Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva

How do I get started?

As a writer, you’re probably asking yourself, “How do I get started?”

The answer is simple, but complex. First of all…Continue writing. The worst thing that we can do as a writer is to stop writing. It is important to find time throughout the week to brush up on your skills.

Second, create an outline of your book. Jot down suggested titles, character names, and major events. As time goes on, don’t be afraid to eliminate things that don’t work out. Start structuring your plot and the key elements that make up the story. Flush out your beginning, middle, and end and make sure that it is fluid and that the events of the story drive your plot. You also want to start looking at separating your story into chapters. Don’t tell the whole story in one setting. Weave in and out characters, make sure there is a cliff hanger at the end of chapters, and try to embed conflict within each character. Whether it’s man vs. man or man vs. others, there needs to be a level of conflict within the story or people won’t read it.

Third, determine how you want to publish you story. Self-publishing or traditional publishing? Ebook vs. paperback? These decisions make a big difference in price, quality, and whether or not your book can be carried in bookstores. If you decide to self-publish, you want to figure out which company is right for you – CreateSpace, Lulu, IngramSpark, etc. If you prefer traditional publishing, then you would need an agent. Most publishers won’t work with you unless you have an agent, unless they are an independent publisher like Building Voices.

This is only three of the many decisions you must make as a writer. Start here and learn as you go. But remember, never stop writing! Stay tuned for “How do I get started? part 2″

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