Know What to Write Before Writing It

An award winning biography ghostwritten with Paul Wayne by Mark Graham Communications

An award winning biography ghostwritten with Paul Wayne by Mark Graham Communications

I know this sounds like a strange title for a blog about writing, but it so often happens that we get all geared up to the task of writing without really examining our book concept.  It is not to say that you have to know all the working parts, but you have to know enough to get the juices flowing. Writing is hard enough without the inspiration, so make sure you can feel it.

So here are a few thoughts on the subject of fleshing out that illusive idea.

There is a thing called having a vision for what you want your book to accomplish. To entertain, to help others with their struggles, to write your legacy piece. You get the idea. Pin this down.

Once you’ve got a handle on this vision thing, then decide if it fits the audience you are targeting.  This is pretty important.  Baby boomers, Gen-X’ers, 18-35 years olds. Put a name to it, then put an age to it, then consider your demographic.

You might as well write a book with commercial viability, right? So think about how you can effectively market the book you’ve envisioned to the audience you are targeting.

Don’t mimic. Don’t say, “I’d like to write a book just like so and so.” Write a book that moves you, that taps into a passion that you have. You want to feel the delight in what you’re conceiving.

A book takes a while to write.  I’ve spent upwards of two years on some books. Before you start, imagine the end. Are you still pumped up by your idea, by your storyline, by your message, by your outcome.  If so, then the investment is well worth the journey.

Put together a premise statement.  Three or four sentences to sum up your idea. If you can do this easily, then the path for the entire book starts to open up for you. Then you realize that something has crystalized.  This brevity of thought is actually an exciting way to harness your idea and make it your own.