How do I start writing a book?
Ever wondered where authors get their ideas? Now, you can find out.
The hard work behind every big book happens at the idea stage. A strong idea (almost) writes itself. Publishers routinely pass on 'good' books, in favour of 'stand-out' stories; books that are packing a great hook. 100% of your publishing success comes from 0.001% of your words – the one-line pitch, the big idea.
Now, you can make a strong start with our unique Big Idea course. Award-winning and bestselling authors share the secrets to coming up with a powerful story. You'll start writing your book and in just 21 days you'll have a book in progress. Whether you're a complete beginner who'd like to get started or an experienced writer seeking new inspiration you'll find our exciting course a great way to start writing fiction. At the end of the course, you can book a call with one of our authors to find out whether your idea is ready to roll, writing your book, and the chances of getting published.
Seeking new writers! We're partners to leading literary agencies worldwide who are seeking fresh writing talent and if we love your idea, we'll pull out all the stops to get you an agent and a publishing contract.
Yes, you should start writing a book
1. It's not about the writing
Writing a book does not require education or privilege
Writing is not about the writing, or at least not in the way you think. These days you can get apps that correct grammar and spelling. Nobody ever stayed glued to a book for the complexity of its vocabulary. Writing is about storytelling, and readers and publishers want stories. That's why Stephen King outsells Nabokov on any day of the week. And here's a secret – storytelling can be learned. Hey, guess what, you might just be very good at it. Why not find out?
2. You don't need to be a genius
Writing a book does not need a god-given gift or talent
Writing a novel does not a god-given gift or talent. It's not something you are born with or can or can't do.
It's not something you are born with or can or can't do. It's something you learn, because you want to learn it. Sure, you're going to need to read some books. And here's another secret. Writers learn from other writers. Just like with any craft or trade, they take apprenticeships or courses and work with published writers.
3. You don't need time
There will never be a good time to write a book. The best time is probably now.
That moment when you're in a log cabin in the snow, tapping out a complete novel like an artist possessed with inspiration? That moment won't come. “Whatever you're meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible.” Doris Lessing. You make time. An hour a day for a few months is how many well-known authors got writing. Do what's important to you first in your day, and you're off!
4. You don't need material or life experience
The story doesn't happen to you, you happen to the story
You don't need to be wise and have all the answers. Stories are about questions. One question after another. What happens next? Why did she do that? What will he do to escape? How come there's no door to the house? Will they work out the guy's a villain? A story is not about you. Sure, it may use some of your experience. But a story, like a movie, is about other people. Think of it as you would creating a film in your head. Things change – that's the secret to a story. Simply say what you see. You won't see all the way to 'The End' today, but tomorrow you'll see what happens next. When you write, you write for you, to tell yourself the story.
5. You don't need a big idea right now, today
Ideas – like bestsellers – don't happen by magic, they're created
Ideas happen when you go looking for them. Once you know what you're looking for, you'll soon find a story you can't wait to write.“Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.” John Steinbeck. A good idea almost writes itself because it's 'spring-loaded'. We'll explain what we mean by that and show you the incredibly simple secret to creating a story idea packed with page-turning energy. All you have to do is to open the door to a new world. When you sign up to the Big Idea course, you'll get the key.
“Wow, I just wanted to give a huge thank-you for the 'Big Idea' course. My confidence was low and I was definitely self-excluding. Then one day I saw the Big Idea course and decided to give it a go. The course is great, I've been able to work up an idea I really feel like I can run with but more importantly I have a whole new confidence in myself. ”
Start writing your book today
With the world's best-loved writing school preferred and recommended by leading literary agencies.
Find out what really makes a story succeed. What do you need to pack into your story idea to get published in the current book market? Assemble your big idea and a one-line pitch or hook with the videos and exciting course materials created by our team
You'll leave the course with a book that has every chance of becoming a page-turner. Your story starts here.
The Big Idea
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You'll have access to the course for a year, plenty of time for more than one big idea.
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Getting ready for Nanowrimo?
National Novel Writing Month began in 1999 as a challenge: to write 50,000 words of a novel in thirty days. Each year on November 1, thousands of people begin to write, determined to complete a novel in a month!
It can be very daunting, even overwhelming, but if you're considering taking part then the best approach is to have a good solid story idea in place before you put pen to paper. Get started with our Big Idea course. Or if you'd like to make writing a pleasurable part of your daily life sign up for one of our Book in a Year plan and write to your fullest potential to achieve your ambition.
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