Book Writing Strategies

Book writing strategies. Are you a “pantser,” an outliner or somewhere in between? One is not better than the other. They’re all equally good. It’s just important that you figure out who you are.

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I want to encourage those of you who are writers to find what your style is and what works for you.

Are you an outliner a pantser or somewhere in between?

What is your writing style?
What is your writing style?

Outliner, Pantser, or In-Betweener?

Now an outliner is someone who plans out the project ahead of time and develops an outline.

A pantser is someone who writes from the seat of his or her pants and is able to just start writing and go and have a lot of success doing that.

Maybe you’re somewhere in between.

I remember when I was in high school and grade school, they would ask us to write a paper and they would want us to give them an outline. They were trying to teach us how to be outliners and how to write from an outline.

I was a little bit more of a pantser, or maybe I just didn’t like to plan that much. But sometimes I would write the paper first, and then I would go back and make up the outline from the paper. That’s sort of like how a pantser works, although I don’t consider myself that much in these days.

Now, I have also learned the value of planning your project before you write it. Nowadays, I am more inclined to do at least some type of outline first before I write.

Book Writing Strategies: Be an Outliner

An outliner can be a very extensive outliner.

They may be a person who would write complete sentences for all the main points, all the sub-points, all the sub-sub-points, and so forth. By the time they had that done, they would have a lot of words already.

Sample outline
Sample outline

They know what direction their book is going to go and how it would end. Once that was done, all they would have to do is just go in and fill it out.

Some outlines may not be as detailed.

Some may have complete sentences for the 3-7 main points and then just have phrases or words for the sub-points and then just words for the sub-sub-points.

Or maybe just words for the main points and single words for the sub-points and so forth.

It’s whatever works for them, but they still have a pretty detailed plan before they start.

Book Writing Strategies: Be a Pantser

 Do you prefer to write by the seat of your pants?
Do you prefer to write by the seat of your pants?

Now a pantser would have an idea of where he’s going and just take off writing and keep writing toward the end in view. If it’s someone who is really good at it, that’s all they need to do. Ups and downs and twists and turns that the writing project would take in between just come naturally to them.

A true pantser has the natural ability to go up and down and use literary devices as they work.

Book Writing Strategies: Be an In-Betweener

Then there is the person who is somewhere in between.

In the area of writing fiction, Randy Ingermanson. has developed a method that’s called the snowflake method. That method is in between the two.

I consider myself to be sort of in between, although now I lean more toward a plan than I used to.

The in-betweener uses both methods.
The in-betweener uses both methods.

Let me give you some ideas if you’re an in-betweener. If you are a fiction writer, you might have a story that goes something like this: There is a character, (describe that character) who had a problem (describe the problem). Then you could have maybe three major disasters that happen.

In the first part of the story, you come to a major disaster. Maybe your character overcomes it, maybe not, but it leads to another one. Build that as you continue working on trying to solve the problem. So then the second major disaster comes about halfway through, and another major disaster about three-fourths of the way through. Then you have the resolution, the climax, the ending, and then you tie up the loose ends.

So if you’re a fiction writer, and you want to have the in-between of the outline and being a pantser you might think of the three major disasters and know how the resolution is going to come about.

If you are a nonfiction writer, instead of having major disasters, you will have either steps to a solution to a problem or different ways of solving a problem.

So you would want to have at least an idea of what the problem is and have some sentences or key words that would remind you of what you know to be the solution or the steps to the solution of that problem.

That would be an example of an in-between method for nonfiction writing.

More Tips and Information

There’s also a type of blueprint that you can do with 12 to 15 ideas. Take those ideas and turn them into questions, and have bullet points related to the questions.

Although that’s closer to an outline idea, it still allows your creativity to flow as you go through doing that.

Useful tool!
Useful tool!

I hope this has been helpful to you. If you’d like more tips like these, I would urge you to go to www.randycarney.com. You’ll find many more posts like these; several of them include videos.

You could also subscribe, subscribe to my YouTube channel, or Rumble channel to see all my writing videos.

For the best tips, get my book “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death.” In it, you’ll get three different methods are being able to write a book, even if you’ve never done so before.

Pretty soon I’m going to be releasing a free Writers Roadmap to Success. When you go to the website, look for that. It’s coming soon.

I hope you have a great day. Until next time, this is Randy Carney reminding you that YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK!

How to Write with Writer’s Block

Today I want to talk to you about how to write with writer’s block.

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Ah, the dreaded writer’s block. You look at a blank page, a cursor is just blinking and you can’t get started. You can’t get anywhere.

I want to give you some advice if you feel like you have it so you can write anyway, Here are seven tips to help you deal with writer’s block.

Write Something Unrelated

Well, first of all, just sit down and write. Write something unrelated. If you do journaling, this would be a good time to do your journal entry. It doesn’t matter what it is. You can write a letter, email, or a funny story. Just write something and then see if your creative juices have gotten started. Then you can turn back to your regular project.

Plan Your Writing

The next thing is to plan your writing.

Have a plan before you begin.
Have a plan before you begin.

If you’ve not already done this, sit down and devise a plan for your writing. Write down a series of phrases. That’s one way to do it.

