Are you struggling to finish a writing project? In this post we give you tips on how to finish writing your book.
Beginning a book is not that difficult. Most of us are capable of starting, but as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said: ‘Great is the art of beginning, but greater the art is of ending.’
There is no magical wand that helps you write a book. You have to do it alone. But, I can give you some advice that I’ve gleaned from teaching people to write books. I hope these tips on how to finish writing your book help you.
How To Finish Writing Your Book
- Write a story that haunts you. The most important thing to do is find a story that you love. A story that you have to tell and that will not allow you to let it go. If you can do this, you’ve won half the battle. Even when you’re not writing, you’ll be thinking about the story and this will help you through to the end.
- Get a plot. Use out plotting formula to help you work out what’s going to happen in your book. Even if you’re mainly a pantser, if you have this blueprint you will be able to get back on track when you’re stuck. (Suggested reading: The Top 10 Tips For Plotting And Finishing A Book) If you don’t want to plot your entire book, at least write a synopsis, or write the ending first.
- Create three-dimensional characters you’d follow in real life. Make them interesting enough to keep you interested. If you do your homework with your characters and complete biographies and questionnaires for them, you are unlikely to get stuck. You will have so much material that you will always have something to write. You do not need to include characters’ backstories in your novels, but knowing about them will always help you. Also, try not to create too many characters. Concentrate on the four main characters that you need to structure a sound story.
- Set aside serious time to write. This seems obvious, but it’s essential that you do this and that you protect this time with all your might. It’s too easy to be distracted or to be tempted away from the hard work of writing. Even professional writers struggle with this. J.K. Rowling says: ‘The funny thing is that, although writing has been my actual job for several years now, I still seem to have to fight for time in which to do it.’
- Stick to a word count. This is one of the easiest ways to keep track of your writing. Deciding to write 500 or 1 000 or 2 000 words every day gives you a goal to work towards. If you write 1 000 words every day, you will have the first draft of a novel in 80 days. An average novel is 80 000 words long. (Suggested reading: The Daily Word Counts Of 39 Famous Authors) Sticking to a word count also helps you to create a daily writing habit. If you want to write professionally, this is great. (If you want to create a writing habit, try our free writing course: Hooked On Writing: 31 Days To A Writing Habit.)
- Set realistic deadlines. Most plans succeed when there is a ticking clock to remind you that you need to finish a project. Writing a book is no different. Work out a realistic timetable for yourself. Don’t set unrealistic goals if you have a lot of commitments, but do set goals. And start. Robin Hobb says: ‘You will never have any more free time than you do right now. So, whether you are 12 or 70, you should sit down today and start being a writer if that is what you want to do.’
- Don’t edit. Let nothing distract you from telling the story. The first draft of your book is about getting your story down on paper. Once you have this, you can start to rewrite and edit.
When you have finally finished, read this: 6 Things To Do When You Finish Writing Your Book
© Amanda Patterson
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Top Tip: If you want to learn how to write a book, sign up for our online course.