Top tips from the UK’s leading biographer on how to write your book
The time spent in lockdown in the past six months has left Brits more time at home to reflect on their life goals and ambitions – a major one of these is to finally write that book they have always wanted to. Whether that be the next great novel or a record of their own lives. Story Terrace, a professional biography writing service, has seen a significant increase in the number of people wanting to write their own life story. Here are some top tips from Story Terrace to get you started on your biography or first novel.
1 Write with passion.
There is no fun in writing about a subject which doesn’t interest you for a school essay, never mind several hundred pages. Very few people have an exact idea of what they want to write when they begin, and the plot, theme and content will likely evolve as you write. But passionwill keep your ideas fresh and unique, and will get you to that finish line. Stuck for somewhere to start? Your own life story, or the story of your parents, might be the best place to look! Over at thousand people have done just that and documented their life stories with Story Terrace.
2 Build an outline
Your book is likely to fluctuate, transform and evolve as you write. But it is very difficult to finish an entire book with no clear pathway – you need to have a good idea of where you’re going. Devising a solid foundation and structure will help you fill in the gaps and help you to progress when you hit a writer’s block.
3 Break your book down into small bite sizes.
The idea of sitting down to write hundreds of pages in a few sittings is not only unrealistic but takes the joy out of writing. Your book is a huge collection of sentences, paragraphs and chapters – write in small chunks, with consistency, and before you know it you’ll have hundreds of pages drafted. Slow and steady really does win the race.
4 Keep a schedule.
This is my final tip and the key to getting your book moving and ultimately finished, and ultimately boils down to consistency. It is easy to write when you feel like writing, but you must set yourself a realistic and achievable schedule, which sets aside some time every week for you to write, even if you don’t feel like it. You won’t always be feeling energised and inspired to write, and even if you only manage a single paragraph or some editing in your allotted time, this is still progress. Stick to the schedule and you’ll have a much greater chance of finishing your book.
Rutger Bruining, CEO of biography-writing service StoryTerrace, has built a company on helping people to write their life stories, biographies and memoirs. Rutger and his team of professional writers have documented over a thousand life stories across the UK and US – now Rutger shares his tips for getting started on writing your book, and discusses how StoryTerrace’s writers can help.
“The idea of writing an entire book, while very exciting, represents a daunting task which many who have the desire to write a book do not believe they can overcome, and therefore never start. I think this is a great shame – if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my time with StoryTerrace, it’s that every single one of us has an incredible story to tell.”
At StoryTerrace, we have worked with over a thousand people to tell their life stories – some of these people have not written a word and have no desire to write themselves, others come to us with half-finished drafts with dozens of pages already written. No matter the situation, we match our customers with the right ghost-writer, who can help them create and finish the story of their lives.