In previous posts, I’ve talked about other ways to set up a plan for your writing. You can do questions followed by anywhere from two to seven bullet points. Then you will have a plan for your writing.

Pick a Time to Start

Then pick a time to start. Now this time the start is not based on your feelings. In fact, you probably don’t feel very good about it at all if you’re describing yourself as having writer’s block. But pick a time to start and don’t make it too far away.

Set a Word or Time Goal

Next, you’ll want to pick a word goal or a time goal. The time goal works better for me because I can just write and do free-flow writing and write as quickly as possible. But that may not be your style.

If you’re going to do a word goal you will need to pick the number of words you want to write. You can still write quickly with that method.

Pick a length of time that works for you.
Pick a length of time that works for you.

Set a Timer

Set a timer for a specified length of time. I recommend anywhere from five to 25 minutes, whatever seems to work in your situation.

Countdown

Now, here comes the key. You have your plan set there in front of you. You have your timer ready to go off. Then you just count down 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and push start.

Finish Your Daily Goal

Stay on target and finish your goals.
Stay on target and finish your goals.

Then use your writing prompts and finish the daily goal. Finish it regardless of your feelings.

Sometimes people say they weren’t very inspired on those days. My experience has been that after a few days, I can look back and try to find the day when I didn’t feel inspired, and really can’t tell much difference between the quality of the writing.

That is the key; you have to write. Just force yourself to go through it. If you do it the way I’m talking about, writing can be fun, especially if you use the timer method.

If you’re using the daily word goal method, just keep going until you get the number of words you have set as your daily goal.

I hope this has been helpful to you. Hopefully, you will no longer have writer’s block. When you get started writing and when you look back on it, you will probably find that it wasn’t that bad after all.

For more tips like these, go to www.randysblogs.com. For the very best advice, you can get my book, “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death” on Amazon.

Until next time, remember: YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK!

How to Write a Book for Amazon

Today I’m talking about writing again; specifically talking about how to write a book for Amazon.

What you need to do first of all is to write your book. I’m not going to go into detail about that here. You can check out my other blog posts for that information, or check out my recommendation at the end of this post.

Libre Office

To write your book, you need some software. You may already have word processing software that is bundled with your computer program.

For years, I used Microsoft Word, and I really liked it. I think it’s where most people first learned word processing. Some may have learned on WordPerfect. Then I bought a new computer, and I didn’t have Microsoft Word anymore.

Find a word processing program that works for you.
Find a word processing program that works for you.

In the past, I had used Open Office and I was really happy with it. Then I found out that there was a successor to it, called Libre Office.

So if you want a free online word processing program you can download, Libre Office is something I have been very happy with. It’s been very stable. It’s worked for me very well.

With this program, you can save the files as PDF files or as doc or Docx files and so it’s been terrific.

So Libre Office is an alternative that you could use if you don’t already have a software program.

Book Length

I would suggest that you shoot for a book between 100 to 200 pages long. You might go as much as 250. That seems to be a good size, especially if you’re starting out writing a book for Amazon.

Size

Amazon will want to know what size book you want, meaning whether it would be 8 1/2 x 11, or 6×9. They sort of like six by nine. I think you can also do you can do 5 1/2×8 1/2.

I just went with their recommended formats and I’ve really liked doing those books that way.

If you choose a size 6×9, you could set up your word processing program with that 6×9 format, then go through the process of writing your book.

My book talks about how to outline your book come up with your topic and themes, and all of that. That’s outside of the scope of what I’m talking about today.

Free Template/KDP

The next step is to have your book put in the template they want you to use. So since you’re writing for Amazon, I’d recommend that you use Kindle Direct Publishing or KDP publishing. That is especially for Amazon.

Then you will want to copy the words out of your book that you have written in your work into their document.

So they give you the template that looks like a book and then you can paste it in there.

There are a few templates that will help you format your book.
There are a few templates that will help you format your book.

Now if you’re going to write an ebook, it would be good to get to a template for the ebook. You could go to TCK publishing. He used to offer a free template that would help you format your book and he gave you good information as to what fonts to use, and other things like that. TCK publishing stands for Tom Corson-Knowles. (I hope he appreciates this plug) You can get that it’s very good.

Cover Creator

You will also want to paste the cover into the document. You have the option of having someone make a cover for you and then you can put it in, or there is a cover creator where you can create it right there.

I recommend the combination of both. Get someone to help you to create a good picture for a cover and format the cover with the words that you would like. You’ll also need to figure out your back cover copy. Once you get that then paste it into their cover creator.

The nice thing that they do with that is take the predominant color off of the picture that you pasted in and put it on the back cover of the book where the words for your blurb about your book will be placed.

There are so many possibilities!
There are so many possibilities!

So those are some tips for how to write a book for Amazon. I hope they’ve been helpful to you.

If you’d like more tips like these, you can go to randycarney.com and that will take you to my website, where there are many more blog posts and videos about writing.

Also, be sure to follow me on Facebook, YouTube, and Rumble.

Best option
Best option

Your best option, however, is to get my book “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death” on Amazon.

