Category: Writing A Book

How many drafts does it take to finish a book?

  |   Writing A Book

My clients are mostly mid-career experts writing a book anchored in their expertise. They need three or four full drafts before the manuscript is ready to go to a professional editor. But that’s not the whole story. How the Drafts Lay Out For most of the books that I work on, the first draft gets most of the  »  Read More

Writing a Book: Four Ways to Write Like Hemingway

  |   Writing A Book

You probably won’t win the Nobel Prize. You may not even have a bestseller. But you can do four things the way Papa Hemingway did them. Keep It Simple Ernest Hemingway wrote clear, simple prose. The sentences were simple. The vocabulary was simple. That’s just good writing if you’re writing nonfiction  »  Read More

Chekhov’s Shotgun and Your Book

  |   Writing A Book

Anton Chekhov is one of the great short story writers and playwrights, even though he died at 44. If you study the craft of writing, you’ll hear something Chekhov is supposed to have said about firearms and the first part of a story or play. I first heard it as a quote about a shotgun on the mantlepiece. Later, I  »  Read More

Writing a Book: Today you must have a book

  |   Writing A Book

For a long time, business books weren’t much fun to read and they didn’t do much for the author’s reputation. Then, in the 1970s, Robert Townsend wrote Up the Organization. It was the precursor to the reputation books that would come later. “Later” turned out to be the early 1980s. In Search of Excellence made  »  Read More

Writing a Book: What if you have no self-discipline?

  |   Writing A Book

John writes: “I know I need to be self-disciplined to write my book, but I’m just not a self-disciplined person. Is there any hope?” Well, John, you do need self-discipline to write a book. That’s especially true if you’re a part-time writer with a demanding day job and lots of important  »  Read More

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