the book does not sell, you might be discouraged and may not feel like writing more.

Therefore, I would recommend that you go with your gut feeling and choose a genre that you like. If you have read a lot of books, it becomes easier to choose a genre. This is because if you can relate to a book and you get a feeling “this is like my story” or “I have something similar in mind”, etc. it will be easier to choose a subject similar to these.

Many first-time authors try to write start their journey as an author with their autobiography. I would suggest you avoid this because if you are not very well-known, people are not likely to read your book.

But if your life story is interesting, and you feel that readers will enjoy reading it, get creative and convert it into a fictional story. It will be easier to market.

Although you need to choose a genre that appeals to you, you need to gauge if it is a viable option. It is because as an author, you would want more people to read your book. So, choose a genre that is more likely to have your audience connect.

Choosing your Theme

Once you have decided on your genre, the next thing is choosing your theme. For instance, when I write a self-help book, I have various subjects to choose from. I have written about smiling and positivity(Gift Yourself a Smile) or Stress(Are Teeny Tiny Stress Triggers Troubling You?), etc.

I have chosen specific topics and built my narrative around them.

When you write a book, you will want more people to read it. Hence I recommend that you choose a theme that the audience is looking for. When I talk about smiling in adverse circumstances, it is for an audience that is coping with difficult situations and has stopped believing that things will improve. I am giving hope in a gloomy environment. This kind of a theme is bound to have a market at a time of the global pandemic.

Although it has more potential currently, such books will have a market even in the future because difficult circumstances are a part of life. And, if a book can help the reader cope with such situations, it will have a market. However, writing at such a time will help me have greater reach.

But when you write about evergreen topics like love or empowerment, they are not time-specific. Therefore, it is best to choose evergreen themes that your audience can relate to.

You can check out what kind of books are popular in your genre to choose a theme.

1. Starting your Manuscript

It is important that you stick to your theme and do not digress too much from your main story. Hence, I recommend that before you start your story, prepare a sequence of events as chapter names. You will know how your story will progress. While these do not have to remain constant, organizing your thoughts and giving them direction speeds up the process.

Since I am a non-fiction writer, I can share how exactly I get started. When I decide on a particular topic, I list down the names of the chapters that I would like to talk about. As the manuscript progresses, these are likely to change. The number of chapters may increase/decrease, may get merged, etc. But when I list down my chapters, I am giving a direction to my narrative.

2. Writing the Book

So now that you have your theme and your sequence of events, you can start weaving your story around them. As you start writing, you might feel that certain chapters are irrelevant or you need to include more chapters, make whatever changes you like, after all, you are the author!

However, I would recommend that you refrain from editing your book as you write, This is because it will hinder your progress. When you keep editing and correcting what you have already written, it will slow down your progress which can be frustrating and demotivating.

What you need to do is just go ahead and do the final editing after completing the manuscript.

3. Managing Writer’s Block

Writer’s block is when an author gets stuck at a point and is unable to move ahead with the narrative. If you are experiencing writer’s block, don’t worry! This is normal! Most authors experience writer’s block at some stage or the other. And, with the experience, they learn to find ways of managing it.

There is no one size fits all solution for writer’s block. It is entirely an individual’s approach.

However, some simple tips can help you!

• Stop writing. Don’t spend too much time thinking and continuing with the writing.

• Take a short break from writing. Indulge in unrelated activities that divert you. If you distract your mind, you will be able to restart with a fresh mind and new ideas.

• Try talking to a friend or someone dear about something other than your book. This also helps soothe the mind and helps you return to your book with vigor.

• Sometimes discussing the book with someone whose opinion matters to you may help. When you discuss, you will get an alternative perspective that will set your mind thinking!

What works for me is, taking a break from writing and indulging in activities like cooking or organizing my cupboard. I have noticed such activities help align my thoughts. When I get back, I am all charged up!

4. Editing the Book- Whether to Hire a Professional or Self-edit?

Here’s the best approach to editing. Edit the entire content after you complete the writing. Then leave the book aside for at least 2 weeks. After a break from the book, read it over. You might find mistakes, you may find redundant content, etc. Edit it once more.

After you are done with thorough editing from your end, it is recommended that you get it edited by a professional editor. It is a good idea to hire an editor who has some idea of the subject matter/theme of the book. Professional editing enhances the quality of the book.

All the Best for selecting your theme and genre and getting started with your book!

We all aspire to be Bestselling authors but don’t forget to enjoy the process of writing. After all, it is not the destination but the journey that matters!

In November’s Newsletter, I will give you an overview of the tools and techniques that can help make your writing journey easy!

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