Until next time, I’m wishing you the best and reminding you that YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK!

Stress-Free Creative Writing

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I’m talking about writing again today. Stress-free creative writing.

I’m going to give you some steps to be able to do some stress-free creative writing. Basically, I’m going to talk about three different areas.

Brainstorm

First step.
First step.

The first one is to brainstorm. You’re just going to come up with a list of ideas that you want to write about. As you’re making that list of ideas, just write wildly; nothing is too outrageous, because you will be able to choose what is on your list. Once you’ve done that, then choose some ideas from your list that you want to write about.

Statements, Questions, and Headlines

The second area I want to talk about is how to work with those ideas.

So first of all, take your ideas and turn them into statements, questions, or headlines.

Make a list of questions
Make a list of questions

Questions

Once you have those written down, to the right of your statement, question, or headline, write down a question word: Who, what, when, where, why, how, or what then. Now if you had already written a question then you don’t want to put another question after it.

Key Words or Phrases

Write down some key words or phrases that describe the answer to that question. They can be nouns or verbs, or strong words like that. They can be sensory words like what you see or elicit what you think the smell would be like or what you would hear but some strong keywords.

So once you have done that, you have a page that has sort of an outline. You have a list of questions, statements, or headlines followed by a question word unless your original statement or idea is a question. Then you have three suggested answers to that question.

Once you have your ideas set up in that fashion, then you are ready to go for stress-free creative writing.

Fast Writing

What makes it stress-free is you’ve already come up with the basis of your ideas So now the next part and the magic of doing that is to do fast writing.

Do some fast writing
Do some fast writing

Read your first question or statement with a question following it. Pick one of those key words or key phrases and start writing just as fast as you can. I find it good to set a timer and write just as fast and furiously as I can until that timer goes off. A good time to set your timer is five minutes. Write as quickly as you can for five minutes.

If that doesn’t give you about 250 words, depending on how fast you can type, then you may want to set it for six minutes or somewhere all the way up to 10 minutes. Just write as fast as you can.

There it is: stress-free creative writing.
✔Brainstorm without agonizing over what you’re writing down in your brainstorming.
✔Make it better by picking just the words and ideas that you want to write about.
✔Put a question word after those ideas
✔Write down three things that would trigger your writing or the answer to the questions.
✔Set your timer and write just as fast as you can.

In a future post, I’ll talk about the editing process. So it is stress-free knowing that the editing comes later.

Highly recommended reading
Highly recommended reading

I hope this has been helpful to you. If you would like more tips like these, I have written a book that outlines in more detail how this process works. It’s called “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death” and is available on Amazon. There is both a hard copy and a Kindle version. I would highly recommend that you get that.

Also, if you’d like more writing tips like these, you can go to randycarney.com.

Remember: YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK!

Writing a First Book: The Big Picture in a Nutshell

Writing a first-time book, the big picture in a nutshell.

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Today I’m talking about writing a first-time book. I want to talk about the big picture in a nutshell.

Overview

I’ll talk about the two different kinds of books that you can write and then give you steps for making a basic book in the first category. Then I will talk about how you can make that look fabulous.

Then in the second category, I will talk about four methods of writing that book.

Okay, writing a first-time book in a nutshell. You might not have thought that you could do this but you can.

Step One

Now I’m going to talk first about writing nonfiction.

As you think about writing nonfiction, first of all, you should write a basic book. After that, you should expand that book, edit it, and make it fabulous.

That’s the first two of the four steps to success that I have outlined in book writing and marketing.

Simple steps to writing a book.
Simple steps to writing a book.

Ten Chapters

In our nonfiction book, my advice to you is to write a basic book. To do this, write the 10 most important chapters of that basic book; your 10 key chapters. You can do it like this:

Chapter One

The first chapter will be telling why this book is important. Why people should buy your book, why people should read your book, how it will help them. Take them to everyone’s favorite radio station: which is WIIFM – What’s in it for me? Talk to them about that.

Chapter Two

Chapter two would be an overview of the plan that you have to solve their problem. Most nonfiction books are going to be ways that you would go about helping people solve a particular problem.

Chapters Three Through Nine

Then in chapters three through nine, you take seven steps to solve that problem. Now, they may not be chronological, sometimes they are chunked, they are equal, just put down in chunks, side by side, you can do that too. However, if there is a series of steps that go one before the other, then you would want to do that.

I would recommend that you come up with seven. You might have more ideas, but I suggest that you come up with seven steps to the solution.

Chapter Ten

Then in chapter 10 you would have the summary of that and the next steps they could take.

Research and editing can make it an amazing book!
Research and editing can make it an amazing book!

Make it Fabulous!

The second thing I’m going to talk about with writing nonfiction books is take your basic book, and make it fabulous.

What you will do is take your basic book, which is uniquely you because you have come up with those ten chapters, and you’ve come up with your experiences out of your own mind. This is where you add them in.

Also compare books on that same topic. Look at their tables of contents, see if there’s anything that you have not covered on that topic in your book. Then you will add those chapters in yourself.

So you will take that basic book and edit it somewhat by cutting out some of the unnecessary words and doing a light edit.

