Top 25 Ways to Write an Awesome Book

Top 25 Ways to Write an Awesome Book

Millions of words have been strung together on the subject of how to write an awesome book. A book is always going to be a tremendous undertaking that can feel more than a little complicated sometimes. But what if we could simplify the process to just twenty-five ingredients? Last summer, I wrote a post about the Top 25 Ways to Blow a Book. One Wordplayer asked that I also share the Top 25 Ways to Write an Awesome Book. Here they are!

(Click the asterisks to learn more about how to create these necessary and awesome book ingredients.)

1. Hook readers with a strong first chapter that doesn’t waste time.*

2. Create a sympathetic and/or entertaining character.*

3. Give the character a strong goal.*

4. Obstruct the character’s goal with equally strong opposition.*

5. Create a theme that arises from the character’s inner conflict.*

6. Craft a strong plot with proper structure.*

7. Do your research and get your facts straight.*

8. Expunge unnecessary scenes, settings, and characters.*

9. Balance action and character with properly structured scene/sequel pairings.*

10. Write realistic, entertaining dialogue.*

11. Maintain a consistent POV.*

12. Create original and entertaining voices for narrating characters.*

13. Tighten descriptions with more strong verbs and nouns and fewer modifiers.*

14. Show more than you tell.*

15. Dig deep for original ideas and turns of phrase.*

16. Properly foreshadow your climax—without giving away any big reveals.*

17. Build realistic and engaging settings.*

18. Add only meaningful subplots.*

19. When you build tension—always fulfill it.*

20. Create a dynamic arc of growth for your character.*

21. Add interesting minor characters who can power the plot forward.*

22. Choose the right tone to enhance your plot and theme.*

23. Rock readers with a climax that fulfills all their desires for the story.*

24. Don’t tie off all the loose ends in your story’s ending.*

25. Proofread, proofread, proofread.*

Tell me your opinion: What do you think is the top ingredient in figuring out how to write an awesome book?

Top 25 Ways to Write an Awesome Book

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About K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland

K.M. Weiland is the award-winning and internationally-published author of the acclaimed writing guides Outlining Your Novel, Structuring Your Novel, and Creating Character Arcs. A native of western Nebraska, she writes historical and fantasy novels and mentors authors on her award-winning website Helping Writers Become Authors.

Comments

  1. I think the single most important way to write an awesome book is to rock your writing style. You can have your plot, characters, scenes, etc. all down, but as a reader, if I’m not captivated by the way you write, I’m going to lose interest. On the other end, even if you’re lacking in character development or other aspects of your story, if I love your writing style, I feel I’m more likely to enjoy the story assuming your plot, dialogue, etc. don’t completely flop. One thing I find that puts me off when reading is certain writing styles, but then again, perhaps other readers like that type of style, so you really have to focus on how your words come together for your audience and what type of style they like reading.

    • K.M. Weiland says

      I always like to say we should pretend we’re writing for an audience of which we, as readers, would want to be a part. If we would objectively love what we’re writing, even if it were written by someone else, then we’re doing more than just one thing right.

      • Hi my name is Karen and I love how much you love to do your work. I’m olny 16 and I love your work. You have that positive attidue, with your fans of your work. What i’m trying to do with my book that I want to write is that it has comepstion. It has love and happiness, and romance. I love to write what i’m feeling. I want to do more with my gift that God gave me! I hope that you read this and if you do then will you please right back to me because I need some giudence from someone like you.

        • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

          Glad you’re enjoying the site! I’m always happy to answer any specific writing questions you may have.

  2. Wouldn´t it be grat if doing all that were that simple? ^^

  3. Besides the mechanics of writing I think a crucial ingredient for a great book is the ‘interior condition’ of the author. I am borrowing that phrase from Bill O’Brien who used it discussing corporate change. Interior condition: We can zoom in on this variable with a few questions: What is the real strip-it-down- motivation of the author? What is, deep down, driving them to write their book?
    Where are they – or we -coming from?

    Thanks for your articles and books, I am learning so much from you.

    • K.M. Weiland says

      Great point – and great way to put it. This idea is integrally related to that of “making our own heads explode.” We need to have a complete handle on *why* we’re writing a story. Without that to helps us focus our intent, we can often get lost along the way.

  4. I’d say that getting a good editor and some honest but constructive objective readers is also important. But that’s maybe less about writing the book and more about how you’d edit it.

  5. This is SUCH a helpful post, and thanks for the links! I have problems with plot and endings, so to me, they become the most important!

  6. All of these are so important, Katie. Thanks for sharing. My biggest challenge is finding a balance with what I share with the reader vs what I let them figure out for themselves.

    • K.M. Weiland says

      That one can be tricky to figure out – just because it requires so much objectivity. Beta readers and a try-try-again mindset are both crucial.

  7. People watching is probably some of the best research you can do to write a good book. Characters and motivations can literally develop right in front of your eyes and you just have to take good notes!

  8. One thing I think makes a great book is a strong antagonist that actually has a personality. That’s what I love about Thor and the Avengers. Loki had a personality. He didn’t just have an evil plan, he had a personality to match it. And he fact he had some good lurking in there somewhere.
    That’s one thing I wish more stories had. Not just strong “good” characters, but strong “bad” characters as well.

    • K.M. Weiland says

      Excellent example – especially since the recent Thor also presented a good example of a poor antagonist. Malekith was cool and scary, but he lacked any kind of personality or relatable motive. As a result, Loki remained the stronger antagonist by far.

  9. What a great list! I’ve read a few of those links, but I’ll make sure I work my way through the others too.

    The mindset of the author is incredibly important (though perhaps less to do with the nuts and bolts of writing). You can’t finish that book without a good work ethic and the desire to get it done (as many other commentors have pointed out).

    • K.M. Weiland says

      Great point! Writing is much more about attitude than aptitude. All the talent in the world will get us nowhere without discipline and determination.

  10. Really useful article, with many very useful links. The scene development part made me think a lot and will definitely help add pace and drama to my stories.

    Thank you.

  11. And here in borne another small e-book for writers to write awesome novel 😀

  12. What should be my max amount for POV characters? I have four right now, but I don’t want to overwhelm the reader. My dilemma is that all four have very distinct personalities and thought processes. I do avoid head swapping. Each point of view is in a different section.

  13. How do you know what you want to right about?

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Inspiration is everywhere. I usually start with a character or two and see where they go from there.

  14. Hey my i have your email so i dont have to come on here everytime so i can talk to you?

  15. Great ideas.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Top 25 Ways to Write and Awesome Book  <– Thought some tips might motivate me… […]

  2. […] all want to write a fantastic book, right? K.M. Weiland shares the top 25 ways to write an awesome book; Kelsey Browning lists 8 tips for s successful co-writing partnership; and Jill Kemerer tells us […]

  3. […] I have just finished reading a blog which has yet again made me question my work in progress.  ( https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/2013/11/top-25-ways-write-awesome-book.html ) […]

  4. […] What if we could simplify the process of how to write an awesome book to just twenty-five ingredients?  […]

  5. […] *Helping Writers Become Authors: “Top 25 Ways to Write an Awesome Book.” […]

  6. […] via Top 25 Ways to Write an Awesome Book – Helping Writers Become Authors. […]

  7. […] For more excellent tips from K.M. Weiland, click here. […]

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