Where Do I Begin?!by Edwina Frazier on 02/20/17
The story that’s in your head and heart can be the hardest thing to get on paper! You start, you stop…you start and stop again! You may even begin to doubt if you were suppose to write a book at all! I think every writer can relate. Following is a very simple pre-writing questionnaire to help you lay a foundation for what you want to write.
Get your coffee or beverage of choice, grab your pen and journal or laptop and get ready to start your journey!
1. Why am I writing this?
You must be very clear about your motivation and purpose for writing. When the going gets tough (and it will) you need to have something very concrete to turn to when you need to remind yourself why you’ve started this project. It should be compelling enough that you won’t be able to easily stop writing if you hit a writer’s block.
2. Who am I writing this for?
Who do you envision will be reading your book and what benefit do you hope they will gain from reading it? Have you benefited in anyway from what you are sharing on the pages? in what way? Will your testimony encourage your reader?
3. What will my writing “VOICE” be?
Typically, I am a folksy, anecdotal kind of writer. I like writing in a conversational tone using vivid language and connecting the reader to emotional nuances and “inside voice” musings. What is your “voice?” Does your story require a first person narrative or third person storyteller? Is it easy reading or high level academic? Determining your voice will help you with chapter or topic titles. You book doesn’t HAVE to have a table of contents but chapter or topic titles will help you to organize your writing .
4. What do you want to say?
This connects to the benefit your reader will experience from reading your book. In my first book, “The Way I Am Now, Is Not The Way I’m Going To End Up!” I wanted my readers, people I identified as single parents coming out of or currently going through the challenges of public housing, welfare and trying to raise their kids alone, to be able to map out life plans for themselves and their children to have better opportunities in life. So my first chapter was written to show the reader where I started and some of the challenges I faced and every chapter after that was named to identify some hurdle I had to get through and the lessons learned from going through it. For example, figuring out how to go to college so I could get a good paying job that would support 6 kids was a chapter all by itself! Sometimes it helps if you make a list of what you want to include in your book and why then look for ways to group common themes together under a chapter or topic title.
5. Now that you have all this in writing, you’re better able to organize your thoughts and focus your writing to stay true to your original reason for writing this story in the first place!
If you still feel you need a little help, a writing coach can help you bring clarity to your writing project. Partners In Success Publishing would love to help you get started! Do these five things first and then you’ll have something that will assist your writing consultant in steering you in the right direction!
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