Then you will expand it by adding more material that needs to be added. Add in more stories and come up with some of your own stories. Sometimes you can tell your own story but to protect yourself or to keep people from thinking that all you ever do is talk about yourself, you can change the name of the character that you’re talking about.

So you write a basic book, then you expand it and edit it and make it a fabulous book.

Writing Fiction

Create your own story.
Create your own story.

The second category would be writing a fiction book. This depends on your personality. What kind of person are you?

Are you an outliner? If you are then you need to outline your entire book. Go for it if you’re really good at that. Then go through and produce a detailed outline for your book.

Others, that just drives them crazy. Some people are known as being “pantsers” which means they write from the seat of their pants.

If that’s you, then you have to have the basic idea of your book. You need to know three conflicts that would occur about a third of the way through, halfway through, and three fourths of the way through. Then you would just write from the seat of your pants, writing toward those conflicts or disasters.

Finally in the hand you bring the resolution.

There is a third method if you would like something between those two. It is from a writer named Randy Ingermanson He has written a book called “The Snowflake Method” which talks about coming up with a basic ideas of where you’re going to go.

The "snowflake method" might work for you.
The “snowflake method” might work for you.

He talks about fleshing out your characters and giving good summaries of your characters. Then he takes your book in one sentence, then take that one sentence and come up with a one page statement of your book.

Then you take each of those sentences and you write paragraphs on each of those sentences and come up with a synopsis of your book.

Combining that with what you have done for your characters, you can come up with a good nonfiction book.

(I don’t get any commission off of his book but I do recommend it. I think it is very good.)

There’s a fourth one and it is my combination. If you have read my book “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yousrelf to Death,” you will notice that I take an outline and turn it into a special type of writing plan.

Some call it a blueprint like a blueprint for a house. You can do that for both fiction and nonfiction.

Great writing advice!
Great writing advice!

Having said that, I would urge you to go to Amazon and purchase my book “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death.”

I hope this has been helpful to you and also if you’d like more tips like these click on www.randycarney.com. There, you will find many more videos, blog posts and tips like these.

Well, it’s good to talk with you again. I hope you have a wonderful day. Remember, YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK!

Writing a How-To Book: Simple Steps to Get Started

Steps to Success

Be sure to check out the video that accompanies this blog. You can see it here.

Sam wanted to write a book but he didn’t know how to go about it. Then he came across his friend Jim who had written a book before.

Jim gave Sam some good advice.
Jim gave Sam some good advice.

When Jim found out it was a how-to book, he told Sam, “Well, you can write a how-to book. What you need to do first is to figure out what the problem is. Then define that problem. Then come up with some steps to a solution for the problem.

“So when you write your book, you talk about the problem first. Next, you talk a little bit about the plan for accomplishing the problem. Then show the steps to the solution. Finally, at the end, you summarize what you did to get to the solution and suggest a next step for the reader.

I want to start off by talking about writing a basic how-to book and then I’ll talk a little bit more about how you can expand that.

Getting Started

Getting started with your how-to book
Getting started with your how-to book

First of all, define the problem. Then picture the solution to the problem and what life would be like when the problem was solved. Then brainstorms some steps that it takes to go from problem to solution. Sometimes those steps will be in order, but sometimes they may not be chronological. Either way, figure out a number of steps to get from problem to solution.

The Steps

We think of seven as being the perfect number, at least in my circle of friends. Our Christian worldview and our Biblical worldview, think of seven as being the perfect number. So I would urge you to reorganize what you come up with in your brainstorming into seven steps.

That’s not set in stone. You may not be able to get everything done in seven steps, so maybe you would have eight or nine steps. Or maybe you can cover it in six steps or five steps. So somewhere between five to nine steps, but aim for seven. You may be able to combine some of those steps to make a chapter or split up a step if it looks like it would take longer than the other chapters.

While having done that then you can come up with a basic book. So you may have a little attention-getting introduction at the beginning of your book. But then in your first chapter, you will be introducing the problem, and then it’s a good idea to agitate the problem. For example, “What will life be like if we don’t solve this problem?”

This will get the reader wanting to look at the book and the steps that it will take to solve his problem.

Making progress.
Making progress.

Chapter Two

Then, in chapter two, describe the plan. You’re going to go into detail with the plan in chapter two. Give a brief description of the plan and what they can look forward to in the rest of the book.

Chapters 3 – 9 (ish)

Then chapters three through nine, especially if you had the seven steps as your perfect number, describe the steps. Those would be your chapters three through nine.

Finishing Up

Finally, you come to chapter 10. There, you will summarize and visualize what life is like with the solution to the problem and give the reader the next step.

That’s how to come up with your basic how-to book. These are simple steps to get started.

Roadmap to Success

Now, my roadmap to success in coming up with a great book is to follow these four steps:
1. Come up with a basic book like I just described.
2. Make your basic book, your a good book, a great book. A fabulous book. Take a period of time, (not too long) maybe a month or so. to make your good book, a fabulous book. You will do this by adding stories and examples from your own life. Look at other books in your field. See if you’ve left anything out. If you have then you could add some chapters. You will have trimmed your book and then you will have expanded your book. Then you’ll go back through the editing process again and trim it until you have it where you want it to be.
3. Step three is publishing your book. We will look at the different options for publishing books. There are basically three options for publishing. I guarantee that you can get a book published in this day and age.
4. The fourth is to monetize that book. Get royalties off of it. However, there are also other ways of getting income from a book.

