When someone writes a book in a week it's usually a nonfiction book, though it's perfectly possible to write a novella in 15 days. After all, many people write 2,000 words a day for NaNoWriMo, writing 2,000 words a day for 15 days will get you 30,000 words. Depending how you look at it, that’s either a long novella or a short book!
Pick a topic.
Everyone knows a lot about something: computer repair, day trading, painting, marketing, cooking, baking, traveling, home repair, woodworking, scrapbooking, film, music, fitness, weight loss, relationships, sports, raising kids, and so on.
What interests you? If you’re on Pinterest what are most of your pins about?
Not sure what you’re good at? Ask yourself: What do your friends ask you for advice about?
Narrow the topic.
Okay, so, now you know what kind of book you want to write but the topic still needs to be narrowed down. For example, if you’ve decided to write about cooking, what kind of cooking? Vegetarian, Vegan, food for omnivores, eating local, eating raw, the Paleo Diet, gluten-free cooking, and so on.
Since you’re writing a very short book, even that doesn’t narrow things down enough. You’re only going to be writing a about 30,000 words or so, therefore you have to get specific.
For example, if your current passion is eating vegan, then you might want to write about how to create a delicious vegan meal in 15 minutes or less. Or perhaps even something like 40 delicious, gluten-free, avocado recipes. And so on.
Or if baking is your thing, what kind of baking? Do you love desserts? Or, even more specifically, cupcakes? You could write a book about your 20 favorite chocolate cupcake recipes. Or perhaps your 20 favorite cupcake recipes inspired by halloween. Here are a few more ideas:
- 15 minute meals for folks trying to lose 30 pounds in 30 days.
- 20 delicious German gluten-free cookie recipes.
- 20 French dessert recipes that melt in your mouth, cost under $5 and won’t blow your diet!
- 20 Japanese meals for the North American palette ready in under 15 minutes.
The possibilities are infinite!
Create an outline.
After you’ve decided on the general topic and then narrowed it down it’s time to create your outline.
How is this done? For example, if you’re working on a book about rock climbing (a subject I know nothing about) there is going to be equipment unique to that sport.
Also, just about every sport has beginners, folks who want to try it out but don’t want to look silly by knowing nothing about the subject. These people have never, say, gone rock climbing before and would like suggestions about how to ease themselves into the sport. Should they start climbing indoors or outdoors? Does it matter? What kind of equipment should a beginner buy, if any? How can one find a qualified teacher? And so on.
If you want to write a 30,000 word book, then plan to have each chapter come out to about 3000 words which means you’ll have 10 chapters. Of course this could change a bit as you write, but it is very helpful to have as detailed an outline as possible before you begin writing.
The idea is for each point in your outline to become a chapter, or subsection of a chapter. For example:
- Introduction (to be written last)
* What pain points do your readers have? What do they want help with? Talk about how your book will help. Talk about what value your book has for your audience.
* Tell your readers what you’re going to tell them.
- What is rock climbing?
* The history.
* How rock climbing has changed over the years.
* Why rock climbing is a fun sport that’s good for you both physically and mentally.
- Your first rock climb.
* How old do you have to be to rock climb?
* Is rock climbing okay for seniors, or should they consult with a doctor first?
* What equipment is absolutely necessary for rock climbing? Can you rent it or must you buy?
* What kinds of rock faces are best for the beginner? Indoors or outdoors?
- How to become a better rock climber.
* Are there exercises one can do? Perhaps a special diet?
* Must one practice frequently?
- Competitive rock climbing.
* Are there clubs devoted to rock climbing? Competitions?
* How much per year can one expect to spend if one becomes serious about the sport.
- Extreme rock climbing.
And so on.
I hope what I’ve written, above, makes sense! I’ve never gone rock climbing and know nothing about it. But that's exactly why I picked it: I wanted to show completing an outline doesn’t require any specific knowledge. It's the other way around, you use the outline to see what research needs to be done.
Every post I pick a book or audiobook I love and recommend it. This serves two purposes. I want to share what I’ve loved with you, and, if you click the link and buy anything over at Amazon within the next 24 hours, Amazon puts a few cents in my tip jar at no cost to you. So, if you click the link, thank you! If not, that’s okay too. I’m thrilled and honored you’ve visited my blog and read my post.
If you’re thinking of writing a cosy mystery a terrific place to begin is, Writing the Cozy Mystery, by Nancy J. Cohen. At the present moment (Jan 11, 2017) Nancy Cohen’s book, though only 50 pages long, is a steal at $0.75! From the blurb: “Do you want to write a mystery but don’t have a clue where to start? Or maybe you’ve begun a story but are stuck on the plot? Perhaps you’re already writing a series, and you need tips on how to keep track of your material? Writing the Cozy Mystery is a valuable guide on how to write a traditional whodunit. This concise tool will show you step-by-step how to develop your characters, establish the setting, plot the story, add suspense, plant clues and sustain your series.”
That’s it for today! I’ll finish this post up on Friday by talking about categories and keywords, how to craft an eye-catching cover and many other things. Till then, good writing!
UPDATE: I've finished this series. Below are links to all the articles:
Part 1 of 1: How to Write a Book in 15 Days
Part 2 of 3: How to Pick Categories for Your Amazon Book
Part 3 of 3: How to Choose a Title, Create the Artwork and Write the Darn Book!