I’ve written quite a few books, often as a ghost writer… Speaking to someone the other day they said, and I quote “how the hell do you write so many books so quickly?”.
Well, the answer is… I guess I’m just that damn good!
I’ve written a few books on business, travel, how to guides, fitness, lifestyle and even kind of rehashed some erotica stories to be bestselling ebooks on Amazon.
Most of these books average around 5-10 thousand words and very few of them took me more than a week of writing to complete (although that time might be spread out over a few months thanks to distractions etc).
So how do you write a quality, readable book from scratch in under a week?
Step One: The Idea
Have a solid idea that you actually have an interest in.
Or, if it’s not your personal interest, have enough information that you can process the outline of your book without falling asleep thinking about it.
My first few books were about things that I knew about: DJ’ing, travelling and London. Some of these lived in my brain for a long time before I finally got them into a readable format and then finally actually wrote them. In fact now, looking at these early examples of my writing, I could do a much better job in a shorter period of time (might be a time for some rewriting..!)
The trick is to come up with the concept and draft a good outline. The outline is just to help you get started and over planning is actually detrimental.
Literally, just work out the focus of the book then build the chapters around this. It shouldn’t take more than half an hour if you have a good idea for a book.
Example: I wanted to write a book about moving to London as it is something that I had done recently and I’d been mixing with people who’d also moved to London recently. It got me thinking that, if you had a friend on the ground to give you the info you need it would make it so much easier.
I worked out the factors that new arrivals would need to know and built chapters from there. So, for example: where to live, how to travel around, finding a job, healthcare, making friends etc etc.
From this the rest of the content sort of formed around these core aspects of moving to a new city. You then just have to…
Step Two: Just Write
When it comes to writing a book, especially an instruction or guide book, the best thing is just to start writing it as soon as possible. You can tweak and perfect as much as you like later, but as the old writers saying goes:
“You can’t edit a blank page”.
True story. So just get them words down.
Do it in your voice or if that doesn’t work, set a tone and write in that voice. If you’re a writer, like, really a writer, you’ll nail that sucker in days. In fact, the writing demon will take over and you’ll have written some kind of guide masterpiece in a no time at all.
But what if you’re writing fiction?
Step Three: It Doesn’t Matter…
Are you trying to craft the perfect opening sentence? The beautiful imagery of the first scene? The complex emotions of your lead character?
OK, I have written a lot of fiction too and yes, a bit of prep is good.
You can overdo it way too much and actually, all that shit that you think will make you the next Bronte sister or whatever, it doesn’t actually matter.
You know what does matter?
The words you put down…
I wrote a film screenplay from scratch in about two days. It was really good. But it needed some editing – so about a month later after having read it and digested the characters and the story, I wrote it again. And it was a lot better.
Lesson being. Write whatever pops in your head and edit it later. Seriously. Things happen in stories that you’re not expecting and you can’t map out – you just need to start the process of writing.
And while we’re on the subject.
Step Four: Stop Reading About Writing & Start Writing
Seriously. I’m going to write a book about writing and the whole book will basically tell you to start writing and stop reading. Because that’s how you do it.
Oi… Get your hands off that idea!
As an example – one of my main clients has tasked me with writing (another) book for a management guru. I have done some research on the subject and I’m well versed on this anyway, but, I’m about 5k words into a 20k word book after about a day and a half.
And this is because I’m just writing it.
I did an outline, I did some research on my phone while sitting on the sofa (while my 9 month old daughter was chewing an extension socket to be fair) and I wrote a rough outline to guide me through the process. The outline was OK’d by my client (and their client) and boom – off we go.
BUT! I Want To Write A Money Spinning Masterpiece In A Week
Go on then. What’s actually stopping you? Here’s my roadmap to writing the next 50 Shades of Grey or whatever.
- Come up with an idea for a story and make a rough outline for it. By rough I mean an outline of the story with some key plot points, the ending and consider the subtext or meaning to your story – I find this helps a bit.
- Draw the main character in some detail – use a real life example (change their name though yeah) and give them some flaws. Writing prompt: They’re afraid of kittens, and they’re addicted to ice cream. You’re welcome.
- Draw up one or two plot points that drive the plot forward, don’t overthink this though Just run through the story and at a point when something adverse happens, really go for it. Be a sadistic bastard. Make them be mauled by the kitten who owns the ice cream company or something and then they will need to seek revenge. I dunno. It’s your story, you know what the flash point is.
- Make sure you have some semblance of an ending. If you don’t, you can be enigmatic or whatever – just know that you need an end point.
- Write the damn thing. Seriously. Just start. It will suck but that doesn’t matter cos you can edit it later. Just write it. Really….
If you’re not sure if you’re ready to start I’d say, go and write a short story based on your characters. Or, if you’re writing non fiction, start a blog.
Or write for one of my multiple magazines! Feel free to email me if you’d like to practice your writing on me…
Anyway. I hope this will help you get started writing your next book really quickly. Drop a link below if I’ve helped you…
Wanna check out my writing? You can get the books written under my own name here (Link to Amazon).
Want to hire me to write you a book? I offer ghostwriting as part of my creative content services, so get in touch. You can either email me directly (look at my contact page) or hire me via a third party platform like Fiverr (xxxCreative on Fiverr).