Roadmap to success in writing.
Roadmap to success in writing.

So I urge you to write a basic how-to book and then turn it into a fabulous book. A book that will help others and a book that will fulfill you.

New Coaching Opportunity for You

I also want to let you know about a cool new coaching program that I have, instead of a traditional coaching program which has set times maybe an hour or so per week where we meet together, you can now have unlimited access to me where I coach you using support just like this.

Now the price of this program is much lower than my normal coaching program, and there’s a reason for that. It’s because you can reach out to me and I can reply to you at any time of day. That’s convenient for each of us. This helps my calendar not be so full, allows me to have more time for my own personal writing projects, and it allows me to get back to you within one business day.

I'm offering a new coaching opportunity!
I’m offering a new coaching opportunity!

Plus, you can do it not just once a week, but throughout the week. You would think that unlimited that would cost more, but not actually because it does help free up my calendar.

If you’d like more details on this, just let me know. I’d be happy to make a quick video personally explaining my programs.

How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less
How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less

Well if you would like more tips like these, then click here to be taken to Randy’s Blogs. If you would like a book that explains the writing process. in great depth, click to get my book “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death” on Amazon.

I’m Randy Carney wishing you the best. I want to remind you that YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK!

Writing Your First Book – 8 Tips to Get Started

Tips for writing your first book

In this post, I’m going to talk about writing your first book: eight ideas to get started

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Writing your first book: eight ideas to get started.

All right, ideas to get you started.

Will Your First Book Be Fiction or Nonfiction?

Will your first book be fiction or nonfiction?
Your first decision for your first book

First of all, figure out what kind of book you want to write. Do you want it to be fiction? Or do you want it to be nonfiction?

Length

Secondly, figure out how long you want your book to be. When I say how long you want it to be, I mean, what is the length of the book is it that you want to write? You can look at books in your genre and see how long they are.

Newer books are shorter than they have been in the past. Since you’re writing for the first time, that may be good news for you. It keeps you from being intimidated by the number of words that you need to write.

As a general rule of thumb, it should be somewhere between 100-200 pages.

Now is the time to figure out how many chapters the book will be, as well. An easy way to do that is to use a number anywhere between 6 and 10 and divide that by the total number of pages in the book. That will give you the approximate number of chapters your book will be. For example: divide a 100-page book by 6 (pages). That would tell you that you need 16 or 17 chapters in that case. Further, If you divide a 200 page book by 8 (pages), you will come up with 25 chapters.

If It’s Nonfiction

If your book is nonfiction, figure out a problem and figure out eight steps to the solution.

Now, these are not hard and fast ideas, but general guidelines. So figure out eight steps to the solution.

It’s like you’re on one side of a stream and you’re trying to get to the other side. You have stepping stones that will help you to get across to the solution on the other side.

The options are endless!
The options are endless!

If It’s Fiction

If your book is fiction, you still will want to present a problem. Have a main character who has a problem that he or she needs to be solved. In order to get to the solution, they go on a journey. On that journey, they may come across a guide.

Many times the guide will be someone who has successfully completed the same journey or someone who will help your main character to bear the journey. If that’s the case, then the guide will challenge them to action.

If they don’t have a guide then it will be the situation that will challenge them to action.

So you have a character with a problem, and either a guide or a challenge of some kind.

Then you want to place obstacles along the way for your hero or heroine. It looks like they’re going to succeed and then it looks like they’re going to fail and so forth. Add in some ups and downs. They will go through those until they reach the ultimate victory that you had in mind.

A more in-depth blog about writing fiction can be found here.

So that was the fourth idea.

Method of Writing

The fifth idea is to figure out your method for writing.

Now if you are pretty good at writing, just do regular writing. That is where you sit down and you write sentences and paragraphs and just keep going until you have your rough draft done.

There are some other methods, however, that you might want to consider. Some of these are even faster!

What method you use is up to you
What method you use is up to you

You can come up with a list of questions, and you can have someone interview you and record the interview. Then you could have it transcribed.

Another option is to speak your book: you could do a speech about each chapter and then have that transcribed. It’s not all that expensive to do nowadays.

In fact, there’s a program that is called Otter.ai. With that program, you can have a certain number of words per month transcribed for free. So you can speak your book and have it transcribed.

Using that method, you’ll have to clean it up because your written speech will be different from your spoken speech. But you can do that.

There’s also dictation software. When you do that, you speak your book but you do have to speak in the punctuation like commas and periods. Sometimes though, you can do a combination of both. I do this sometimes using dictation software. I will also use the return key instead of saying. “New line.”

Any way you choose to write is fine, just figure out what method you’re going to use to write your book.

So now you have figured out what kind of book you want to write. You’ve figured out a problem or problems to be solved, either in fiction or nonfiction. You’ve decided how you’re going to write.

