How to Write a Book


There couldn’t be a better time for you to write a book because nobody reads anymore (I certainly don’t). By following some simple steps, not necessarily found here, you too can become a successful author. Of course, every author’s idea of success is relative, and is dependent upon how many relatives will buy their book.


To get started, you must set aside a dedicated time and place to write (but not under the bed – it’s always the first place they look). It is also important that you get into the proper writing mood. Standard practice is to start with a rough draft followed by a mixed metaphor chaser.


The first page is the most important one in your entire book (if you are planning to write an entire book). If you don't "hook" your reader with the first few paragraphs, you risk losing him or her, or her or him, altogether. But the average reader today (medium build, brown eyes, last seen heading north in a blue sedan) has a very short attention span. Therefore, don’t start your book until page 43. By then, your reader will have a sense of investment (adjusted for inflation) in your gripping tale and possibly even purchase it if the bookstore is about to close.


Your story should have a main plot and a subplot (also referred to as the family plot). The main plot involves a protagonist and an antagonist. A second character may be added after simmering for one hour. The purpose of the subplot is to add extra pages to your book. It will also buy you enough time to de-muddle the main plot.


Do your research and be sure to check your facts before they find a reason to check up on you. Many a writer has been taken to task (and other places as well) because of unsound research. Your local library is an excellent place to check your sources. Ask the librarian to direct you to the sorcery section.


Writer’s block is the bane of all authors named Lefty. You can deal with it directly, or engage the services of a licensed broker to negotiate on your behalf. The best way to overcome it is to simply block it out. If this doesn’t work (as it never does for me), try blotting gently with club soda. Beyond that, I seem to have run out of ideas.


However, there are a great many books offering helpful hints on how to avoid writer’s block. They are all named “How To Avoid Writer’s Block.” If none of these books help you, then make a long list of methods that you have tried unsuccessfully, such as counting the calories in your ceiling tiles. Then put them into a book and title it “How To Avoid Writer’s Block.”


There, you have written your first book.