28-Day Writing Challenge – Day 7

Hello, everyone, welcome to day seven of the 28-day writing challenge. Well, today I got the next chapter, number 9, done for the book I am working on. I still have 2 questions to answer for that chapter. I need to do more research.

As I mentioned, you can, if you have your book blueprinted out, start on any chapter you want to, or even parts of a chapter.

Vlog for day 7

Research Codes

I’ve mentioned before that one of the ways that you can handle taming your research is to use certain codes. What I mean by that is you can research and research and research and never get started writing.

When you come to the point where you need to get started writing you will come to items that will need further research or that you may need to corroborate to make sure that your facts are right.

Tools to help with research
Tools to help with research

One of the ways of handling that is to put special symbols like three asterisks (***) together. Then when you do a search and replace you can just go to those areas where the *** and you can put in your new information.

I’ve been told that the letters T and K right next to each other don’t appear in any words in the English language. I haven’t really checked that out myself. But since I’ve tried it I’ve not run across any so it’s easy to just go and put in the “TK” in an area where you need to do some research.

Don’t stop right there when you’re on a roll, especially if you’re using this faster writing method. Just put in your code there. You may put XXX, or ***, or TK. Then when you’re ready, search for that and it will take you right to the spot where you need to put in the information.

If you do your research this way, it becomes very targeted and relevant research because you are searching for specific information instead of getting tons of information that you may not use.

So using research codes is a little tip for you as you’re doing this.

There’s Still Time

I’m still one day behind, but I think that I will get back on track. Am I the eternal optimist? I don’t know. If I’m the eternal optimist, that means that won’t ever get back on track. But as a realist, I probably will be back on track before the end of this week.

Still moving forward
Still in this race!

How about you? How’s it going for you? Have you planned out your book? Have you figured out how long you want your book to be as a starting point? Have you figured out some chapter titles for your book? Have you gone further than that and perhaps made some outlines for your book? Have you come up with some headings to put in for your chapters?

Maybe you have gone through those blog posts that I recommended and followed the method that I’m using where you come up with 12 to 18 ideas. You then eliminate three of those ideas, put the ideas in the best order, then turn each idea into a statement or a question, and finally turn all of your statements into questions.

If you use that method, you will end up with anywhere from nine to 15 questions. Then, you need at least three “trigger words” to remind you of the answers to each of your questions. What happens if you don’t use all of your trigger words? Well, if it triggered you to be on a roll, it doesn’t matter. You’re the only one that knows what those trigger words were, anyway, although I do try to use them all.

This book is a very useful tool.
A helpful tool.

Now, there is a book that tells you how to do that. It’s called “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death.”

I encourage you to go over to Amazon and check it out.

In the meantime, I hope you have a wonderful day. Remember, YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK.

28-Day Writing Challenge – Day 5

Welcome to day five of our 28-day book writing challenge. I’m just checking in with you today. Some of you may be writing books along with me. Others of you may just be watching the journey as I go along.

Day 5 video

If you remember, the last time I talked to you, I was a little bit behind. So I want to tell you what’s going on now This is day five. Normally I would be writing my first chapter today, but what I did instead was some catching up.


I had mentioned last time that I had done some research and some brainstorming. So I had the notes from some of the best-selling books, and also two pages of brainstorming. Then I went through and grouped similar items together.

Today’s Progress

Today what I did was go through and title those groups. As I was titling the groups I saw some that were quite similar. And so I came up with similar titles. And I saw that those would make suitable chapters for the rest of my book. So I did that.

Where are you on your writing adventure?
My journey on the 28-day writing challenge.

Then I came around and I put the titles in the best order for me. List and where I came up with the names of the titles and then I had rearranged the order that I wanted and then one more change.

I started with chapter eight because I already had enough information for the first seven chapters. So when I started numbering these today, I numbered them chapters eight through chapter 16. The last change that I made was I had a title for chapter 16 called “Valuing Combats Fear and Shame” and then I had another chapter called “Valuing Makes Marriage Enjoyable.” I decided to switch those two so the last chapter would have a little more positive title.

