Many people know the dream of writing their own book. That’s why we’ve put together a few useful tips to help you write your manuscript successfully.
1. Find the right idea
If you want to write a book, the first thing you need is an idea to work with. Ideas are a dime a dozen – many come to you in everyday life, others when you read an inspiring book or watch a film that moves you.
You should always have a Notebook with you because as soon as you have an idea that sticks with you, you can write it down there for later. Then, when you find a quiet minute, you can sit down and go through your thoughts thoroughly to sort out which ones you find exciting enough to write a story about, and which ones you do not. You can recognize a good idea by the fact that it inspires you, motivates you and that you can hardly wait to get to grips with it. Over time, this can lead to a possible plot for a story. If you don’t have a gripping idea right away, don’t give up! It is a process that can take a long time. The most important thing is to be disciplined and work at your own pace, always looking for new impressions and keeping an open mind.
2. Thorough Planning
Then it’s time to plan your story. The best place to start is with the rough details: Who are your main characters, the beginning and end of the plot and how is the setting structured. Then you get down to the concrete details, plan and structure your story and sketch out the characters and places involved. It is important that the characters develop within the novel and grow together with the reader.
When it comes to the actual plot, you can work with suspense curves or drama theories to work out important key scenes and turning points, as well as write down short outlines of the individual chapters. This way you have a kind of script that you only have to formulate. All this will help and support you in the actual work.
3. From initial writing exercises to formulation
Now comes the work itself: the formulation. To get into practice, you can first do various writing tasks to loosen up, such as associative writing. In this case, you take a sensory perception or an impression and, without pausing, simply begin to write down your associations with it. If you get stuck, write down your last thought repeatedly until you come up with a new one. This process then develops into a flowing text. It also helps if you read daily, whether novels, newspapers or blog entries. The more you practise and educate yourself, the clearer and more comprehensible your individual writing style will become.
4. The Correction
When you have finished the first rough draft of your story, you can pat yourself on the back. The biggest job is done. The best thing to do is to take a little break and get away from your work; rest or do something. After a few days, you can go back and proofread everything. When you reread, you will often notice many minor errors or gaps in logic that you didn’t see the first time. You are also welcome to share your manuscript with a friend or other neutral reader and incorporate their feedback – they often have a clearer view of the story and can help you improve it. It is also very important that you check the spelling and grammar of your manuscript thoroughly – this will save you a lot of work in the event of publication and will also make a good impression on the publisher!
5. Submit to a Publisher
Once you have finished your manuscript and are happy with it, there is only one last step: publication. This is when you submit your story to a publisher.
Many publishers are always looking for new authors and books to publish. Matabooks is also always open to new ideas and creative people – especially young artists from the region we want to support with our work and offer them a platform. Did you know that our very first novel – Germany’s first vegan novel made of grass paper – was written by the then 16-year-old schoolgirl Sophie Marlene Frohnauer?
If you have already written a book yourself, or if you were able to successfully finish your manuscript with our tips, please send us an email at [email protected] and introduce yourself and your idea! If you still need reading inspiration for your writing process, take a look at our novels.
We are looking forward to you and your story!