Write Every Day

Now the key is to write every day except maybe Sunday or Saturday and Sunday. Figure out what your workdays are, and write each of those days.

There are two methods of doing this. The first one has time as the constant and the number of words is the variable.

So when time is the constant, you’ll set a timer and you write for a specified period of time, and when the timer goes off, you either put ellipses there or you hurriedly finish up your thought along that line.

Write every day.
Write every day.

Then you go to the next timed section. I have found great success in writing in five-minute segments, sometimes six-minute segments, and sometimes as much as 10-minute segments. Whatever time segment you use, just set a timer and write. I like this method.

The other method is to have the number of words as a constant. That means that time is going to be the variable. So if you have the number of words as a constant, then you know how many words per day you’re going to write. Are you going to write 500 words a day? 750 words a day? 1000 words a day? 2000 words a day? Maybe even 3250 words a day?

Figure that out and write that number of words every day.

Rough Draft

The next idea is to get the rough draft done. You can’t edit something unless you have something to edit.

Now for some people, writing the whole rough draft first just drives them crazy because they are really perfectionists, and they want to have a good product the first time. Well, the way to do that is to write quickly one day, the next day, start off going back over what you wrote the day before, and do the editing there. That will satisfy most people who really like editing as they go along.

After that, then you would have either your timed session or you would have your session where you’re going to complete your number of words.

But at any rate, get the rough draft done.

Edit and Publish

Once you’ve done that, you can get into the deeper edit. You can get in and put in more interest factors or you can get into tweaking it to your delight. Keep going till it turns out how you would have it to be.

So the final step is to edit it to the best of your ability or decide whether you want to hire an editor and have it done that way.

Edit and publish.

If you’re going to Self Publish then, of course, you’re at that step already. But if you are using a traditional publisher, you’re going to have a professional editor going over your book.

Even when you’re self-publishing many times you will want to hire an editor who will go over the book for you.

Summing it up
Summing it up

Here you have eight ideas for writing your first book.
Figure out what kind of book you want to write.
Figure out what length of book you want.
If your book is nonfiction present a problem, and come up with eight steps to the solution. It could be 6,7,9, or 10 but try for eight steps to the solution.
If it is fiction, you need a character who has a problem and meets the guide who challenges him or her to make a change and solve that problem. Include some obstacles along the way and then give your character the final victory.
Figure out your method for writing. Do you just sit down and write with just regular writing? Or is it better for you to maybe speak your book and have it transcribed? Or would it be good for you to learn how to use dictation software? Maybe you can think of another method that you could use to write your book. Then get a rough draft.
Finally, edit and publish.

The best resource for writing a book!
The best resource for writing a book!

Well, I hope these ideas have been helpful for you. For more tips on writing, go to my blog at www.randysblogs.com and look for the “writing” tab. For the best advice and resources, check out my book on Amazon: “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death.”

Always remember, you can write a book!

Writing Fiction Step by Step

Today I’m going to be talking about writing fiction step by step. I want to talk about basically five steps that you can take in order to write your fiction books or stories.

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The first step has to do with characters, the second one has to do with types of stories, the third one has to do with where you’re going with it, the fourth one has to do with obstacles, and the last one has to do with tying it all together.

Step One – Characters

Step one is determining your characters. Of course, you will have the main character; a hero or heroine. It’s good if you can also display some flaws within that character.

Then you will have a villain or a villainess. It’s good to make that character more complex. Try to show something good about that character.

include a guide to help your main character succeed
include a guide to help your main character succeed.

You may sometimes, not always, have a guide in the story who helps the main character become the hero or learn the techniques of becoming the hero. Think about the story of The Karate Kid. He had a guide who helped him to learn karate. In Star Wars you had Yoda who was a guide to Luke Skywalker. Gandalf in Lord of was a guide along the way. You may not have that but often it is good if you can include it.

So first of all, you will determine your characters.

Step Two – Types of Stories

Secondly, you will determine what types of stories you’re going to be writing. These are stories within the story. I have mentioned them before. If you haven’t watched some of the previous videos or read the blogs, I encourage you to do that.

There is the external story that deals with the circumstances that can be seen. It has to do with the setting where the character is and it has to do with the external problems that can be seen.

But then there is often an internal story where the main character has his or her own struggles. The hero may save the world but he also may save himself. In Christian circles, he would not be saving himself but he would find salvation through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But an internal story that may be going on even without the religious overtones that are just part of life. Internal struggles that the main character would have some victory over as well as a resolution to the external problems.

Then a third is a story within the story, which may not take up a whole lot of space, which will be an overarching concept of that story. That is a philosophical story. An example I would give would be that you have good versus evil. Most of us in the Western world would say that good triumphs over evil. Most of us who have heard the fairy tale stories, like happy endings.

You don’t have to have that third one explicitly stated. It may not even be on your mind. But in many cases, you do have these three types of stories. So you have to develop your characters. You figure out what types of stories you’re going to write and

Step Three – Climax of the Story

The climax is where it all comes together for your main character.
The climax is where it all comes together for your main character.

