How To Write A Book: 20 Tips from World-Class Authors

    tips from world-class author

    Do you dream of writing a book?

    Maybe you have a great idea but just can’t get started.

    Or maybe you’ve started, but now you’re stuck.

    Whether your book is still just an idea, or whether you’re already writing it, we found some beautiful quotes to inspire you and show you how to write a book.

    Check out these 20 quotes from authors who overcame barriers, and finally finished writing a book.

    1. “Really, when I write a book I’m the only one I have to please. That’s the beauty of writing a book instead of a screenplay.” ~ Elmore Leonard

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    2. “I don’t think there’s a difference between writing for a newspaper or magazine and doing a chapter in a book.” ~ Rick Bragg

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    3. “When one starts writing a book, especially a novel, even the humblest person in the world hopes to become Homer.” ~ Umberto Eco

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    4. “A good writer cannot avoid having social consciousness. I don’t mean this about small pieces of writing, but about a big book. If it’s a big book, there has to be more than one undertow.” ~ Marguerite Young

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    5. “I labored for eight years thinking that I was writing a book for adults that was a nostalgic look back on childhood. Then my publisher informed me I’d written a children’s book.” ~ Jeff Kinney

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    6. “Whenever you’re writing a book or creating a movie or a game, your first task is to get the reader to suspend disbelief, to buy into the logic and boundaries of your world, even though those boundaries might include things like dragons and magic.” ~ R.A. Salvatore

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    7. “When I’m writing a book, sentence by sentence, I’m not thinking theoretically. I’m just trying to work out the story from inside the characters I’ve got.” ~ Salman Rushdie

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    8. “The story drove the book. That had a very seminal effect on the way I saw writing and storytelling. If you can set a character in a story that is compelling and has a backbone, you draw people in.” ~ Dick Wolf

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    9. “One of the things I had to learn as a writer was to trust the act of writing. To put myself in the position of writing to find out what I was writing. I did that with ‘World’s Fair’ as with all of them. The inventions of the book come as discoveries.” ~ E.L. Doctorow

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    10. “To have a successful writing career you must be willing to sacrifice a great deal. The book, the deadline come first before anything else. Writing is not a job; it is a lifestyle, and it is a roller-coaster ride of highs and lows. You need self-confidence and an iron carapace.” ~ Virginia Henley

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    11. “It takes me three months of research and nine months of work to produce a book. When I start writing, I do two pages a day; if I’m gonna do 320, that’s 160 days.” ~ Alan Furst

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    12. “Follow your instincts. Do the kind of writing you love to do and do best. ‘Stiff’ was an oddball book—I mean, a funny book about cadavers?—and I worried that it would be too unconventional. In the end, that’s what has made it a success, I think.” ~ Mary Roach

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    13. “It’s just a matter of writing the kind of book I enjoy reading. Something better be happening at the beginning, and then on every page after, or I get irritated.” ~ Jonathan Franzen

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    14. “It’s important, I think, for a writer of fiction to maintain an awareness of the pace and shape of the book as he’s writing it. That is, he should be making an object, not chattering.” ~ Thomas Perry

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    15. “The characters are always the focal point of a book for me, whether I’m writing or reading. I may enjoy a book that has an intriguing mystery or a good plot, but to become one of my real favorites, it has to have great characters.” ~ Candace Camp

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    16. “Everybody’s idea of a great book is different, of course. For me it’s one that makes my jaw drop on every page, the writing is so original.” ~ Carl Hiaasen

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    17. “When I’m writing a book I prefer not to speak about it, because only when the book is finished can I try to understand what I’ve really done and to compare my intentions with the result.” ~ Italo Calvino

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    18. “I feel like writing a book there’s a version in your head that’s an amazing version, but then you write the version that you can write.” ~ Karen Thompson Walker

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    19. “My favorite part of writing a book is thinking up the ideas, and that can start a long time before I actually sit down at my desk.” ~ Anthony Horowitz

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    20. “I wrote ‘Sophie’s World’ in three months, but I was only writing and sleeping. I work for 14 hours a day when I’m working on a book.” ~ Jostein Gaarder

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    You’re sure to have found some nuggets of gold on how to write a book.

    Good luck on your journey!

    What advice would you give to someone who asked you how to write a book? Please leave a comment below.

    And if you enjoyed this post, share it on social media!

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    About the author

      Mary Jaksch

      Mary Jaksch is best known for her exceptional training for writers at WritetoDone.com. Grab her latest all new course Blogwriter's Bootcamp 2.0 or a copy of her free report, How to Create an Irresistible Lead Magnet in Less Than 5 Hours. In her “spare” time, Mary’s also the brains behind AlistBlogging.net. and GoodlifeZEN.com, a Zen Master, a mother, and a 5th Degree Black Belt.

    • J. Scott says:

      Indeed very inspiring quotes! I know that the task of writing a book can seem overwhelming and it is easy to keep on gyrating over an idea and never get to the execution point. Perhaps if we start viewing a book as being made up of chapters which are in turn made up of pages, we can be able to move the hurdle. I particularly find the quote that one writes two pages a day to come up with a 320 pages book in 160 days so encouraging! I think the only thing we sometimes need is focus. I know it can be discouraging to be told that you just wrote a kids’ book after you are through with what you intended to be an adults’ book. But then again, it is encouraging to know that some of the great authors we know today have been through the same.

