Writing a book seems like a huge task to overcome, but it becomes easier if you think that all you have to do is writing a book chapter after another. Even just one or two a week will get you a complete book in your hands in less than six months.
Of course, to have a valuable manuscript in your hands that will attract readers, you must learn to write a capable book chapter worthy of this mission.
The writing tips in this article will enable you to chase away the fog of confusion in your mind and make room for clear and precise organisation.
Writing a book chapter becomes very easy by following a few small steps. Always remember to listen to yourself first and adapt your creative process to the creative writing tips I am about to explain. Writing a novel is a very personal mission and not everything can work for everyone. Let’s begin.
Steps for Writing a book chapter worth of ALL your readers attention
1. Make a mini outline of the chapter before writing it
Creating an outline for a big project like writing a book is always a good idea. If you always find yourself not knowing what will happen in the next chapter of YOUR story, you probably need to make a general outline for your story. Free writing can be useful for some writers but knowing where you are going is always essential to create a smooth and sensible narrative.
2. Decide before what you want to achieve with that chapter
Very much like an outline but not quite. Before you write an outstanding chapter for your readers, you must not only decide what will physically happen but also what the progress of the various characters will be. Give a purpose to the chapter you are writing, perhaps deepen a character’s story? Do you need to show a betrayal? Give clues? Decide this beforehand to give your best.
3. Every book chapter must give the reader an important piece of information
Have you ever read a book so slowly that you almost fall asleep on the pages? The kind of story that ends up gathering dust in the hidden corner of the bookcase? Surely you know what I’m talking about. Now, what is it that made that story slow?
In my case, I noticed that the mistake those stories share is that the chapters exist just to be there. They give the reader nothing. If you want your readers to be curious while reading, you have to give them something with every single chapter. You have to make them feel like they have gained something. Be it new information, a romantic scene, anything that makes sense with your plot. But it has to be there.
4. If you do not like what you have written, rewrite the chapter
Then take this advice with a grain of salt. I always advise going straight ahead while writing the first draft of your book, never looking back. But if you really feel you have written a bad chapter and want to fix it right away, use this technique. Rewrite your chapter using your memory and highlighting only the most important things. With the second version you will certainly have a clearer version of the whole thing.
5. If the story makes sense without that chapter, you don’t need it
Harsh truth but very useful for your novel. We writers easily get attached to our writing and our chapters, but we have to learn that every now and then you have to let go of some dead weight to fly high in the sky. If you find that your narrative flows well even without a chapter, there are two solutions. Either turn that chapter into something useful or get rid of it. It will help you, I assure you.
6. Never answer all the reader’s questions, right to the end
Let’s be honest, what makes us stick to the pages of a book is never the excellent writing or the beautiful descriptions. We find ourselves reading just because we want to find out something. We want to know how the story ends, how all the problems will be solved. Your reader should receive small solutions during the course of the plot but the answer to all their questions should only come at the end.
7. Change scenery often while writing a book chapter
Scene changes are almost as important in writing as they are in directing a film. In the latter you must not bore the viewers’ eyes, but in the former you must not bore their imagination. You must constantly challenge it. So change scenery, make your reader go to different buildings, with different weather and different reactions. It will enrich your story a lot.
8. Think about what the reader should feel
If it helps you, decide before you start writing what feelings the chapter should evoke in the reader. It is a very quick tip to put into practice, a few adjectives are enough to give you a clear direction. For example, if a betrayal is discovered in a chapter, the chapter could be explained like this: surprised, overawed. By knowing what the purpose is you will be able to take the reader, and his poor heart, exactly where you want it to go.
9. Decide what to show of each character first
Another very useful thing to decide before writing your chapters is what you want to show about your characters. Every single chapter you write should show more of your characters, both main characters and not. If you decide beforehand what feelings, what memories, what impressions you want to tell the reader, it will be much easier to write the rest.
10. Skip writing a book chapter if you cannot write it right now
Perhaps the best advice I can offer you regarding writer’s block. Skipping a chapter you cannot write is neither a shame nor a tragedy. On the contrary, you should not hesitate to do so if it risks blocking your creative flow. If you feel tortured by writing a book chapter, you should definitely take the following steps:
- summarise what needs to happen in the chapter
- abandon it
- only return to it when you feel you can cope with it
I assure you that it will do you more good than harm, and you will finally feel free to continue writing your story.
Be better than me and follow these tips, they will make it so much easier for you to write your manuscript. Fortunately, the web is full of great writing tips but it is still difficult to follow every single one of them.
What I recommend is, take one and two from this post and use it in writing your next book chapter. If you feel it helps come back here and put another tip into practice. I assure you that such an exercise will greatly improve your writing and open you up to new ways of approaching creative writing.
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