Skills You Need to Write a Book

There is only really one wrong way to write a book and that is to simply not write! That said, there are things that can help. What are the skills you need to write a book?

What Skills You Need to Write a Novel

  • Commitment: Decide to write and aim to write at least five days a week. For me, that is each morning. I find I am most creative first thing in the morning with a coffee in my hand. Even though I can easily get caught up in my imagination in the evening, evening writing tends to wake me up and make sleep virtually impossible.
  • Time: Allocate a set time for writing. I write for at least an hour and continue until my ideas reach some sort of conclusion, whether that is the end of a chapter, section or story, or a resolution of some kind. But if you have a really busy life, just fit in what you can…any writing is better than none, the point is to make it regular writing.
  • Discipline: Make sure you write every day to develop a writing habit. The more you do this, the easier it will become. If you find yourself with no ideas whatsoever, chose a writing activity or prompt to get you started. Ideally your writing is focused on whatever book, story, poem or project you are currently working on, but if you need to digress in order to keep writing and to generate other ideas, that is okay – whatever you need to do to get you writing regularly is fine. Try these Writing Prompts
  • Ideas: In order to write a story or book, you need ideas. Keep an ideas list, jotting down anything that jumps into your mind or you find interesting. When I started writing my book, I had lots of vague ideas. I wrote these out, I experimented with them, I pondered them, I dreamt about them, I explored their possibilities in order to find my storyline. If you are stuck for ideas, writing prompts and activities can help generate new thought. Try this writing activity: First Lines – A Writing Activity.
  • Deadline: Give yourself a deadline. Set a timeframe for the completion of your first draft. There is nothing quite as motivating as a deadline. This gives you something concrete to work towards and helps you breakdown your writing in achievable smaller steps (like setting a word count each day in order to achieve your desired total word count in the time you have allocated).
  • Write quickly: When you sit to write each day, do just that – WRITE. Do not re-read as you go, do not edit the work as you write, and do not continually go over and over your work. You will get nowhere fast if you do this. The time for editing comes when you have written the whole thing and your first draft is complete.

I’ve heard it said that everyone has a book in them. I think perhaps this is true, though not everyone has the writing skill or time resources to write their book. Writing skill and time are both key components.

If you don’t have the skill, time or inclination to write a book yourself, your ideas need not remain buried in your head, there are options. Why not look for a ghost-writer? If you have an idea but need an expert to work the ideas into a book, why not seek out a partner to collaborate on a project? I have experience in ghost-writing both fiction and non-fiction. Contact me for a ghost-writing quote.

The point is, if the dream is big enough, you can always find ways to make it happen!

Writing and Editing Services: To ensure your book is error-free, have your manuscript appraised, hire an editor or have your manuscript professionally proofread. A Worded Life offer all these services. Contact me for a quote.


Image courtesy of Just2shutter/


By | 2017-01-04T09:51:57+00:00 February 8th, 2014|Fiction, Non-Fiction|0 Comments

About the Author:

Shel Sweeney is a highly qualified writing and editing services provider. Shel has a Master of Arts: Professional Writing and is the published author of short stories, essays and poetry.