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Sep19

Tips on finishing a book of your own


So, you’ve tried to write a book before but never seem to complete one. Or perhaps, you’re trying to write a manuscript (book) for the first time and want tips on how to start. Well look no further! Although my book The Silver Ninja has not been published yet, I have finished dozens of short stories and novels throughout my years. I can share with you my tips on completing a manuscript that’s over 80,000 words which is considered the minimum for novels. Remember, your book or novel isn’t a book or novel until it’s published. From this point forward you are creating a manuscript.
How to finish your manuscript:
1.)    Let’s get one thing straight… writing can be fun or boring. If you think writing is boring, you should probably stop now, this isn’t gonna work out. For the rest of you! If you do find writing fun, don’t fool yourself, it’s still work! You must treat writing like a job, you clock in at whatever time you prefer to write and clock out at the end of the day. It’s not all about coming with exciting new plots and characters, it’s also about a lot of willpower to sit in front of a screen and type down your thoughts.
2.)    Don’t start proofreading and editing until AFTER you have finished the first draft. It’s much more important to have a completed piece rather than a refined one. When you have a manuscript written from start to finish, it’s so much easier to go back and fix it when you can look at the story as a whole. You don’t want to waste precious brain power editing your piece to grammar perfection only to realize you still haven’t figured out the plot. Also, if you’ve only written 2 chapters, don’t give out early copies to your friends for review; it will only serve to discourage you from writing.
3.)    It’s OK to erase and start from scratch. If you feel that the story is going nowhere or you don’t have anything to work with, reboot and try again. They always come out better the second time around. I once wrote over 60 pages of text only to realize I hated it, the file was promptly deleted.
4.)    Avoid distractions! Turn off the internet, turn off the music (unless it’s used for inspiration) and definitely turn off your phone. You’ll never finish if you don’t have at least an hour to yourself for writing. You can use the internet for research, but once it’s time to write, you need to commit to it fully.
5.)    Want to overcome the so-called writer’s block? Walk away from your story and think about it. Eventually, your brain will come up with a solution to a particularly difficult plot point. Just ask yourself, what would I do in that situation? How do I outsmart this character? Sometimes the characters are smarter than you, but that’s when you know you’re onto something great.
6.)    DO NOT WORK ON MULTIPLE PROJECTS AT ONE TIME! It’s easy to come up with an awesome idea for a story, but people can’t buy or read ideas. Dedicate yourself to completing your manuscript and then start working on your next project. It’s OK to have an idea for a new project, but remember that you should only start writing it after your first project’s manuscript is complete. Nothing will annoy your friends more than talking about an idea that will never come to fruition.
7.)    Sometimes what helps me get to the end of a manuscript is having a general idea of how I want to end the story or what plot points I really want to hit. If I really want to write something dramatic or have this great idea for an action scene; having these thoughts serve as a motivator to get your hands writing.
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8.)    Do not under any circumstance tell your friends every detail to what you’re writing about. You can poll them for opinions and ideas, but if you reveal an integral plot twist and you haven’t written it down yet. All your motivation on getting your project done will vaporize into the wind. Remember, the appeal to reading a book is to unravel the mystery page by page. You will kill your desire to write by spoiling everything you’re planning to write.
9.)    Don’t be discouraged by your first draft, 99% of the time it will be garbage.
10.)Don’t give up!
Those are all the tips I have for you all. No, I do not claim to be a know-it-all or some writing savant because I’m not. What I do claim is to have learned what it takes to complete a book until the very final pages. Through these experiences I wanted to share with you just exactly what it takes to write a manuscript until the 100,000th word. However, if you want advice from people who have published their works, take a look at Gail Simone who currently writes for major comic book publishers.
 
Wilmar Luna