Chapter Titles

Here are the chapter titles that I have come up with:
Chapter 8: Valuing Produces Trust (I changed that to Relates to)
Chapter 9: Valuing Encourages Both Husband and Wife
Chapter 10: Valuing Recognizes Each Other’s Love Languages
Chapter 11: Valuing Enhances Motivation
Chapter 12: Valuing Can Affair-Proof Your Marriage
Chapter 13: Valuing Combats Fear and Shame
Chapter 14: Valuing Gives Children Security
Chapter 15: Valuing Shows Gratitude
Chapter 16: Valuing Makes Marriage Enjoyable

Chapter Plan

Next, I started working on the chapter writing plan for each of the chapters, and I came up with 12 ideas for chapter eight. If you studied those blog posts (www.randysblogs.com) that I talked about last time, which started on January 25, and they ended on March 2, the advice was to come up with anywhere from 12 to 18 ideas for your chapter.

So for Chapter 8, I came up with 12 ideas. Then I did what I was supposed to do and eliminated three. This just stimulates your brain and causes you to think and sometimes you can combine ideas. This also helps you get rid of some of the weaker ideas that you had.

So I eliminated three. In this case, I actually eliminated three of them, and I didn’t combine any. That left me with nine chapter ideas. Then, beside them I put numbers, arranging them in the best order for me and hopefully, for my readers.

Next, I turned those ideas into questions. For each question, I came up with three trigger words or phrases that would stimulate my brain into thinking about how to answer each of those questions.

Trigger Words and Phrases

Questions and trigger words will help develop your chapters.
Ask yourself questions to find ideas for your chapters

So here is the chapter outline writing plan for chapter eight “Valuing Relates to Trust”:
1. When does building trust start?
As a child
Before marriage
Early in marriage
2. Why is feeling trusted important to men?
Men don’t like to feel like failures
3. Why does trusting her husband build the wife’s security?
4. How does seeing your spouse come through for you build trust?
Brings closer
5. How does being on the same page about money relate to trust?
Eliminates fear
Being OK with some spending
6. Why is risk-taking important and how will trust help?
Sometimes your job involves risk-taking.
Sometimes delving into ministry involves risk-taking.
You can trust God
7. How does the trust that comes from being valued help when both of you are going to be in an area where you’re around the opposite sex?
Not jealous
8. How do policies about not being alone with members of the opposite sex build trust?
No opportunity
Stop before starting
It can be difficult
9. Why will it take extra effort to restore trust if it has been broken in a marriage?

Free-Flow Writing

This is the secret to free-flow writing. I simply read the question, look at the trigger words, start the timer for five minutes and write as quickly as I can, answering those questions using those trigger words as prompts. If I get finished early, I’ll just force myself to keep writing.

Free-flow writing takes the pressure off.
Free-flow writing made easy

In the editing stage, I’ll probably get rid of some of that, but sometimes you get really good ideas when you force yourself to keep writing. If I fall short, I’ll just put an ellipsis (…) there and I will finish it later on in the editing stage. So that’s where we’re going with this.

I haven’t written chapter 8 yet, but I’m ready to go with that and I’m motivated. For tomorrow, I’m going to start coming up with 12 to 18 ideas for each of the other chapters and I’m going to start coming up with the writing plans for each chapter. But I especially want to do writing plans for chapters nine and ten. I if I do not write chapter eight tonight, then tomorrow my goal is to write chapter eight and chapter nine and if that happens, at that point, I will be caught up.

How’s it going for you? Leave some comments and let me know what you’re doing. What’s your idea for your book? How far are along are you getting? Do you have some questions?

Well, I hope you have a great day and until the next time in the 28-day writing challenge, I encourage you to remember YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK.

28-Day Writing Challenge – Day 2

Welcome back to day two of the 28-day writing challenge! I’m inviting you to join me as I begin work on my next book. I wonder if you have decided to get a start on your own book during this challenge. Either way, you can do it with me or you can just watch as I go through the process. Let’s see how we will do with this 28-day writing challenge-Day 2 project.

