15 STEPS TO WRITING YOUR BOOK
Writing a story doesn’t just happen overnight. It takes time and how long is dependent on you and your commitment to seeing it through. My first complete novel took me roughly six weeks to write, this includes starting all over again and rewriting the outline. Sometimes, you might think you have it all figured out but the basic thing is that it starts with an idea and when you’ve got it,
Stick to the story idea
When thinking of what to write about, trust me, there would be loads of different ideas screaming, “Pick me! Pick me!” and if that doesn’t happen, friends and family would be telling you things they think you ought to write about. The plan is to stick to a story idea and with that, start running and …
There are various ways to outlining a book. I love the snowflake method, which I personally call the developmental method. It opens your imagination like a flower awakening to the morning sun. I would be posting about this next week and you would find a link right here on a simpler way on how to outline your first or next book. The next thing to do is to
Schedule time to write
If it’s important, you would create time. You can write a thousand words every day, or three thousand words. Choose a number, pick a time of the day or the number of hours you must sit to write daily. Stick to it and in no time you would be
Creating your first draft (no edits)
This is a tricky stage. If you are looking to writing a lengthy book, your first draft should contain the basic from beginning to the end. You can decide to chapter it, or name them – this depends on your outlining. In this stage, avoid editing whatever you have written. Leave everything as it is and then take another bold step to
Rewrite your first draft
At this stage, you are to make mini edits. Add more words, action, dialogue and setting. This is where the story or book begins to form. If it is a non-fiction book, begin adding references and if possible, more title or topics you know you should cover but haven’t covered, share links containing the drafts to friends with ideas in that topic and then you have a second draft.
Go through your second draft
Flesh it up. Add more to it, make it real. Show, don’t tell and you can keep on fleshing until you feel you have exhausted all the ideas in your head. Then you move to
Take a Break, Let it Sit
It has been an interesting journey yeah? Now is not the time to edit, it is time for you to take time out to free your brain. You can both completely forget you have written something awesome or you think about it and write ideas to be added or deleted in your sticky notes. This period lasts within a week to a year – it depends on you. You could also use this period to draft another story. This process makes your eyes fresh and different when you decide to look at your work again and begin to
I would be writing more on this too in a few week’s time but this is the point where you go through the errors on your own with fresh eyes. You review the development of the character/story. You really do not want to send off your book immediately to an editor because they would naturally lighten your pocket to do your job. So, I advice printing it out and using a red pen to edit while doing this,
Decide on a title
Your title is dependent on a lot of things. The story, the character, the plot, the epiphany, the problem, so many things! You might be lucky and already know what you are sticking with, but make sure it is catchy and it is something your readers can relate to or understand if they put their mind to it …slightly.
Send to An Editor
Around the point where you are thinking of the title, you can send to an editor. I would be posting about this too and would be sharing a link. Good books are edited professionally, whether they are to be sold or not. It’s all about your image as an author as they would forget your book title, but they would never forget the author and what was written.
Design a book cover
While waiting for feedback from your editor, it is time to design the book cover! Another selling point. Please don’t create one by yourself, especially if it is to be sold. I would also be posting more about this soon.
Go through your editor’s edits
Once you get your editor’s edits, please go through them and know what you’re sticking with and what you’re disposing of. You would still have to make some slight edits as no one is perfect and your editor might not get your jokes or what makes the story so special to you. Good editors leave you to decide.
Format and layout your book
You’re looking at an ebook or hardcopy? Give it to your graphics designer to sort out or download templates and save in the proper format.
Get an ISBN number, print copies and ensure you run through enough samples and have everything right. If it’s an eBook, upload to your preferred site or publisher.
Congratulations! You’re almost done.
Promote & Market
There are so many ways to promote and market your books; from social media to guest blogging, to advance readers copies, to reviews, to book tours, to book clubs, book trailers, sponsored ads, giveaways, and a whole lot.
I would be sharing my journey later as I am still in the process.
Bonus – Repeat
Start writing the next story.
Thank you for reading and I hope I have helped in your writing journey. I will be expecting your responses and stories
Life of a Lagos Single Sister (Endless Search)
Life of a Lagos Single Sister
Fast forward tertiary education and boom! Life happened! Like an unprepared Contestant at a beauty Pageant, you find yourself single and confused.
Everyone appears to be making it, while you barely exist. Everyone applauds your youth but that seems to be your only major achievement- young graduate.
‘You are young and bright. You have the energy, time and resources at your disposal. Give life your best…’- This and many more, they tell you but you are tired of such sermons.
You reach out to people, those you think can help but rather than highlight pointers for you, they make life a whole lot difficult-
‘Ah, my dear, this life is not easy o. You have to fight to win. Just keep doing the ‘right things’, I trust you. You’ll Make it.’
You are not too excited because that was not why you reached out in the first place.
Well, it is what it is. You try to be rational and explain away the responses you got. You tell yourself-
‘Uncle tszhhytbhytne probably has a lot on his mind. He is probably too busy. I shouldn’t blame him.’
You are back to your initial search and struggle for your life’s essence. You invest in your mental development and work yourself out.
You want to be self made – or so you think. You work, work and work some more.
It’s 10:00pm and you are still on your way home. It has become a daily routine. You are tired but you know you mustn’t give up. You reminisce on your days activities and you are not satisfied with all you had achieved.
You sigh, it’s another night. You promise yourself to push yourself harder the next day.
