Write the First Part…Last?

writer

Since so many people that read this blog are authors and aspiring authors, I plan to continue to enlarge the scope of the blog to include some quick writing tips.  

Many first time authors tell me that they often get stuck right from the outset, or just a few days into starting a book. That’s why I recommend authors do two things: one, always have at least a rough outline or table of contents to work from. I can’t stress this enough. Writing a book sans outline is like building a house without a blueprint. In either case, you are unlikely to be happy with the results.

The other important item is to write the introduction or prologue last, particularly if you are writing a compelling narrative or a complex “how-to” business book. This is key because no part of a book is more important than its very first words.  They set the tone for the rest of the book, and most people who buy books in bookstores read the first few paragraph or two before they decide to buy a book. 

There is one more reason for you to hold off on that first section: books are often transformed by the writing process. They seldom turn out precisely as the author intends them. Put another way, you will find it a much easier task once the book has taken its final form. If you feel you need to write something at the beginning, I would write a very rough draft or detailed outline of the introduction.  That way, you will have something on paper but won’t have invested so heavily in something that will need to be rewritten later.

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