What to consider before writing your first book
Author Rashmi Parekh gives some pro-tips to budding writers on getting that first book right.
Let me start by saying that writing your first book can be an exhilarating, emotional and challenging journey. Many find the hurdle of putting their work out into the world unsurmountable. However, if you do decide to write and publish your first book, the legacy of your words will touch minds for generations to come.
Before you start writing your first book, here are some things to consider to give yourself an edge.
Build the skills needed to become an author. Talk to a mentor or take some classes
You may have the skill but do you have the finesse? Having an expert help you through this process will be a valuable asset.
Research and plan your characters, places and time periods
By doing your research, you will be authentic to the genre you are attempting to write which, in turn, will get your readers invested in your work.
Make sure to read works from other critically acclaimed and successful authors as well. It will help you understand where your interest lies and allow you to soak up different writing styles.
Further, I cannot stress enough how important well-thought out plot lines and characters are. Unless you have a concrete and clear framework, you may end up rambling through your book and leave the reader either confused or uninterested.
Tap into your emotions and experiences. Be authentic and true to yourself
Your experiences are a treasure trove of ideas, opinions and stories. Tell a story that is uniquely you - don’t try to mimic another author.
- Find yourself a good editor – Either hire one or request a friend with experience in the literary and publishing world. Do not be afraid to get your work reviewed by experts and be open to getting feedback.
- Do you want to self-publish or approach publishing houses?
Self-publishing has been made quite easy with resources like Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). However, as a first time author, you will need to spend considerable time and effort in learning the ropes. Many use a hybrid approach.
For example, authors will use apps and software for the body of the book but hire a designer for the cover and aesthetics. With publishing houses, you need to be prepared for the time it may take to find one and the repeated rejection will be difficult. However, once you do sign with a publisher, their expertise in the field will alleviate any anxiousness of being a first time author.
Remember, If you don’t try, you will never ever succeed! Don’t be afraid to keep writing – whether it’s a poem or a short story or a self-help manual. Write out the ideas that are in your brain. Initially they may not seem like much, but when you revisit them later, you just may realise that you were actually onto something special!
Edited by Anju Narayanan
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)