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How to write a book (10 things every book needs)

Greetings fellow mammals!

Writing a book is hard. There’s so much you need to figure out in order to write something that makes sense. Often it can get overwhelming reading all the things you need and different ways to do each step of the process.

Here’s a quick checklist of 10 things everything a book needs.

The idea

The hook

The characters

The plot

The subplot

The setting

The villain

The plot twist

The climax

The resolution

Sit down with a notebook and create your own world. Let your imagination run free and explore endless possibilities.

1. The idea

Every book starts with an idea a small spark of imagination. The question is what will happen in your book? Is there something you fell compelled to write about? Can you not get the thought of a music box out of your head? Perhaps you can write a book about an acorn? (An acorn that hides the secret to unfathomable magic)

Get comfortable and write down every thought you have about your idea. (Once you have an idea research the genre you want to write in)

2. The hook

What about your book is going to make someone want to read it? Give your reader a reason to not put the book down.

If you cannot decide on a hook look at your favorites stories. What about them stands out to you? Is it the setting? Is there a mystery? A character with magic or special abilities? Are there monsters? Dragons? Elves? Aliens? Ghosts? Mythical creatures?

What about the world your story tales place ot makes it different?

3. The characters

Who is your story about? Will you write from one person’s perspective or multiple people? What will the main character’s goal be? What challenges will the character face? Who will the side characters be? How will they advance the plot? Will the main character change for better or worse? What will the main character have to sacrifice?

4. The plot

The plot is the most important thing when writing fiction. Without a plot you have no story. Take you time to decide what will happen. How it will happen and why it is happening. Explore multiple different possibilities and take your time deciding on what will happen.

5. The subplot

While your main character is trying to achieve the end goal what else is happening? Does a side character discover something about their past? Will the corrupt leader be deposed as they defeat the villain?

Whatever you choose make sure it furthers the main plot of the book. Everything should lead to the end goal.

6. The setting

Where will your story take place? A castle? City? Forest? Mountain? Desert? Another planet? Long ago in the past? A mystical world? A volcano? In the ocean?

What will you characters wear? What food is available? What kind of animal are in your world?

7. The villain

In my opinion this is one of the most important elements of a book. A good book with a poorly written villain drives me nuts. Know why your villain is against the hero. What makes your villain want to pursue this mission?

Remember every villain was once a hero wha changed them?

8. The plot twist

What secret will your hero uncover? What trap has your villain set? What chain of events will this set into motion?

A plot twist is a good way to help your story advance to the climax and throw your reader for a loop. Keep in mind that it has to make sense and further the plot. Everything that happens in your book should further the plot or help your characters grow. You could reveal a secret of uncover a traitor. It can also be helpful to hint at the plot twist once or twice so that it makes sense you come to it.

9. The climax

What epic battle will lead to the conclusion of your manuscript? How will your characters fight for what they believe in and risk death to achieve it?

Don’t worry if you’re not quite sure how your climax will play out when you begin writing. There is also a good chance you will rewrite your climax two, three or twenty times. If your ending doesn’t feel right don’t be afraid to explore alternative endings. Think outside the box and test your characters.

10. The resolution

How will your story end? Will every one live happily ever after? Will there be a cliff hanger? Does everyone die? Will the lovers be together forever?

You don’t need to know what will be on the last page of your book when you start writing. As you write your book really consider how you want this to end. What ending feels right to you? Give your book a conclusion that will leave your readers satisfied.

I hope this helps you write your novel, novella or short story. Until next time fellow mammals!