My Current Project

I’m writing a new book on marriage. married. I have two previous books on the topic. The first one is “21 Ways the Principle of Leaving Will Benefit Your Marriage: Why You Should Apply This Shocking Key to Marital Bliss.” Then the second one is “From Mountains to Molehills: Overcoming and Celebrating Your Differences in Marriage.”

Some Background

This third one that I’m working on now is the “V” in the acronym “LOVING”. I had previously written a book called “The Loving Way to a Successful Marriage” and “LOVING” is an acrostic. So leaving is the L, overcoming is the O, and valuing is the V.

So I’m going to be talking about valuing each other and also having the same values in your marriage and what benefit there is to that.

Where to Find Content

Developing a blueprint for your book can help organize your ideas.
Build a blueprint for your book

In my book “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death”, I talked about one way of setting a blueprint for your book. I also talked about two other ways of writing a book and one of them has to do with speaking your book, so I have been speaking some blog posts. I may be able to do some more of those as I go along. I also talked about using previous things that a person had written.

So in my first book, I had four chapters in the section that had to do with valuing, so I have four chapters under my belt already. Then looking through the blog posts that I’ve done so far that relate to this, I think I can come up with three more chapters and just tweak those. I spoke those out to a general audience and applied those more generally. I’ll need to adjust them a bit to apply them more specifically. That gives me three more chapters. So now I have a total of seven chapters up to this point.

Book Length

What I’ve encouraged you to do is to figure out a target goal for your book. How many pages would you want it to be? I recommend your book be between 100 and 200 pages. It can be as low as 90 and go as high as 250 without stressing yourself to death. I decided to shoot for 125 for this book. Shorter books seem to be a trend. People like shorter books so they can get the information and be able to read them more quickly. Some of the longer books, people don’t finish. I hope this one, at 125 pages, would be one that could be finished easily. I decided to aim for 12 chapters.

Do Some Research

Looking at best-selling books in your genre will help develop an idea of how long your book should be.
Searching for ideas

What have you come up with? What are you thinking about? If you’re trying to figure out the number of chapters, I suggest you look at similar books in your genre. Go to Amazon and look for the bestsellers in your category and see how many chapters and how many pages there are. I haven’t felt the need to do that this time, but if you’re new to writing, I strongly suggest you give this a try.

Also, looking at those titles and looking at the title chapters (we’ll talk more about that later) can be helpful, too.

Tomorrow I want to help you come up with the outline and blueprint for your book. We will do several sessions of brainstorming to be able to figure that out. In my case, I’m encouraged that I already have essentially seven chapters as a foundation. So I’m thinking that somewhere around five more chapters. That’s the encouraging thing for me: I will not need that full 28 days for the writing part of this particular book–if all goes well.

Information Gathering

I would like to do a survey for this book. I did that in the last book, “From Mountains to Molehills: Overcoming and Celebrating Your Differences in Marriage”, and it was very helpful. I would like to do that again for this book, so I’m going to go to Survey Monkey and create a survey. I would be glad for some of you to take that survey and of course, your results are anonymous.

Now the survey is not such a large sample as a scientific survey would be, but the advantage is that such a survey is very current and up to date. I’m looking forward to doing the survey.

Wrapping it Up

So by now, I would hope that you would have a working title. It doesn’t have to be set in stone. It doesn’t have to sound interesting to you. Just get to the title–what you’re writing about. My working title is “Valuing Your Spouse”. Of course, I want to come up with something more interesting before I finally publish this book, but that’s what I’m using for now.

So, come up with a working title. Figure out the number of pages you might be shooting for. If it looks like it’s less than 100 I would suggest you raise it up to 100 or 90 at the very least. If you have way over 250, you might want to consider cutting that down a little bit.

The number of chapters: generally a good number would be 10 to 20. Now it can be 21 or 22 or even up to 25. I guess you could go down as low as nine or eight. But, generally, you want somewhere between 10 and 20 chapters. If not you might want to rethink that a little bit.


Tomorrow we will go into that in more depth and I will give you more information about how you can do that. Also, I’ll tell you some of the things that I’m going to do with that too.

Some extra work, if you want.

