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I have been writing fiction for a very long time now, and it is one of my favorite things to do.

Putting together tens of thousands of words that connect to form a plot, and fleshed-out character arcs . . . It isn’t easy!

If you are someone who has always wanted to write a book, here are four tips to get you started!

(A note: I only write fiction, so that’s what this article is going to focus on, as I don’t know what it’s like to write other types of books!) And now, in no particular order, tips for writing a book!

1. Reading a craft book on writing.

I started writing when I was about 10 or 12, and I just wrote for fun. Over the years, as I started to get serious about publishing my work, I just wrote and didn’t think about how to hit certain plot points, or what my character arcs were going to be like. I didn’t think about how the books on my shelves followed all of those things that I just mentioned. Various people have told me how helpful craft books were, but I couldn’t find any that I liked. It wasn’t until recently, when I asked a few people for recommendations that I found two that I loved: The Anatomy of Story by John Truby, and Writing the Romantic Comedy by Billy Mernet.

2. Just write!

This may be contradictory to my first tip, but sometimes the most helpful thing to do is to just get the words down on paper–or your computer screen–somewhere where you’ll have them and be able to revise them later if necessary. This is so you don’t forget what you were going to write, because sometimes, you’ll think of whole conversations, for example, but then if you don’t write them down, you might not be able to remember the flow of the conversation.

3. Let yourself sit with your idea!

This is something that I like to do, especially if I’m wondering how one main conflict is going to last for at least 60,000 words. It’s also so I can know if I’m excited about an idea or if it’s just something I’ve thought of that isn’t sustainable. Of course you don’t have to do this, but the longer you sit with an idea, the better handle you can have on your characters and their world!

4. Become friends with other writers!

This last tip is so important. It’s really nice to be able to have one, two, or even a whole group of writer friends where you can talk about writing and hype each other up! It can take time to find your people, but once you do, it’ll be so worth it.

And there you have it, four tips for writing a book! I hope you enjoyed, and happy writing!

Hailey Semchee

Cincinnati '22

Hailey Semchee is a third-year English/Rhetoric and Professional Writing major at the University of Cincinnati. She loves being creative in any way possible as well as traveling, watching movies, or drinking a lot of tea. You can follow her on instagram @haileysemchee.
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