This post, the second in a series on the Fundamentals of Self Publishing Your Business Booktackles the sticky question of non-fiction outlines. To outline or not to outline… I suspect a few business people have the innate ability to apply the same logic and clear thinking used in their business when they sit down with a laptop and construct their book. Ideas flow naturally with a solid structure and foundation. And the writing seems effortless.
So many nonfiction books get written in November in addition to articles, essays, book proposals, and more. NA To write a nonfiction book as efficiently as possible, you need to start by organizing your ideas. Starting to write a book without a content plan is an invitation to false starts and wasted effort.
You may end up there, but you may have wasted a lot of time and gasoline on unnecessary detours and dead ends. But, for maximum productivity, you do need to know: The titles of each chapter.
The premise, or big idea, of each chapter. The main points, supporting facts, or steps, you intend to write about in each chapter. Partly, this will be because planning engages your brain. As a result, while you were driving, sleeping, or relaxing, your brain will be thinking about your upcoming chapters, searching for ideas and making connections…preparing for your next writing session.
What might be an invigorating, efficient process—or habit—for one person can be frustrating and nonproductive for another. There are two types of planning tools you can use to organize your ideas; low-tech tools and computer-based tools. In the right hands, either approach can be very valuable for organizing your ideas into a writing plan for blogging your book.
An excellent starting point is to hand-drawn sketch showing of the sequence of the topics you want to include in your book. Authors owe a debt of gratitude to Dan Roam, for legitimizing the power of sketches to simplify complex idea in his ground-breaking book, The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures.
Many of my articles and books begin as sketches on yellow legal paper, although you can also sketch on poster-sized sheets of paper or draw on white boards using dry markers. Index cards are another time-proven writing tool. Index cards come in a variety of sizes, 3 by 5, 4 by 6, and 5 by 8 inches.
Index cards are a favorite of authors like John McPheeknown for plastering the walls of his office with cards displaying the structure of his current projects. Each card contains a single idea which is then inserted into the right location.
In your case, you simplify this technique by devoting a single index card to each blog post, so you can easily sort and resort the cards until the posts are in a logical order. Sticky notes build on the idea of sketches by providing an easy way to identify and organize supporting ideas.
An added benefit; you can use different-colored sticky notes to color code different categories of ideas. I, myself, like 3-ring binders with tabbed dividers. Software and Internet-based organizing tools The primary advantage of the following software-based tools is that, after organizing your ideas, your can export your work to your word processing program.
List and outlining tools. Using a word processing programs, like Microsoft Word, you can use their lists and outlining features to create a detailed action plan for your blog. Another option is to use a spreadsheet program, like Microsoft Excel, to plan your book.
The process is similar; in the first column, enter the title for each blog post. In the second column, summarize the main idea associated with the title.
In the third column, enter the ideas and examples you want to include. This idea is especially useful if you have a mobile device, like an iPhone, iPad, or Android device. Best of all, after creating a sketch of your blog-based book, you can output the graphic as an outline!
Mind mapping has been used as creativity tool for over 25 years, and mind mapping software has been available for over 10 years. Mind mapping allows you to unprecedented power to create detailed maps of all of your writing projects, collapsing and expanding your maps to display as much, or as little, of the details associated with your projects as desired.
Mindjet also allows you to enter start dates and deadlines for each of your chapters, helping you keep your writing on schedule. Another software-based software option is to create storyboards for your chapters, using popular presentation programs like Microsoft PowerPoint.
Create a separate slide, or presentation visual, for each of your chapters, adding the main ideas you want to include in each chapter as items in a bulleted list. Other options for organizing your book include organizing your ideas using remote file hosting services like Dropbox or Evernote.
The advantage of these solutions is that you can immediately access your work from any online computer, from home, office, or while traveling. Evernote is an especially popular alternative, because you can tag and search items by keywords or attributes.
You can also call-in your ideas and they will be translated and added to the files containing your blog post ideas.Writing Nonfiction Now: Using a Mind Map to Plan Your Nonfiction Book About the Author This article was written by The Pen & The Pad team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information.
Rekha Ambardar has been writing and publishing short fiction and nonfiction in print and electronic magazines for the last ten years. Her first novel, His Harbor Girl, was released in by Whiskey Creek Press, and another short contemporary romance novel, Maid to Order, was released in by Echelon metin2sell.com February , her short story, "A .
Glossary of Writing Terms and Phrases: Word-Mart offers meanings and explanations of writing terms and phrases beginning with the letters l to q. Buy How to Outline a Nonfiction Book: Using an Outline to Make Writing Your Book Fast and Easy: Read 9 Kindle Store Reviews - metin2sell.com I find writing non-fiction books a ‘palate cleanser’ between novels.
It’s a very different form of writing, more structured and more aimed at helping others. This article is relevant for most non-fiction, but excludes memoir or narrative non-fiction, as they are quite specific forms. Write it Right: What does go into writing good nonfiction for children?.
Many wonderful things go into good kid nonfiction: great ideas, careful research, excitement, humor, and an understanding of your audience.