• Dr. Mel Tavares

How to Write a Book in 3 Months

First, you need to download Scrivener (no I’m not being paid to say this). What is Scrivener? It is, in my opinion, THE best writing platform out there. I’ve been writing books and articles for 20 years, and this gem is making my writing life 100% easier!

How? Let me count the ways? My top five beloved features are the ability to create footnotes and move them within the document, the ability to split the screen within the platform and move content quickly and easily, the ability to create notes to remind me later of things that randomly pop into my head while trying to focus, the ability to create an outline as detailed as I prefer, and the ability to move entire sections of content with the click of a button (and the footnotes move with it).

It is under $50 and the best part is the 30 day free trial. There are lots of YouTube videos that will give you a basic tutorial if you don’t like the tutorial within Scrivener. If you disagree with me and don’t like the Scrivener platform; simply export your work, end your trial and go back to using Word.

Second, you need to create an outline for your book. Remember your high-school English class and how detailed your teacher made you get with the outline draft? Do that! If you are using Scrivener, outline creation will be relatively simple. I create mine as I go. Each section and subsection gets it’s own folder. If you are creating the outline and realize a particular point needs to come much earlier or later in the book, simply drag and drop it to the desired point in the outline flow. This outline becomes the framework of your book.

Third, use the outline to write. Open the desired point of the outline and start writing!You will need to write only 700 words (double the length of this blog post) of new content each day for 90 consecutive days to achieve your goal of writing a market standard book in 3 months. This will be your draft. It should only take 2 hours a day. If you want to also have the book ready for publication within the 90 days, you’ll need to spend additional time each day editing content written on previous days.

About your word count: Writing a promotional e-book? Great! Plan to write under 10,000 words. Tip: If you plan to also make it available as a print book, stick to the market standard word count for your genre. Young adult fiction books is 20,000-40,000. Adult fiction typically runs 80,000 to 120,000. Non-fiction books have a market standard of 50-75,000 words.

Does this seem too easy? It’s not easy, but it is doable. If you are like me, you’ll start writing and write more than 700 words most days!

No more excuses! Write that book! I can't wait to read it!

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