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Help Me Write a Better Book
It's not easy to write a book; it takes creativity, planning, and drive. Make sure that your readers get the most out of your writing by following these tips to improve your book's readability.
1) Follow Grammar Guidelines
Book writing permits a great deal of freedom from traditional spelling and grammar regulations. Often the development of your character or scene depends on bending some rules a little. However, there are still a few guidelines you'll want to follow to make your book really appeal to your readers.
First, learn the correct usage of quotation marks in writing speech. It can be difficult to follow dialogue in your book if these are used improperly. Make sure that each person's speech is in quotation marks and on its own line.
Next, be careful about your paragraph length. Sometimes book writers get carried away and make paragraphs much longer than they need to be. This doesn't mean you need to truncate your ideas; just make sure that your paragraphs are separated into manageable sizes that are easier for your readers to digest.
2) Use Flow Charts
You make think of a flow chart as a business tool only, but it can help you with your book writing, too. Books often contain several ideas being developed at the same time, which can make it difficult for you, the writer, to keep track of everything that's going on. A flow chart will help you organize and manage your ideas so that you can write about them more effectively.
To make a flow chart, start by writing down the first event (or idea) in your book in its own little box on a sheet of paper. Every event gets its own box. Next, write the events that result from the first event(s) in their own little boxes, then connect the boxes with arrows. Keep going until all of the events in your book are accounted for.
For best results, make your flow chart when you're still in the planning stages of your book. It will help you visually decipher how you want your book to flow, as well as which ideas you want to write about when. You'll also have an easier time keeping track of how far you've progressed with each element of your book, which will keep your writing organized and easier to read in the long run.
3) Work With Your Publisher and Editor
Your editor and publishing company are both great resources for experienced second opinions about your book. Not only can they scrutinize your book for typos and other errors, they can also recommend ways to improve the readability of sections of your book that may not flow perfectly.
Also, consult your publisher about your ideas for the physical presentation of your book. Your publisher will most certainly have some ideas of their own, but don't be shy about adding your input. Often, you will have a unique vision for the layout of your book that may appeal both to your publisher and to your readers. Speak up with your publisher; together with them and your editor, you may be on your way to writing the country's newest bestseller!