Wednesday, July 25, 2012

But HOW Do You Write a Book? Step 1

"But HOW do you write a book?"

That's the most frequent question asked of me since I began my Kathy Writes Books blog.

Honestly, there are all kinds of instruction books and how-to books out there. (I've probably owned a copy of most of them, at one time or another.)

I only know what's working for me, but I'm happy to share. What a wonderful thing it would be if my sharing helped someone to find their way a lot faster and more readily than I did.

I've worked hard to find a repeatable process because I want to write multiple books. This works for me, so possibly it might work for others as well. (Please note, individual results may vary.)

Last night, as I was catching up on episodes of Cake Boss, I realized -- wait for it -- that writing is a lot like baking a cake. I finally got what the saying that writing a book is like developing and following your own recipe meant. 

Step 1, Choose the Type and Kind of Book You Want to Write

What type of book do you want to write?

First consider what type of cake you want to bake. Do you want a layer cake or a bundt cake? How does a molten lava, marbled, or Angel food sound? What about a butter cake or cheesecake? Or maybe a brownie-type or fruit-based, or ice-cream cake?

So, what type or length of book do you want to write?

What length of book do you intend to write? Will your book consist of a collection of short stories or an anthology? Will you write a novella? A Novel? Or how about three combined Novelettes? Perhaps an Epic family-saga? (Combinations and collections are mentioned because our focus is on producing a full-length book.)

Here's a general guideline, but please be aware if you are pursuing traditional publication word count guidelines do vary.

Classification (Type) / Word Count
Short Story (~ 1,000 to 7,500 Words)
Novellette (~ 7,500 to 20,000 Words)
Novella (~ 20,000 to 50,000 Words)
Novel (~ 50,000 to 100,000 Words)
Epics and Squeals (~ Over 110,000 Words)
~ = Approximately

It's good to note that most books fall within the Novella or Novel word-count range.

So, choose the the type of book or length of book that you intend to write. 

What kind of book do you want to write?

If you're going to bake and serve a cake, you have to choose and decide what kind or flavor of cake. What about a yellow cake with caramel icing? Or chocolate cake and frosting, with with chunks inside? Perhaps a white shortcake with strawberries? Or how about lemon drizzled with sugar glaze, or spice cake with apple butter and walnut topping? Or maybe carrot and cream cheese?

If you're going to write and publish a book, what kind of book do you intend to write?

Romance? Suspense? What about Horror or Erotica? Perhaps a Thriller? If not fiction per-say, what about a Memoir or humorous Biography, or how about an Autobiographical Novel? Or how about any of the following: Action-Adventure, Comedy, Crime, Fantasy, Historical, Mystery, Paranormal, Political, Science Fiction, Saga, Suspense, Steampunk, etc. OR perhaps any combination herein, such as a Paranormal Romance, Political Thriller, Action-Adventure Comedy, or Historical Mystery.

Secondly, choose what kind of book (genre) you're going to write. Simple, huh?

(Please note that whatever you personally enjoy and like to read is a great place to start.)

That's it.

For Step 1, answer those two questions, and you've taken your first step toward writing a book!

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