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

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 and for her cutting-edge book, Youthful Aging Secrets. In her “spare” time, Mary is also the brains behind GoodlifeZEN.com, a Zen Master, a mother, and a 5th Degree Black Belt.

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