You close your eyes. You soak in your environment and breathe- You never cease to Breathe…
‘This too shall pass,
This too shall pass,
This too shall pass…’
This has become your life- Yes, you- the Lagos Single Sister…
Your love, now and always
Mercy Oluwafemi Adeniyi
All stories do come to an end.
And so has FIREBURST.
The 3 weeks long duel which kicked started with 16 writers have pulled the curtain with one champion emerging tops.
A hearty congrats to Mercy Adeniyi for an admirable performance.
We also congratulate all other participants
Coxson Ibinabo Benedicta, Sonia Ayisa, Amara Chidinma Ezediniru, Vicky Bon Uzuazor, Adebisi Temidayo, Innocent Chikweremundu, Mazi Chikelu Chino, Raphael Francis, Chinedu Nzere, Azubogu Ogochukwu, Ahanonu Christian, Adekunle Adeniyi, Ayomipo Ademilusi, Choolwe Writes.
You are all winners.
Gratitude to the impartial judges: Robert Cook(U.S.A), Gloria Ogo(NIGERIA), Ikechukwu Ndibe(NIGERIA)
Organicarticle is a platform that aims to promote education and the reading culture in Africa and Globally. it is an African story blog that accepts writers to display their writing skills too
THE FINAL DUEL
THE FINAL DUEL
For a battle which began with 16 players, today these two pen wielders will draw the curtain with the most rugged of all in the streets.
Let the best lady or man WIN with your votes
A 400-word story …based off the picture below and titled: Through her eyes
The RULES are easy
* Ensure to READ both stories
*Vote the one you think best interprets the picture.
Vote only ONE story
* No cajoling for votes. DO NOT influence public opinion.
* Feel free to LIKE, SHARE & TAG
Through Her Eyes…
‘You are despicable, devilish and I curse the day I met you!. I’ve known no peace ever since you came into my life! It’s trouble today and unrest tomorrow! I pray you rot in hell because that’s where the likes of you deserve to live for the rest of your miserable life!.’
He stormed out of the room, angry.
If only he knew why his wife acted the way she did. But how would he? How could anyone see Jasmine for who she was? Everyone was eager to judge but no one was willing to wear the shoes of another.
It is he who wears the shoes that know where it hurts the most. They didn’t care to know and the more she tried to show them, the more they caused her to drown. She had to leave. She picked a few things in the house and walked away from everything she hangs on to for strength. She had to let go…
Jade couldn’t believe his eyes when he got back home. Jasmine left the house with no message or notice of her whereabouts. This lady had messed up his life already, why did she want to hurt him again this night by leaving without a word as to where? Well, she’ll come back to her senses and come back home.
Three days and nothing was heard from Jasmine, she didn’t come back. Jade began to lose it. The police got involved and the search for Jasmine began.
Jade regretted his actions. He had constantly abused his wife emotionally. He thought to exert himself and showing her he was the boss was making a statement as the head of the home. For five years, he berated his wife – the supposed love of his life. Over time, he became the god in the home, while she was nothing but an object- a piece of property. But now, things were changing and he was willing to trade anything just to have her back.
On the fourth day of the search, he was arranging Jasmine’s room when he stumbled on a collection of books – Jasmine’s diary. His discovery was going to change his perspective and he was going to regret treating his wife the way he did.
He saw what life was for his wife for the very first time through her diary.
The discovery killed him…
Through Her Eyes…
1. In your face, I see an epiphany, though the wrinkles are deep. In your eyes that were once a dome of exuberant flashes, are flickers; they fly and flounder. Because they have seen the colour of broken dreams; because they know the bite of salted tears.
You are Mama, whenever I become afraid, I raise a lamp to your face and through your aged eyes, I see love.
2. ‘Nwanyi Crayfish!’
It made me cringe. To know that you would return every day with the smell of crayfish filling the little spaces of our impoverished room. It filled me with dread to hear my teacher say, ‘Nnanna, your mother is coming.’
And I carried this shame to the university. The day you came knocking at Lemon lodge, probably with ukwa and Mangala (my favourite). I took the other door and left you in the rain. Because I was afraid that my mates would know, that the boy who wore elegant suits and spoke impeccable English was the ordinary son of an ordinary crayfish seller.
3. ‘Everyday one wrapper, tufiakwa’
I never knew how deep those words cut you but I said them. I remember. I remember that you stood still for a minute and then ran into the house. I thought you went for a cane or something until I heard your cry, loud and spasmodic—the ululation of bitterness; it must have felt like losing a child.
4. ‘If papa was here’
I wish you had called me a fool the night I opened my shit eating mouth to say that. I was foolish not to see that you were the gentle river that ran deep.
I spent my eighteenth birthday inside the cell of CPS Onitsha.
I was in a cramped room, with other boys who smoked marijuana and some others who rolled dice for money. They came and bundled us into their Black Maria. I thought I would die.
But Mama came. They said that you made a bed with your wrapper and cried like a mad woman. They said that you rolled in the dirt and would go nowhere. They said that you were screaming, ‘I am a widow! He is the only thing I have left.’
So they let me go. That night you nursed my bruises with a piece of cloth and hot water. And I slept in your arms like a day old.
In your face, I see a web of silver yarns. Your skin is hanging loose and your back is bent. What is left of your gaunt frame is a bunch of bones stuck in an ebbing flesh.
But you are no longer the woman I despised. When I look through your eyes, the only thing I see is the spirit of a kindred, warm and luminous; full of the love that will remain long after you are gone.
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