How to Write a Book From Outline to Finish Line 10 Simple Ways to Outline Your Nonfiction Book by Shelley Hitz has a (complete) title almost longer than the book. I am in the process of looking at books and opinions on writing, looking for things new, things I forgot, and new terminology that inevitably follows big numbers of books on anything. If you can’t invent new things, you can at least give old things new names, publicize them, and maybe make some money. Not that this book does that, just making a general observation.
This book targets the construction of a short nonfiction e-book on Kindle. The table of contents lets you know that there will be ten ways suggested to make an effective outline. The first three segments present the importance of an outline and a formula for how the author can write a short e-book once per week. Reading through the ten suggestions is entertaining. Following some of the hyperlinks can be a bit disappointing as some links have died but, hey, it’s the internet. Don’t deplore it, get used to it. Because this is a short read, pay attention to how the author follows her own suggestions in creating this e-book.
Option 1: I have never been a fan of whiteboards.
Option 2: The chapter on mind mapping with a hyperlink to Freemind was valuable.
Option 3: This is mind mapping but using sticky notes rather than Freemind.
Option 4: The author likes Evernote but points out that she had to invest time to figure out how to use it most profitably. I liked Evernote when I checked out the site. I am still investing the time to know how to use it.
Option 5: This option is about using Trello. I am using this and find it a valuable tool.
Option 6: Here is the Scrivener option. This also takes time to get used to. There are two forms of training (short and long) tutorials that come with Scrivener. And there is a free trial period.
Option 7: Pen and paper are reliable standbys. Remember to buy clothing with pockets.
Option 8: Power Point slides are great. As a teacher, I use lots of these presentations.
Option 9: Using blog posts. Yep, doing that.
Option 10: OK, I found one I didn’t previously think about, Podcasting. I’ll probably stick with the first nine for awhile.
These options are then followed by segments on writing in general. Once you are organized (from above) what is next? One of the best suggestions I read: Write as if you are having a conversation with the reader. Hitz then goes over options called speaking your book, writing in blocks of time, and hire a ghostwriter. I ignored the last one. If anything, I am the ghostwriter. However, speaking the book reinforces the idea of writing as if you are talking to the reader. The blocks of time idea has as its central idea: Turn off all distractions.
This is a pleasant book to read; there are lots of great suggestions and no prescriptions.