Edmond P. DeRousse

So You Want To Write A Book!                                   

Writing Into The Night!
Let’s discuss the process of writing.  How many people do you know who have told you that they are in the process of or want to write a book?  If they want and haven’t done it, what’s stopping them? 

Like many people, I had thought about writing a book. That thought lived with me for decades before putting anything on paper. I just didn’t know how to get started or if people would read what I wrote.

These are the things to think about while you undertake your writing project. Why are you putting words to paper? How are you doing it? What genre? How or should you edit it? How much time should be devoted to it? 

If you plan to publish, talk to people who have published or write with the intent to publish. A writing club is a good place to start. You will get different perspectives, of course, but don’t get discouraged. Most likely you will dismiss some of what you hear them tell you, but you will borrow, use, steal something from them.  

I began my writing career as a short story writer of humor fiction. I do not particularly enjoy poetry, non-fiction (except history), romance novels, etc. So, I do not necessarily believe I am qualified to discuss those subjects. But regardless of what genre you chose to write in, the tips in this blog I believe will work for any beginner.

Set writing goals.

Many suggest a certain number of words per day. Some suggest a certain time of day dedicated to your writing project. I live a very active and busy retired life. I try to find an hour a day for writing. An hour after breakfast and/or an hour before I go to bed work best for me. I have written enough now that I can keep most (not all) my thoughts in my brain and pull them out when I can sit down and type them out. The ones I don’t remember either were unimportant or eventually find their way to the project. You will figure out your own schedule.  

Do some research.

Someone has already written something similar to your project. Check out someone else’s project. Get a feel for it. Something made you like it or put it aside. 

I write historical fiction and non-fiction. So, I often copy the internet site I am researching directly into my project so I can go back to it later adding or deleting information pertaining to my project.

The napkin approach.

There may be that time when an “Must Include” idea for a story, research site, etc. presents itself to you at an inopportune time. Write it down on a napkin, if you have to. Send yourself an e-mail or text. Create a file on your smartphone. I have done it all. I was at a book signing and one of my faithful readers reminded me of the time she saw me write a story idea down on a napkin. That idea later turned into a book. The one I was signing for her. 

Writing prompts.

If you join a writing club often times, they will use writing prompts and evaluate them. It is good practice. If not in a club, you can find prompts online and specific to your writing genre. Create a file for those written prompts. They could be useful later. Some of the writing prompts I used have been incorporated into my stories.


I know you have heard it many times before, but it is a fact. There is a tendency to write ideas in the order in which thoughts come to us. That does not always make sense in the final product. So, outline general ideas first before you begin writing the actual project. That way your major thoughts and content areas will always be in front of you. It will keep you from rambling without a clear structure. If you get lost in your writing so will your readers. 

Don’t be afraid to rearrange the outline as your writing progresses. 

Write first then edit. 

Initially, whatever and whenever you write, don’t worry about sentence structure, grammar, or punctuation. Just write the stuff down that comes out of your brain. Even if it looks like a grocery list. Edit it later. I bet, if you took the time to write your grocery list in sentence format, much of what you wanted would be lost.

Focus on your thoughts in your first draft before putting too much time on the revision or editing process. Do not worry about where they fit in your outline. You can change where they appear in the manuscript later. Why? Momentum. It is easier to revise later than to go back, correct the concern, and rekindle that thought. 

Once you have established a comfort level it will be easier to correct as you go along. I still, even after several published works, write paragraphs ahead before rereading or attempting to edit. 

Try it for a while and see what happens.

If you notice a typo, though, in a paragraph while typing another, then yes make the correction. 

Your work is going to have grammar errors. Correct them before your submission to the publisher. 


No matter what your message is, stick to your story. Rambling loses readers.

Read your writing out loud.

After writing a few paragraphs or so, read what you wrote exactly word for word the way your eyes see it. Try not to read what you intended to write. If it doesn’t make sense, clear it up.

Know your reader. 

A science fiction reader will not interpret meaning the same way a western reader interprets the same words. What is your reader’s reality and how can your writing inform and enhance it?

Ok, now that you have written your project what’s next. That will be the topic of the next BLOG.

Edmond P. DeRousse, Author




You Don’t Have To Be Rich And Famous To Have Adventures