How to Write a Manuscript: 5 Key Tips
1. Donít worry about format until you are
Details like this only stand in your way from
writing a great story. Worry about cooking the meal first before
concerning yourself with presentation. You can wait until much, much
later to adjust your manuscript and adhere to formatting guidelines.
2. Set aside 45-60 minutes a day to write your
Who are we kidding, we all have super busy lives
of driving kids to soccer, caring for sick parents, paying bills,
posting witty FaceBook status updates (after all, we are writers so
our updates are the best), and who knows what else. But the dirty
truth is if you canít carve at least 45 minutes out of your day to
dedicate to writing, then you arenít serious about writing a
manuscript. Itís time to take it seriously.
3. Outline your novel.
Some people are able to freewheel it and write
from beginning to end with just a general idea. I find that those
people are few and far between. By creating an outline, you not only
give your novel or nonfiction book structure, you also give yourself
a much needed map. Itís much easier to stick with your goal of
writing a manuscript when you have a structure in place.
4. Write the beginning sentence and last sentence
to each chapter.
Much like a road trip, your goal of each chapter
is to get from point A to point B. Write up and plug a first
sentence and a last sentence into your Chapter Writing GPS, then
watch as it guides you throughout each section of your manuscript.
Like any fun trip, the coordinates may change a bit, but by having
them youíll be able to get to where you need to go
5. Have some fun.
No one is forcing you to write. Youíre doing it
because you love creating, informing and inspiring. You love the
twists and turns you create out of thin air. You love the challenge
of making interesting characters grow and change. (You also secretly
love being able to bump people off without the threat of serious
jail time). Remember thatóeven during the most difficult times (like
when facing writerís block or when you realize a scene isnít working
and you need to rewrite it). Just by reading these tips youíve shown
your hand: Writing is in your blood. Enjoy it.