Ready to write your manuscript? Read this!

You have lots of ideas running through your mind and you are excited to put pen to paper. You want that people will find your book, read it and benefit from it. Great! But before you start the writing process, allow me to share some tips with you that you will find very beneficial in the writing of your manuscript and the overall success of your book.

  • Be clear about your content

I have read many manuscripts where the writers either strayed off the topic or they were not sure what they were really writing about. Be absolutely clear about the content you wish to write, the message you want to share and the goal you would like to achieve from your book. Probably the goal of your book is that you want people to know that it is possible to live healthy lives, or that they can have strong family relationships, or that they can live debt free. There should be a main message or theme running through your book. Knowing the reason for writing and the message you want to convey will help keep you focused throughout the writing of your manuscript.

  • What is the reason for writing that book?

Are you writing this book because you want to teach a skill or impart knowledge? Do you have an experience to share with your readers? Will your book inspire, entertain or educate? For example, an inspirational book is supposed to give hope and encouragement to the readers and inspire them in this journey of life. So once you know the reason for writing then your content should be focused on this theme.

  • What genre are you writing in?

Is it horror, romance or educational? Is it fiction or nonfiction? Be specific about the genre you are writing in as this would help with your marketing efforts such as targeting the right audience, using the best keywords, choosing the right categories when uploading to KDP or when running paid ads.

  • Who is your target audience?

Are you writing for kids at the elementary level? Will your book influence Christians to read their Bibles more often? Are you focusing on women who have gone through a divorce? When you know your target audience, marketing becomes easier and cost effective. Do not think that your book is so good that it will appeal to everyone. 

  • Have you started telling people about your book?

Your marketing campaign starts before the manuscript gets written. The writer should make use of his website, blog and social media platforms to let his intended audience know about the book he is working on and update them throughout the writing process. So by the time your book is published, you would already have a community ready to support you.

  • What concerns do you have about your book?

Do you have to travel to another city as part of your research? Are there copyright issues that you must deal with? Probably you have to contact some people and arrange to meet them to conduct interviews. Are there financial obligations you must prepare for, such as hiring editors and designers? Issues that may delay your work should be dealt with as soon as possible. Let there be a clear path to your writing.

Outline your story

So you know the message you want to share, the genre, your target audience and you have started letting people know about your book. Now we go on to the actual writing process and this is best done with the use of an outline.

Writing an outline for your story simply means to break it up into major sections which can then be developed later on. The point here is to get the main ideas on paper and then work on each idea.

Let us assume that you want to write a book on computer repairs. You can start by listing all the major topics you would like to cover.

In the example above, we have outlined the major topics for our computer repair book. Notice that the readers would not just learn how to repair but they would also appreciate how computers work and be able to identify the components that make up a computer system. So this outline is comprehensive in its scope.

The second step in our outline is to develop each topic into sub topics.

We can go even further by developing each sub topic. Once we have all topics covered, then we arrange them in order so there will be a logical flow from one point to another.

After the topics are arranged in an orderly manner, we choose a topic and start writing on it until the book is completed. Remember to always stay on the main point or goal of your book.

Make time to write

This is one of the areas where most writers fail. Being a writer calls for discipline, hard work and commitment. I know we may have families to take care of, our jobs to attend to and many other important things to look after. But as a writer you should make time each day to write. Each page you write brings you closer to finishing your manuscript and realizing your goal.

The hard work, the research and the dedication will pay off in the future as you reap the rewards of being a published author. So, I encourage you to write a little each day.

Research

Often in writing, you will have to do research that will help in constructing your story. Choosing the right words and phrases will result in a proper communication of your message.

  • The dictionary and thesaurus are invaluable tools for the writer. These books will expand your vocabulary and give you a wide range of choices in selecting the right words for a particular context. Additionally, these tools will help in avoiding unnecessary repetitions.
  • It is a good practice to read books in the genre you are writing and learn from other authors. You can learn the style of writing that they used, how they developed their points and how they conveyed their message. 

Stay focused

There are so many distractions in this fast-paced world that the writer can hardly focus on the task of writing. But again, the writer must be committed to his work if he wants to be successful. So follow these tips as best as you can:

  • Avoid distractions of people and technology.
  • Find a quiet time and place for writing.
  • Stick to your reason for writing, the message you want to convey and your intended audience.

Read often

The more you read, the better you will write. Reading expands your vocabulary, improves your writing and analytical skills, exposes you to a wide range of literary works and helps in memory retention. Reading can also relieve stress and provide entertainment and relaxation. 

So, if you want to be a better writer, then spend time reading.