Introduction | An Exceptionally Silly Guide on How to Write a Book #1

By Colin Sharpe

July 1, 2020

Hello, and welcome to a new series on how to write a book! For those of you that haven’t met me, my name is Colin Sharpe, and I’m the author, creator, and narrator of the Seventh Valkyrie series. 

For those of you who are familiar with my recently-begun “Creator’s Corner” segment, I’ve decided that this will be an extension to that, probably premiering on every second week. 

How to Write a Book | The Introduction and Table of Contents
You can click above to watch this series on YouTube, or click here to listen to the podcast

I like to think that I’m a pretty good writer, but that’s one of the most subjective and biased statements I could possibly make. Unsurprisingly, I like the things that I write. Some other people have said the same. 

But what I can definitively and objectively state with confidence is the fact that I have completed and released two novels. No matter the quality, they certainly exist. Are they making me a living? Nah. Are they climbing the charts? Nope. Has anyone read them? I think so, but I can never be sure apart from my mom. 

But they exist! And a lot of people don’t even get that far. 

This little series/guide is aimed to be a short, easily digestible reference on how to write a book. I’ll be coming at it from my perspective, of writing the Seventh Valkryie, an epic fantasy series, but I think that there are some universal truths in writing a book that can apply to any genre, and even other forms of content. 

Anyway, welcome to this friendly reference series. 

Welcome to “An Exceptionally Silly Guide to Writing a Book from Someone Who Hasn’t Even Really Made It Big Yet”.

How to Write a Book | The Table of Contents (Of Sorts)

In this series, one of my goals is to capture the whole process of writing a book, with all of the crises of faith, glorious inspirations, late night (possibly drunk) brainstorming, hating your own writing, putting the book down, and spontaneous, beautiful moments of glory that come with the process. 

Over the course of the next few months, we’ll touch on:

Should I Write a Book?

A necessary question! There are dozens of things to do with your time, and it’s of the utmost importance that if you’re gonna write a book, you undertake that journey with confidence and a good road map. 

In this article, we’ll touch on some questions like: 

  • How long is a novel?
  • How long does it take to write a book
  • What’s the point? 
  • Why am I doing this? 

To help you decide if you should get started. 

Finding Things to Write About

So, once you’ve decided to write a book, unfortunately what follows is that the book has to contain something. At least, according to conventional wisdom. But before you get real experimental or cheeky, remember that there’s a key difference between Andy Warhol, you, and a crazy person. People know who Andy Warhol is, and you know better than to film 6 hours of a dude sleeping. 

So with that out of the way, we’ll touch on finding inspiration (which we saw in Creator’s Corner #1) as well as a more formal process where you can learn to generate your own writing prompts.

How to Write a Good Book

Now this one’s gonna be an interesting section, because what “good” is will be different for every single person writing a book. And that’s not only okay, that’s fundamental to writing anything worth writing. 

So for this article, we’ll talk about the things you have to consider to really feel proud of a book you’ve written, like: 

  • Picking your audience
  • Finding your identity as a writer
  • Deciding on a purpose

How to Plan a Novel

Now this one is where we really start to get into the weeds of process, which will be different for each person. I couldn’t possibly touch on all of the different ways to write a book, so I won’t even try.

Instead, I’m going to take a look at my own process, and examine some of the elements that you can either choose to follow or decide not to follow. Still, hopefully seeing a specific process helps you fine tune your own. 

How To Start Writing

Now, you’d think that once you had a plan, and a purpose, and an identity, and a good book to write, this would happen pretty quickly. 

But it doesn’t. In fact, this is one of the places people get stuuuuuuuuuck. I do too. Books are fun until you have to write them. Then it gets scary. 

So I’ve got a few tips and potential strategies on how to start a book that might help get your over the hump. 

How to Keep Writing

Now this part won’t surprise you. Turns out the hardest part of writing a book is actually keeping that momentum through to the end. And that makes sense, because there can be a long road between the moments of raw inspiration and beauty that made you want to write in the first place and a finished product. 

So this section will discuss a few tools to keep in your kit for when the going gets rough. For example: 

  • Overcoming writer’s block
  • Keeping the motivation to write with no end in sight
  • Finding joy in small chunks
  • Taking breaks and vacations (and that’s okay)

Hopefully some of these tips and tricks can keep you moving forward and chugging along towards that ultimate goal, a finished manuscript!

How to Publish a Book

Now, the creative process doesn’t stop once you have a finished manuscript, but from there the process splits so much depending on your avenue that again, it would be impossible to touch on every possibility. 

What I will do is touch on the broad strokes of what you’ll do depending on your path. The hard part is that once your book is finished, there’s still quite a bit to do. And that’s okay! You finished a freakin’ book!

What this section will hopefully do is give you a sense of what’s in store if you decide to self-publish, seek an agent, or do a hybrid strategy. 

And Some Miscellaneous Tips!

Now the good thing about an online resource like this is that you can keep developing it and changing, and I expect I will. In our “Miscellaneous Tips” section, which I expect to be a living, breathing entity, you might see some stuff like: 

  • X Tips for Writing a Fantasy Novel
  • Creating a Great Fantasy Monster
  • Cliche, Trope, Monomyth
  • How to Write a Book Title
  • And Much More

So Let’s Have Some Fun!

My goal is to have this done by National Novel Writing Month in November, so hopefully you can put all these tips to use!

Anyway, that’s enough for this introductory article. Keep an eye out as the rest come out in the coming weeks!

Colin Sharpe

About the author

Hey y'all, my name is Colin, and I'm the writer and creator of the Seventh Valkyrie Series. Born in raised in New Orleans, currently on a tour of the world writing wherever I go, and turning it all into stories. Hope y'all like reading them as much as I enjoy writing them!

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