When it comes to the best book writing tips for beginners, there is one tip above any other: there are no rules when it comes to writing a book. Yes – you’ll need to focus on the basics, like good grammar and spelling, but otherwise you simply need to find your own voice. These tips are designed to help you do just that.
#1. Try to eliminate useless words.
Every notice how some writers always seem to throw a “that” into a sentence? Or how some writers sound like Gordon Ramsay describing a dish of his on TV to cooking students: “This amazing, fantastic, wonderful, beautiful Beef Wellington…” Question every word that you write. Does it need to be there? Does it enhance what you’re trying to say? If not, then get rid of them. A Beef Wellington can be amazing and you’ll still make your point without the other descriptions.
#2. Complicated words vs. simple words.
Some writers seem to thrive on showing off their eloquent vocabulary to create a rousing success. Others seem to have deep words that create cool results. Sometimes using complicated verbiage is needed or can be a good thing. Sometimes you’re just trying too hard, like you’re looking up every word on thesaurus.com. If you can keep it simple, then keep it simple.
#3. Quit the tell and give the readers a show.
When you’re creating dialogue in a book, readers are going to figure out which person is talking at any given time. This is because the words being used in the dialogue indicate the person talking. You don’t need to say “he said” or “she said” or “they said” after every single bit of dialogue. Show the readers who is talking instead of telling them and you’ll make a better impact with your dialogue.
#4. The problem of repetition.
All writers have a word or a phrase that they love to use. Even if you’re looking to cut out these repetitive words out of a book, they’ll creep in there because they are part of the writer’s comfort zone. After you write a few passages, go back over them to see if there’s a phrase you’ve been repeating more than you should. Great phrases have a maximum impact when they’re used sparingly. That way, when you say someone is “sparkling with happiness,” it adds to the story.
#5. Get into your comfort zone.
When it comes to voice, only you can determine what it will be. All of the advice in the world won’t substitute for the process it takes to actually practice writing to discover your comfort zone. Your natural writing style is going to contribute to every piece that you create.
#6. Let your characters emulate real life.
When was the last time you met a stranger and knew everything about them in 5 minutes or less? Yeah… that just doesn’t happen. So it shouldn’t happen in your book either. You don’t need to introduce every single character in the first 3 pages of your story. Your readers don’t need the complete life story of every character in the first chapter. Let the character develop slowly, over time, just as friends get to know each other a little better every day.
#7. Try to keep each story relevant to the overall narrative.
It can be a lot of fun to develop these little side stories for your characters as you’re writing a novel. In some ways, it feels like a bit of a break from the lengthy writing process. It’s something new. It’s also something that will distract your readers from the conclusion you’re trying to create for them. Don’t rely on an editor to highlight these stories that may be irrelevant. Give your novel a review on a regular basis and take out items you feel aren’t contributing to the tale.
#8. Scrap the idea of an epilogue.
The reason why many writers include an epilogue with their book is because they’re having trouble letting the story go. There really doesn’t need to be an epilogue. If you feel the story hasn’t wrapped up as it should, then change the ending of your story so it does. Come to think of it, you probably won’t need a prologue either.
These book writing tips for beginners are designed to help you discover your writing style. Whether you decide to plot out each chapter or just start writing to see what happens, you’ll be able to find your voice, your creativity, and then write something special. Get started today and begin telling your story.