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SHINE with ONE CHAPTER AT A TIME

It can be intimidating to think about sitting down to write an entire book in one session. 

You don’t have to.

Whether you are writing an entire book or submitting one chapter to an anthology, the process is pretty much the same . . .  simply focus on ONE CHAPTER AT A TIME.

In addition to helping our authors produce and publish about 50 books yearly, we sponsor and/or oversee at least 4 anthologies — also known as a collection of story chapters along a common theme — with each chapter written by a different author.

How to Write a Non-fiction Chapter that SHINES

We’ve noticed most first-draft writings tend to fall within one of 3 categories, those which either . . .

  1. Impress
  2. Inform
  3. Inspire

Although most writers tend to want to impress the reader with how much they know, it can sometimes backfire on them if the content comes across as too much about the author.

The writings which receive a more positive reaction from the readers tend to fall into the same 3 categories, but in reverse order . . .

  1. Inspire
  2. Inform
  3. Impress

The goal of any author is to use a balanced combination of the above.

Define. Describe. Depict. Double-back.

When writing for an anthology, you need to be succinct. It is your job to use your 2,000 – 2,500 words to get your point across and not leave the reader wondering what you are trying to say. When writing an entire book, you have quite a bit more room to get your point across, but either way, readers like to be engaged beginning with the very first sentence. If you want them to read your entire chapter (or entire book), consider following the 4 D’s . . .

  • Define. Explain your concept so anyone can understand it. Remember, your readers are not experts in your topic . . . avoid industry lingo . . . this is not a textbook. Keep the focus on the reader and NOT about you. You are here to help the reader, not tout your credentials (save that for your bio).
  • Describe. Give the facts to set the stage and offer credibility. Think about what you really want to include which would be important to your reader. Don’t worry about telling everything you know — you can always go into more detail on your website and/or when you meet with a new client.
  • Depict. Share benefits through real-life stories of how it works so people will understand the practical application and why what you do is a good idea. Personal stories — whether about your personal or professional life — tend to really grab the reader’s attention. Share something fascinating that happened in your life, perhaps even inspired you to take a chance or make a change. Readers can always relate to something you, as the author, have been through and learned from.
  • Double-back. What’s your point? Readers want to feel as if the author really understands them, gets them, and wants to provide them some sort of relief. Give the reader something to “take-away”. Why is “this” (what you do) a good thing and how can it greatly improve the life of the reader?

Whether you are writing one chapter in an anthology or an entire book of chapters, our goal is to help you retain your author’s voice and appeal to your specific audience. Your reader is more likely to remember you and your intention if the writing relates to them. Taking the time to write for THEM is what puts the spotlight on YOU and helps you shine.

THANK YOU to Pam Wilson, our Creative Writing Coach
for help in writing this week’s blog!
If you’d like to reach out to Pam, you can contact her HERE.

If you are ready to write ONE CHAPTER and you’d like to learn
more about our upcoming anthology programs, contact Cathy HERE.

If you are considering writing a book and you’d like to learn
more about how we help you make that happen, contact Cathy HERE.