An author, by definition is a person who composes literary works like novels, poems, essays, short stories, novellas, etc. All these years, you have been reading so many books, be it a novel or a collection of short stories or a collection of poems or numerous other things that are written, and you enjoy every bit of it. Often times, you find yourself predicting the next step of the character and find yourself wondering what the author must have been thinking at the time of writing that particular piece. Eventually, one day, you realize you would like to use your creative mind to compose a literary piece of your own! So how do you go about it?
Author Courage Igene remembers the challenges and steps he took when working to become a writer. Below, he shares some insights for aspiring authors and writers who are looking to further their hobbies or potential careers.
Before you start writing, the most important question that needs answering is what you will write. Do you want to write a novel, a novella, short stories, anything else? Pick the one that you are most interested in and are comfortable writing. If you decide to write a novel, you can first start by writing short stories, then moving on to novellas, and then finally arriving to a novel instead of jumping the gun and directly starting to write a novel.
Once this is decided, move on to the next question. What would be your genre? To get some inspiration for this answer, have a look at your bookshelf. What do you see there – Fantasy, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Historical Fiction, or something else? The ideal choice would be the genre that you see most on your bookshelf (or Kindle). It would be hard for you to finish a genre you know nothing about or are less interested in. Courage Igene encourages authors to write what they are most passionate about, that way the writing comes more naturally and is an enjoyable task.
Now that you have decided the genre, it’s time to start planning the plot. The plot of the story is its essence. A well laid out plot is the basic requirement for keeping your readers interested. You might not have an entire plot ready but you should have a rough idea of what your story is going to be about and in what general direction it will move. Along with this, start to develop your characters. Put life in them by trying to visualize them as living people while carving out their looks, thought process, nature, etc.
Now you’re ready to write. But before you start writing (or typing away on your laptop), brush up on your grammar. You do not want to be put in a position where you write “your” instead of “you’re” and disfigure the sentence entirely, along with discrediting yourself. So have a look at the basic grammatical structures, parts of speech, subject-verb agreement, spellings etc. Once this is done, start planning your book. Outline the number of chapters that you’re going to write, and a draft of the content of each chapter.
Create a first draft of your book from the basic outlines. Get inspiration and dig through the creative crevices of your mind. Be as creative as you can. Your first draft is now ready. Now it’s time to rewrite the draft. Go through the entire story once. Does the story make sense? Are the characters behaving according to their natures? Are the chapters well-connected? Keep rewriting and improving until you are satisfied with the flow.
It’s time to start editing! Start looking at the technical aspects like grammar and punctuation. Avoid repeated use of a single word. Try using synonyms instead. Try to be more descriptive instead of using adverbs. Always, get a second opinion and try to get it edited and reviewed by someone else.
Just like that, you have written your first book! Mission accomplished! Now start finding a publisher or even self-publish! Advertise and share your work with the world!
While the entire process may seem overwhelming and long winded, Courage Igene holds a strong belief that anyone passionate about writing and authorship can become published. Even though it may not be your first, second, or even third work, eventually with enough focus and determination, you will achieve your goals.
Check out Courage Igene on blogspot for other interesting blog topics and to get a taste for different publishing styles. Sometimes a great blog idea can develop into a short story or novel right under your nose!