Next, you need to figure out the climax of the story. This is where you have the resolution of the problem. You might even write out that chapter first, or at least rough it out, although you do not have to do that. But you do have to know where you’re going and sort of how the problem is going to be resolved before you flesh out the words dealing with the climax and the resolution to the problem.

Now you say well, you skipped a step. Well. when you’re writing it, yes. But it’s best to know where you’re going when you start. Some writers don’t do that. They just paint a problem and keep going until finally, they figure out what the resolution is. But it’s much easier to write towards a resolution.

So you have your characters, figure out the types of stories, and you figure out what the climax of the story is going to be.

Step Four – Obstacles

Next, you need to figure out some obstacles along the way. As you’re writing, you may come up with more obstacles than what you had originally planned and that is fine. But you should plan for some obstacles and some little victories for the hero to have along the way. Problems and victories.

So your main character may get this one thing resolved, but then there is a new problem. Then he gets that resolved, but there comes a new problem. Each time, though, there’s a little bit of progress toward the resolution of the story.

Add obstacles to make the story more gripping.
Add obstacles to make the story more gripping.

Or, it may be a continual descent until one great moment of triumph where the hero rises above it all. Either way, you want to have obstacles along the way. Most fiction writing has obstacles, so you want to include some of those.

Step Five – Epilogue

The last thing would be the epilogue. You don’t have to plan this out in advance, and you don’t even have to title it “Epilogue.” But after the resolution of the story or climax, you probably do want to go back and explain some of the things that weren’t clear. and tie the loose ends together.

Including an epilogue can be helpful in tying up the story.
Including an epilogue can be helpful in tying up the story.

So there you have a great story.

Writing Fiction Step by Step

Determine who your characters will be.
Think about what types of stories you will be telling within the main story: What is the external story? What is the internal story? Possibly, what is the philosophical story?
Determine the climax: How is this problem ultimately going to be resolved?
Then you determine some obstacles along the way.
After you have written your story and have come to the resolution that the story you can tie the loose ends together and you have produced a great piece of fiction.

The book!
The book!

Well, I hope this is helpful to you. I would encourage you to go to Amazon and look for “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death.” As my friend Tim Parton says, “Go buy it now. Go get it now.” With that book, you will get much more information similar these tips about how to write fiction.

Another way to get more tips like these, is to visit my blog here to read more about writing.

I would also encourage you to subscribe to my YouTube channel and/or my Rumble channel. There are a lot of videos on both of them. If, in the future for some reason, one might get taken off one of those platforms there will still be on the other platform.

I hope you have a great day. Until next time, I wish you the best and remember, YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK!

Rules for Writing Fiction

I hope you’re having a great day. Let’s talk about rules for writing fiction. I guess you could say these are Randy’s informal rules for writing fiction.

Walking with Randy Video

I have written a longer fiction book, which I have not published yet, but most of my fiction writing involves providing illustrations for sermons and other nonfiction writing. However, I have picked up a lot of tips along the way.

Rules for Writing Fiction
Rules for Writing Fiction

1. There Are No Rules

Rule number one: remember there are no rules. In other words, you can be creative. Have fun as you’re thinking about fiction. You may come up with a new technique that many people in the future will be following. So first of all, there are no rules.

2. To Your Own Self Be True

Rule number two: to your own self be true. This should take a lot of pressure off as you’re getting ready to write fiction. Just have fun as you’re doing it.

Your story can be a reflection of yourself
Your story can be a reflection of yourself

3. Balance Being True to Yourself & Finding Out What Readers Like

Even though there are no hard and fast rules for writing fiction, you want to balance being true to yourself and finding out what readers like. Well, that is if you want to make money from your writing, or if you want to have a wider audience for your fiction writing.

Then balance being true to yourself, but also do market research. Find out what people like, and then do a lot of reading yourself. Find out what you like in fiction writing

4. GO! When You’re on a Roll

Number four: go when you’re on a roll. When you’re writing, there are those days when it’s just coming easily and just so much fun. On days like those, just keep the words flowing. Now, I would encourage you to have a goal to get the story finished. Get it done.

You may be very analytical and a perfectionist, and you may edit every day. Well, that’s fine, but I would encourage you to be sure that you get your story written down.

While you’re on a roll, just go with it. Don’t worry about correcting everything; even if you’re one of those perfectionists. Then at the end of your writing session for the day, you can go back through and do the editing.

When you're on a roll, keep going!
When you’re on a roll, keep going!

Now many of us, or at least some of us, can do well by just going through and getting the entire project done and then going back and doing the editing. But either way, daily editing or editing when you’re all done will work. But when you’re on a roll, go with it! That’s when writing is the most fun: when you’re inspired.

Although if you force yourself to have a daily goal, several weeks later, you may look back and not be able to figure out which days you were on a roll and which days you just did the discipline of getting the words down on paper. That always amazes me.

5. Find a Good Editor

Rule number five in my unofficial rules for writing fiction is to find a good editor or learn the skill yourself. It really depends on how you’re going about doing it. If you’re going to be self-publishing, then you can either find a good editor editor, or you can learn the skill yourself.

