So you’ve begun mapping your book – jotting down all the bits and pieces and seeing the outline.
Creating structure is outlining. By creating an outline, it helps you create a route to navigate all the days that the actual scripting of the book lasts.
The mind mapping helped to provide the framework upon which layers of words are built.
At this point, all your thoughts about the book have been laid down in various ways – incoherent, irrelevant, ambiguous, or detailed. You let them all loose on paper. And that’s awesome.
At this point, outlining means you’re now going to arrange all the puzzles into a coherent piece that is the beautiful masterpiece that will be sent out to the world.
There are steps to take here….
Begin identifying the different themes that run through all you’ve jotted down.
For my books I began to see where beginning stories were. Then I began to see what followed after the beginning, then the continuation, and so on and so forth.
At this point, you have to take several cardboard papers and write down at the top of the sheets each theme you’ve discovered from the mapping.
Step back and look at all you’ve mapped and then begin picking out all that should go under each theme that you’ve placed as headings on the cardboard sheets.
For each one that you take out, cancel it off the place it used to be so that you don’t get confused with what and what you’ve carved out.
There may be a temptation to want to make everything so neat and clean, but resist it. Your focus at this point is to keep transfering all your thoughts from the map to the various themes.
Secondly, take a look at all the themes and begin ordering them into chapters for your book.
It’s here that you determine for yourself how many chapters that your book will have. Some themes will be broken down into two chapters while some can be standalone.
For example, if there’s a theme that describes how you decided to leave paid employment, that theme can be split into two chapters, say In the Beginning andFaith For The New Journey.
It’s your book and you determine the chapterization process. All you need at this point is to really have the conversations with those themes you’ve jotted down and see how to distill them into chapters for your book.
Think of chapters as the distillation of the core message into the majors of the message the same way crude oil is distilled down into its components.
Thirdly, begin the real writing process.
Now it’s time to go to your laptop and begin proper writing. I usually advise to write on laptop rather than writing out the full manuscript and then typing them out once more, except you have an assistant who can do this.
As is usual with me, I create the MS Word file for each chapter. That’s after I’ve created the folder for the book project.
Then you proceed to begin adding words according the thoughts that you listed down under each theme that has been split into chapters.
You’ll find that the words are being delivered with clarity, precision, and flow that gives fluidity to the whole process. As you do so, elaborate on the stories you created, stretch the anecdotes, enumerate the statistics and plough deeper into the research you’ve made.
I want to make you understand that at this point see your outline as a map that’s not set in stone. It’s a guide, but it doesn’t have everything. You’ll find that you will be discovering new things as you continue pouring thoughts on paper.
Please resist the temptation to want to be perfect. Perfection is a killer.
Do your mapping, create the outline as stated above, and then commit to the writing of the book.
At this point I want to say that you should avoid clogging your head with how many thousands of words or pages that should make up an ideal book. I’ve often heard writers ask me that.
I’ve seen books of 9000 words. I’ve seen books of 18,000 words. I’ve seen books of 30 pages. I’ve seen books of 45,000 words.
Just pour forth. That first draft is for pouring forth, elaborating, building words around the framework you’ve created during mapping and outlining.
I see you doing great.