    • Braden Bills says:

      I like what Mary Roach said, “Follow your instincts. Do the kind of writing you love to do and do best.” I think that’s really good advice and advice I need to act on. Thanks for all the great quotes!

    • Thanks for contributing your important time to post such an interesting & useful collection of knowledgeable resources, that are always of great need to everyone. Please keep continue sharing.

    • G says:

      I’m still writers blocked……

    • Donna Pruitt says:

      I think that writing is a talent that is complemented – through passion. It is the master key granting access inside ones mind.
      Not only are you able to visualize but you are also able to bring out a hidden mystery. For all readers the one thing I feel that they expect out of a great writer is the unknown.

    • Cris says:

      Awesome collection of quotes 🙂
      The first one is my favorite because it coincides with what I’ve always believed about writing: you do it for yourself and no one else. Sometimes, we just need to get a story out of out heads – otherwise, it will probably drive us nuts!

      Write what you can, and see what comes of it. If it’s good, you’ll know. If it’s not, there’s always another blank sheet of paper.

    • Dr. Bryan says:

      I love the inspirational quotes. Each quote can help a writer focus on the task at hand, which is finding the passion to sit down and type away.

      Great Motivation.

      Dr. Bryan

      • Sharoz says:

        Wow great tips i really liked it and now looking forward to write a book of my own.

    • Joann Vallo says:

      You don’t need to write chapters in sequence. If chapter 17 appears to you when you just finished chapter 3, go ahead and write it. Write the chapters as they appear and then sequence them when you are finished.

    • Gale Tea says:

      There appears to be a typo. I m attempting to write a book; iv got my first 3 chapters sorted; I defiantly have the idea for the plot and my characters personality s and looks are defiantly decided in my head, I am finding it so difficult as to when I should introduce them in, as I feel like I can spend such a long time describing them because I can see what I want them to seem like to others, I understand that we will all have our own take on how a character will look I!

    • Darina says:

      Very inspiring quotes! I will keep them in mind when I am working on my book!

    • Amazing Mary
      Writing is just divine and the quotes you wrote above are really inspiring and interesting.
      I am going to share a few on twitter.
      THanks a lot

    • Writing is not just a task but it is passion. People are die-heart fan of word class top author like Seth Godin, Salman Rushdie, Thomus Perry and so on. These above writing tips are not just good but it will help beginner like me to speed up writing and get motivated.

    • This is so interesting Mary,
      We all need to be seeing these type of quotes from time to time in order to keep going. They’re really awesome sources of inspiration for writers.

      Writing a book is not an easy task but I guess that should be the fun aspect of it. you just have to start from somewhere and before you know it, you become a great writer.

      thanks for sharing.

    • When I’m first writing, chapter by chapter, I’m thinking at the level of the sentence; At this stage, I exchange feedback with the members of my small peer group, offering up each new chapter as I finish it. But as the chapters build up, all based on lovely (edited) sentences, then I have to start thinking at the level of the text. In the end, only a professional structural editor can help me with the whole. That costs money, but it’s indispensable, especially to an unpublished author.

    • Thanks for the great post. I will also try to implement all the steps in future.

    • ThatEllisWoman says:

      I like to think of writing like an extension of reading–it’s exploring a story that hasn’t yet been written down and you get to be the first one to read it.

    • nicolas says:

      When you write a book, it has to come from within you, your mind, your heart, your imagination, you have to let all of that come out and place it on paper, but you have to love what you do, and you have to shape it the way your heart and your mind wants you ti, it might take a couple of drafts, and maybe even more untik you shape the way yoy think is how you saw it in. Your mind and in your heart, its not hard to dream, think and imagine, just write you can do what you want with youre imagination, yes you can, just dream. Nicolas, The teller of tales.

    • Writing a book is like creating characters, and then listening to them tell their stories, or watching them act it out. When you definitively finish writing it, you have to say goodbye, but keep in touch once in a while from a distance.

    • Galin Todorov says:

      To write is to feel, to feel is to believe, and to believe is to imagine. Now, that sentence hardly makes sense to me, but I imagined it, I believed it bore substance — and that because I felt it was right. Hence I wrote it, so now it will either connect to the mind and be discarded as meaningless or it will reach out for the heart and find fertile soil to sprout upon.

    • muriel essell-crentsil says:

      I work as a school nurse, and I know from that experience that many kids of this millennial generation don’t like to read from print books. Based on this observation, I write non-fiction about health and healthy habits. I make it it full of happy and colorful illustrations, as well as very easy to read. I am a logophile to the core, and some of my writings are in poetry format.
      Recently published, Germs On My Terms: Poems That Teach Me About Hygiene.
      Check my other books on Amazon.

      • Darlene says:

        I love your titles! I’m sure they would draw in the non-book crowd of kids (: Very creative and inspirational….

    • sivan says:

      the tips are very useful to plan and write a book

    • Great quotes. Having written and published two books already, I have learned that although it doesn’t get easier to ‘write a book’, it is encouraging and satisfying to know that specific goal CAN be achieved. Eventually.

      • Hey Raymond, congratulations on completing two books!

    • LaShondra says:

      I would advise the writer to think of writing as a fun hobby and not as a task to be completed. Writing is about exploration, not stressing about how long or short something is/has to be.

      • That’s an interesting comment. I think thinking of something as a ‘task to be done’ takes the enjoyment out of an activity. At the same time, having a certain amount of discipline and just doing it – no matter how we feel at the moment – is important too.

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