It may be that you’re already good in certain areas. For example, you may be good at proofreading or you may be good with punctuation and grammar. If not, then you may need to find someone to help you. So you need to either find a good editor or learn the skill yourself.

Now as far as the flow of the story, and the overall theme of the story, you are the best editor for your own book. You know it inside out. You know the message that you want to be presented.

6. Develop Interesting Characters

Number six: develop interesting characters. How can you make your characters interesting? Well, they’re interesting to you. That’s the first clue. But you can start by developing a certain type of character. To build interesting characters, you will want them to have some flaws, a backstory, some quirks, and an inner struggle. So the sixth rule for writing fiction is to develop interesting characters.

7. Have a Goal

Rule number seven: have a goal. The story is going somewhere. You’re trying to save the world: you’re trying to solve a problem, you’re trying to get somewhere in the story. You want to have a goal.

Write your story with an ultimate goal in mind
Write your story with an ultimate goal in mind

You also will want to have obstacles to that goal. Include the ups and downs and overcoming of obstacles.

Of course, you want to have an ultimate victory, or at least those of us in the Western world want to have an ultimate victory. Like the old fairy tale genre, we want to have happy endings.

As I said earlier, there are no rules. You can do it differently. But these are Randy’s rules for writing fiction.

8. Have an External & Internal Story

The last “rule” is to have an external story and an internal story. The external story involves the circumstances, the settings, and things you can see outwardly taking place in the story.

Then the internal story involves the struggles that are within the main character or some of the other characters. It’s good if you have these elements in your stories.

One More Suggestion

An additional idea is to add a philosophical point to your story. That is if a certain philosophy is important to you. Again, remember, there are no rules for writing fiction. An example of a philosophical story is, “Good overcomes evil.” You may have a philosophy like that that you want to present, even though you’re writing fiction.

Well, those are my eight rules for writing fiction, plus a bonus suggestion.
There are no rules
To your own self be true
Balance, being true to yourself with finding out what readers want
Go! when you’re on a roll,
Find a good editor or learn the skill yourself
Develop interesting characters
Have a goal
Have an external and internal story
BONUS: Add a philosophical point

Helpful tool
Helpful tool

I hope these eight rules for writing fiction will be helpful for you. For more tips like these, go to the top of the blog and click on “writing“. Or, go to Amazon and get my book “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death”.

Until next time, I’m Randy Carney and I want you to remember YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK!

Tips for Writing Fiction

Tips for writing fiction

Hello everyone. I’ve been away for a while but I’m back! Today I’m going to give you some tips for writing fiction.

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In the past, I have talked about the power of a story and the hero’s journey.

Hero’s Journey

The hero’s journey was first developed by a man named Joseph Campbell, and it involved about 12 steps. Down through the ages, many writers have used those techniques and have changed the number of steps in the story of the hero’s journey, making it less than 12 steps.

Donald Miller’s Approach

Donald Miller
Donald Miller

Here, I want to talk about Donald Miller’s story brand. He has utilized the techniques of the story for marketing and businesses and branding them. So he’s combining techniques of fiction and using them as nonfiction marketing for business. but we’re talking about writing fiction again.

He has boiled it down to seven steps. Those seven steps can be found in a single sentence.

Hero's journey by Donald Miller
Donald Miller’s Hero’s Journey

Now I’ll break down each part of the sentence.

Step 1 – Someone

This is a character. Of course, you want characters in your story. The main character is your hero.

Your main character can be anyone!
Your character can be anyone!

Step 2 – Has a Problem

So someone (your main character or hero) has a problem. This problem can be an external problem. That’s something you see, a situation that the person is in, or the circumstances that are around him or her. It could be an internal problem that the hero or the heroine faces. Those are the thoughts that are going inside the individual. He also talks about a philosophical problem. For example, good versus evil, with good triumphing over evil of course.

Step 3 – Meets a Guide

You’ll see a lot of fiction stories where the main character will meet up with someone who’s had the problem before and come through and is able to guide him or her to success.

Step 4 – A Plan

The plan
The plan

So someone who has a problem meets a guide, who gives them a plan. Maybe there’s some training that goes on. Think about the movie The Karate Kid where he’s painting a fence and he’s doing all kinds of things he doesn’t understand. But, later on, that training will help him to solve his problem. So, the guide has a plan and then the hero is challenged to utilize this plan.

Step 5 – Call to Action

This is where you’ll see the ups and downs. In most fiction stories or screenplays, the character is going on the journey towards success but they have a lot of ups and downs that they face.

Step 6 – Avoiding Failure

The call to action in step five helps the hero to avoid failure. There are obstacles in the way but the hero keeps working to conquer those obsticles.

Step 6 – Success

The hero keeps working the plan and overcoming the obsticales in his path and the journey finally ends and success.

You can see how these seven steps here in Donald Miller’s story brand can be used very well in writing your fiction stories.

How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less WIthout Stressing Yourself to Death
How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less

I pray that you would utilize the seven steps to write a good story of your own. If you’d like more tips like these, just find the “writing” tab on the blog here. Beter yet, for a more in-depth discussion on wrting, go to Amazon and get my book “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death.”

Until next time, I’m Randy Carney, and I want to remind you that YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK!