5 Top Things You Must Do Before Sitting Down to Write a Book

Photo by Lum3n on Pexels.com

So, you’ve done it! You’ve decided that you want to write a book. You sit down at your desk, in front of your computer, fingers poised over the keyboard, but then you pause. You stop. You think. All you have is a wish, a want, and a dream. You want to create. You want to write a book. But that’s all.

Well, I have news for you ladies and gentlemen. It’s not enough to just want to write a book. You need something more. You can’t just want it. You’ve got to be prepared. After all it is when preparation meets good writing that a great book starts to take shape.

1–You Need a GREAT Idea

Perhaps the most important thing you need is a GREAT idea. You need inspiration. You need to activate that imagination. You need to dream. Dream of another world with people who have wants, needs, conflicts, all that stuff. Become a part of that world. Turn that GREAT idea into a world fueled by electrifying imagination.

2–You Need to Research

Once you have that GREAT idea, you need to do your research. If you are writing from the perspective of a cancer patient, it might be a good idea to jump on the internet and research cancer. Read books and articles about the doctors, patients, and their family members who have personally experienced this devastating tragedy. Literally put yourself into their shoes. Feel what it feels to be in that situation. Do what it takes to learn as much as possible about what you plan to write. After all, the best writers should always write what they know. Don’t speculate or guess. Fact check and fact check again. And then write with your emotions.

3–Get To Know the REAL MVP’s

Sit down and list the names of the characters, particularly the main characters. Who will be the main characters? Write a paragraph or a draw a diagram of their likes, dislikes, and personality? What do they like to do? What makes them angry? What do they behave the way they do? Get to know your characters the same way that you get to know a friend. After all, these characters, these people, will be in your head and out for the next three… six…nine months, or possibly several years. They will be like family to you. In fact, closer than family. So definitely take the time to get to know them. You won’t be sorry that you did!


Your teachers have probably told you again and again the importance of outlining before writing that killer A+ essay. Well, writing a story or a novel is no different. It is just as important to write an awesome outline. It doesn’t have to be very detailed. Though the more detailed the better! But at least write down what you hope to write or cover in each chapter or section. Most importantly, write down where you hope to begin and where you hope for the characters to end up. Sometimes knowing where you are heading to can be very helpful. That way you are leading, or writing up, to the end. It can help to keep you on track so that you won’t deviate your plot too much throughout the writing process.


No, no, no, it’s not time to start writing the actual story or book yet. Instead take the time to write an epilogue or the last paragraph or chapter. Where do you hope the character(s) will be? What will they be like after journeying through the pages of your book? How much will they have changed? Will they still be alive? Will they be happy?

What do you do before writing a book or a short story?

Please help me grow!

Posted by

Hi! I'm Helen and I am a 32 year old biracial millennial mom raising two multiracial children. I am a writer, English consultant, and social media manager. I am a self-proclaimed chocoholic.

8 thoughts on “5 Top Things You Must Do Before Sitting Down to Write a Book

      1. I usually go to pen and paper and jot down ideas and things that come to mind! And also carry a little notebook in my purse for when inspiration hits.

  1. I think some of the best writing advice I’ve received was to sit my bum down and write. Sometimes I’m so afraid that I won’t get it right that I don’t write anything. So, it’s better to sit down and write a bad chapter or scene, because that is something you can work with. Besides, the first draft is always awful.

    All the best, Michelle (michellesclutterbox.com)

  2. I just rush headlong and trust my gut to guide me. But I understand that doesn’t work for everyone. Occasionally I’ll scratch down an idea or two, or a brief character bio.

    1. That is my method as well. I just write the first draft, though it does help to jot a few things down. You should check out my other blog post: 3 Reasons Why You Should Not Plan Your Nanowrimo Novel

Leave a Reply