iUniverse presents tips on how to write Chapter One

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iUniverse understands the psychological challenge of writing a book. The important thing is to not be intimidated. Millions of people have written books, and while it was easier for some than for others, the act of writing a book is clearly not for an “elite few.”

Today, iUniverse will give you a few tips on how to get started on your book.


Jack London once wrote: “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”

One: Do not wait for ideal conditions to write. Yes, it would be nice to be in a cozy house somewhere in the countryside, with no noise or interruptions, a keyboard that responds perfectly to your touch, no stress, and no other work to do. Unfortunately, if you wait for this to happen, you may never get to write!


Two: Go offline. Yes, this sounds like sacrilege in our day and age of instant communication – but it is necessary. You need to eliminate as many distractions as you can. Do not have your email on, do not click into news links, and be sure to close Skype. Distraction influences procrastination. While some writers write better with music on, iUniverse cautions against this. Some instrumental music may be tolerable, at a low volume.


Three: Having freed yourself from distractions, it is time to use that keyboard. It is at this point that you should remember a cardinal rule: “There is no such thing as good writing. However, there is such thing as good rewriting.” Don’t spend large amounts of time searching for that perfect first sentence. In the words of Tal Ben-Shahar, a renowned psychologist and speaker, “Perfectionism is paralysis.” So get a sentence in your mind that sounds good – not necessarily “great” – and type it in. There is no single formula for a good first sentence, though writers should beware of overloading the reader with too much information, e.g. too many names, too many settings, or too much action. A general rule is to keep the sentence short and to include a maximum of two proper nouns.

We’ll be back with Part Two. In the meantime, make sure to check out the iUniverse site for more advice and blogs, as well as iUniverse Facebook and iUniverse Twitter.



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