Wednesday

5 QUESTIONS TO ANSWER BEFORE YOU START WRITING

You have decided to create a book. You have decided that finally, you will write your own book. Good for you! You could not have picked a better time in history to write a book and offer it to the world. So, now what? Do you grab your laptop and head to Starbucks, buy a latte and find a corner and begin writing - after all, didn't J.K Rowling do something similar when she created the Harry Potter series. What will your opening sentence be? How will you create the perfect teaser to grab the attention of your reader? You have taken the creative writing courses and have tons of ideas so do you just take the plunge and start that attention-getting first paragraph?
Sometimes that will work. Occasionally, a J.K. Rowling or a Stephen King will break out of the pack and hit the big time - is that your hope, prayer, intention? Regardless of whether you are writing fiction or non-fiction, writing is a business and you will invest a lot of time, energy, emotion, sweat and tears into creating your own book. It will be torn apart by editors, critics, interviewers and the reading public - if you're lucky. If you accept the fact (and it is a fact) that writing is a business - your business, then shouldn't we take a slightly more business-like approach before we invest ourselves?
Before you order the latte, take a look at the five questions that follow and when you can answer them, you will be ready to begin the writing process. What is the point of writing a great book if you don't sell any and no one gets to read it? There is no point - great literature be damned. There have been thousands of great writers tossed on the scrap heap of publisher's refusals, but those days are over. You have complete and total control of your writing and so it is time to start treating what you do as a professional rather than a hope and a prayer. Start with these five questions and your book will be better written and just as importantly better received, purchased, shared and enjoyed.

Who are you writing to?
How will you find them?
Why will readers buy your book?
What is the main message, theme or storyline?
Can you define your book in terms of genre and purpose?

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