How to write a book… | Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

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How to Write a Book by Sue Vincent


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Fantastic article written by Sue Vincent — Writing and Editing from our own perspective


There are more books being written and published at this moment in time than ever before. Self publishing has opened the doors to a global sharing of imagination and knowledge, but when you pick up the proverbial pen for the very first time, it can seem a daunting task. How do you start, where does it end… and how can you define success?

There are a plethora of resources available online to help writers start, explore or hone their craft. It matters not at all what you are looking for, there is something available. Whether you want to know how to write the vilest of villains or avoid creating a histrionic heroine,  advice, good, bad and indifferent is easily located thanks to the power of the internet.

Most of this advice, it is true, is aimed at writers of fiction. There is a tendency to generalise and the term ‘book’ seems very often to come with the unwritten corollary that ‘we are talking about fiction here’. Writers of non-fiction, or of fictionalised fact, find themselves at a bit of a disadvantage where the general advice is concerned, especially as they tend to fall outside the accepted genres. Anyone who fails to fit into the genre mould or, heaven-forfend, chooses to mix them up a little, is seen as a bit odd, to say the least. As if they are more likely to sit down with a vampire for an in-depth discussion of parasitic morality and the best ways of growing garlic, than they are to offer them a passing virgin for tea.

Even research has changed. It is no longer exclusively the preserve of those happy to spend hours poring over dusty tomes… an unsafe practice at best for writers who have, as a species, a tendency to get lost in their pages. All it takes, these days, is a few clicks of the mouse and a world of knowledge opens in front of your eyes.

Grammar and punctuation may be corrected and polished by both the well-researched writer and the many programmes that are out there… though my own opinion of them is equivocal. Commas, like salt, may be sprinkled to taste while debates rage about the use of the Oxford variety.

You can learn all the rules and break them with impunity as long as you have found your own peculiar voice as a writer… except where spelling is concerned. There, you must conform, but the digital documents you create will nudge you in the right direction… sometimes. Unless the typo is a real, if misplaced, word. Or until it decides you should be using American English whether you like it or not. It is bad enough proof reading a manuscript in your own language, without having to check to see whether or not autocorrect decided to teach you another.

Then, when you have completed the book, done the editing, proofed it, rewritten and agonised over it, polished and proofed it again, you find that there is so much excellent, and often conflicting, advice out there about what to do next. You have to learn about marketing and promotion. You are reminded that cover designs and layout must be decided upon, you should think about getting a professional editor and sending the book to beta-readers… but the most important reader of all is usually dismissed as being unfit for the job.


It is true that writers generally make terrible editors and proofreaders of their own work. Continue Reading , . 


Source: How to write a book… | Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

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  1. Thanks for sharing, Debby xx

  2. Great start. I’m off to read the rest.

    1. Great Jacqui! P.S. I emailed Andrew yesterday, still no reply.

  3. A lovely post. Thanks for sharing, Debby. Sue has a wonderful way of reflecting on all the pieces of life. <3

    1. She really does Diana. Glad you enjoyed it. 🙂 xx

  4. Great and meaningful share Deb, Thanks! Sue is a wonderfully prolific writer and an inspiration for many. 🙂

    1. She sure is B. I’m so glad you enjoyed! 😉 x

  5. Very good advice from Sue Debby. 🙂

    1. I thought so too Sue. 🙂 xx

  6. Such a great write about the ups and down of writing a book!

    1. So glad you enjoyed it Christy! <3

  7. I absolutely loved this post. I read it when Sue first posted it a bit ago. It’s brilliant. Thanks for sharing. It’s a must-read.

    1. Me too Sarah. I felt compelled to share it. 🙂 xx

  8. A lovely share, Debby. Sue always writes the most interesting articles.

    1. Thanks Robbie. Yes, Sue is a beautiful writer. 🙂

  9. I try to get over to Sue’s blog often, but I managed to miss this one. Heading over to finish reading as soon as I say thanks to you for bringing it to my attention.

    1. I need to put myself to BED – lol (after 5AM here and I’m still online). Only when I saw the post on Sue’s blog did it all come flooding back to my sleepy brain. I not only read it, I commented on it! ::sheesh::

      1. Lol, of course you did! Yes, that means get more sleep M. 🙂 xx

        1. Even if that means sleeping much of the next day away. 🙂

    2. It happens to all of us. I’ll be halfway down a blog post when I sense familiarity. Now as soon as I sense that I’ll first scroll to the ‘like’ and if I see my own avatar there, that’s confirmation I’ve been there. Good trick! 🙂 xx

      1. Those of us who read a lot of blogs tend to “forget” what we have already seen. (even worse with movies for my brain – lol)

        The “like” trick doesn’t always work for me, however. I often like from the Reader so I can click from my sidebar “liked posts” to read and comment (kind of like a bookmark).

        1. Oh right. I keep forgetting about the reader. I don’t use it, so good point. 🙂 xx

          1. Like a lot about the blogging format — good things and bad things about that Reader, but it works for me in the manner in which I use it. Others prefer email notifications – which you already know drive me nutty(er). 🙂

          2. Well, I guess that’s where we’re different (unusual, lol) not that I like my inbox filled up but I can visually see who the posts are from without searching the reader and delete as I go, also delete those I’ve already read before I got the notification. I like to call it ‘organized chaos’ LOL 🙂 xxx

          3. I’d have to open yet another email address just for WordPress notifications (and pray that the e-marketers don’t follow me there). I get so MUCH of that hateful stuff it would be tough for me to separate the sheep from the goats.

          4. Let me tell you, it’s an art to manipulate! 🙂 xx

          5. I stand in your shadow.

          6. You stand beside me. <3

          7. Some days – and about some things – but if I could accomplish everything you manage to do I’d be fat and happy, as they say. Probably wealthy too! 🙂

          8. I have to laugh. Fat is what I’m always fighting, and wealthy I am not, lol. And you under-estimate yourself. You are a powerhouse! 🙂<3

          9. Hardly. I have a serious case of helpers’ disease. lol

          10. Oh, ok, now I know we’re like Sistahs! 🙂 🙂 xx

          11. Like we needed more to tell us that? 🙂
            xx, mgh

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