Saturday, 6 February 2010

Writing a book? How do you decide what to include

When I was writing essays at school, many years ago, they were often returned to me with paragraphs crossed through with the comment(in red ink of course) 'is this relevant?'

It's tempting when you start a book to bung everything in that you know. But that isn't always the best approach.

Here’s an except from my upcoming book How to construct your book that will take you through the process oc putting a book together

I’m talking here about non-fiction.. this isn’t a creative writing text though if you want to try it on the structure of your novel do have a go.

Most topics that we want to write about can be quite easily divided into subtopics.

If we take my own expertise of writing then whenever I plan any piece of writing the first step is always to break it down into the elements I want to include.

Why do I use this method?

1. Because it makes you focus on the essential information you want to get across.

2.You can rank the topics in a logical order or in order of importance to the reader.

3. It provides you with an immediate structure to organise your text.

With writing, the sub topics might include:
- how to find inspiration
- why you should research your subject before you start to write
- the two stages of writing you should never confuse
- how you make the process of writing easier

and so on.

If you’re still not sure about the topics you’ve chosen, here are 3 ways of checking them out:
1. Look at the FAQ section on your website.

2. What questions come up time and again with your existing clients. They’re the ones you have a successful business serving

3. Do an online survey. Using Survey Gizmo or similar programme you can soon find out what’s important or not.

Sometime I think about comparing the structure of the book to a human skeleton. Without the bones you’d flop about all over the place. So will your book without a structure.

Make it a priority to have yours down and clear. Trust me – if you have to write to deadlines or number of words then this is the fastest way to do it efficiently.

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