If you want to do something before tomorrow, go to those best-selling books on Amazon that relate to your topic, and look at all those on the first page. I usually go with the top 10. Just do some research and some looking around. When you do that, you may get some ideas for chapters of your own. Of course, you want to put those in your own words. The exact words in the exact order are copyrightable, but you can get some ideas. Ideas are not copyrightable. It is the expression of those ideas that you can claim copyright to.

That’s all for this session. I’ll see you next time. Remember: YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK!

28-Day Writing Challenge – Day 1

Time to start writing that book!
Getting Started

Welcome to day one of the 28-day writing challenge. I have written a book “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death”. Now, I’m inviting you to either create your own book and see if we can get it done in 28 days or you can just follow along with me as I write my next book. I am excited to begin the 28-day writing challenge ~ Day 1.

My next book is going to be a follow-up of the book “From Mountains to Molehills: Overcoming and Celebrating Your Differences in Marriage”. Actually, there’s a precursor to that. It is a book called “The Loving Way to A Successful Marriage: Six Keys to Marital Bliss” That book is now out of print. That book is divided into six parts. After the first book, I decided I wanted to do a series of books on marriage. So what I’m doing is taking each part and making a book out of each part of this original book. That’s my plan, anyway.

In this 28-day writing challenge, the first three days are going to be kind of vague for you if you’re just starting out writing your book. These first three days can all kind of run together.

Build a Foundation

A solid book begins with a good foundation
A solid book begins with a good foundation

Now, in my case, I have the foundation, around 40 pages. The first part of the original book was “Leaving: The Most Important Move You Can Make in Your Marriage”. Part two was “Overcoming: The Most Important Commitment You Can Make in Your Marriage”. That’s where the book “From Mountains to Molehills” came from.

The next section, part three, is “Valuing: The Most Important Attitude You Can Have in Your Marriage”. Leaving, overcoming, and valuing are the first three keys in the book “Six Keys to Marital Bliss”, and each one of those relates to the acronym “LOVING.” So, “The Loving Way to a Successful Marriage” will be the complete series..

So the first one is leaving, the second one is overcoming, and the third one is valuing each other. So I have valuing as the topic for part three (which is now book three).

My Process

Talking about valuing, what I wanted started on page 87 in the original book. In this, I talked about how men and women think. It’s one of my favorite things to talk about when I give speaking engagements. It also includes a section on having similar values. That section talks about how society’s thought patterns have influenced our marriages.

Part four is going to be “Intimacy: The Most Important Connection You Can Make in Your Marriage”. That will be the next book.

This book starts on page 87 and goes through page 120. So I have 37 pages as a foundation for my book. (I said 57 pages in the video. Ha! Math is not my strong point.)

In “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less” there are three different methods that are mentioned in writing that book. One of them is how to use your previous writing or previous blog posts and things like that. So in the book “The Loving Way to a Successful Marriage,” I have a section that’s related to valuing and that’s the foundation for my next book.

I have several blog posts that I’ve done in relation to that topic and I have also preached two or three sermons that would relate. Now the sermons are of course related to a wider audience than just married couples but I’m going to take those blog posts and hone them down more specifically to the idea of marriage.

Remember, you can write a book!
You can write a book.

So that’s how I’m starting. What you need to do in these first three days is to figure out a working title for your book. This does not have to be the final title, but your idea, your topic, your working title. Are you going to be pulling together things that you have done before or are you going to start from scratch? Another thing that we need to figure out is how long do we want our book to be? I recommend anywhere from 100 to 200 pages.

Since I already have 37 pages, I need at least 60 more pages. (Again, I am having to adjust the math from what I said in the video. That would be six or seven chapters if I were to write 10-page chapters. That’s how I’m getting started.

First Steps

What you need to do is come up with your working idea. Do you already have an idea of major divisions that would be chapters for your book? If you do then you are in good shape. If not, then you need to come up with what you think would be the chapters that you would have in your book.

So, the challenge today and tomorrow is to come up with ideas for anywhere from five to 20 chapters you would want to create for your book. If you’re doing fiction, then again you would want to figure out how many chapters you would want. You would probably want at least 20 chapters for your fiction book. So figure that out.

That’s how I’m getting started. . Have a great day. Remember, YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK!