How to Write Your 1st Book
And yes, by all means, you can do this, write your very own First Book and here is the simplest of explanations to help you get started-the living breathing James Brown, US Army Veteran, author of A Panther’s Father Book Series.
Author and his Son at AT&T Stadium
Okay, it’s finally your turn! It’s your time to come from behind that huge boulder and write your 1st book. And now, I want to aid you on your most wonderful journey into Neverland. Yes, it’s somewhat like Neverland if you have no one to help you along this great journey. And trust me, writing your first book is one of the greatest achievements that any person can hope to ever achieve. And so many come waltzing down this lover’s lane only to have their dreams handed back to them in what I can only say will be Pure Disappointment.
But, I’m not going to let that happen to you and if you will only follow what I am advising you in this write, then you too can become a very successful writer. So, my name is James Brown and my pen name is “the living breathing James Brown” and my current books project is A Panther’s Father Book Series. And I want you to know right now, don’t let this be the only write that you read-okay? Sure, I can tell you what has happened with me and how I started down my own road, but I cannot pull you by your boot laces, now can I?
First-off, you are now a big boy or girl and you must commit yourself. Commitment is paramount. And one of the greatest writers advice I ever read and is absolutely true is this-you got to be in a place in your life where you have the time to write. And this is very true. Just imaging working two jobs or three jobs and you’re beat down in the grind, and you still want to write. Okay, it’s okay and yes, you can write, but you might be better to limit your limited time writings to Poetry. And I say that because Poetry is one of the hardest disciplines to master and yet, you are in a place where your creative juices are flowing great emotions within you. And I will say this, most of my best writing takes place from deep emotions that I have lived and continue to live.
So, you still want to write? And you want to write that first book? Okay, that’s great. And now, let’s get ready to start and as I tell you my methods, then you too may be able to see things that will help you too. When I finished High School, I had finished my 1st book, but I merely tossed it aside. And one teacher read it and loved it. Well, I went on to the Military
and then when I got back from Overseas, I wrote Poetry. And my 1st poem that I approved to myself-approving anything that you write to yourself is hard to do if you really care-and was willing to show anyone was this one-Oblivion Express-
Trading things for the same – or less;
Out of time, be my guess.
Out of place, all did confess;
Yet all were to ride “Oblivion Express.”
All did stare in morose gloom;
Panickily, more piled in and there was no more room.
Down, Down, then off the tracks;
Gasping for breath all looked back.
A hard starboard and up into the sky we soared.
Only headroom left between the stars.
Mutinous were our thoughts and sorely we pulled a window down;
A cloud of cold, ice-wind gushed in and my face felt the cold cloudy dew.
Verses were all outside
And the Lord’s Prayer was at our feet;
Then a sign, “Heaven l0,000,000,000,000 miles” we did meet.
——To think, we had boarded only to go 10 miles——-
The conductor walked in dressed in radiant white;
There was also thunder and a flash of light.
“Just a precaution” he called and began checking our hands and head.
Then, he started removing us one by one letting ones without the marks remain.
A reddened glow came from the door to which we were to go;
Frantically the marks from myself I did try to remove.
Soon, I was next to be removed
And I saw deep down inside Satan — in a joyous mood!
My life, my crimes, he did read and laugh in nursery rhyme.
All the streets I saw with people in torment down below;
Screams and horror struck me now — I saw the names of those who had let them go
And my name was on so many of the young and old.
Satan laughed and joked-
Come on GI’s and take another toke
“Thanks for helping my kingdom grow.”
But, to show you that I’m not a bad fellow,
In your room I’ve personally installed
a thermostat and brimstone—scented pillow.
To think I could have avoided all this;
Just by reading one of the verses on the Wall of that train.
He(the Lord) loved me then — and even to the last,
He tried to give me his blood
Truly the Savior.
In my past, I had looked at church as a joke,
and thought none of it to last.
But I have been found wrong and am in awesome pain.
To think, I put my foot forward one Step on that train,
and put myself in the insane.
If I had only avoided “Oblivion Express.”
Some of the people had madly stared
Some cried and a few prayed for something to justify that day.
No matter the reason or cause
Justice from above was there for us all,
and the conductor called out-
May 22, 1975
And then in College, I was published with this one in the Sam Houston State Literary Review-
It wasn’t much of a poem, but I wrote it as a Salute to all the Men and Women who had fought in the Korean War. But, I wanted you to see and think about this-had my writing improved from the 1st poem you read to one in a Literary Review? You know it had and I wrote and I wrote and I wrote. But I also wrote Movie Scripts and I simply put them aside in the closet because that is not where I wanted to go with my writing.
And why was that Mr. James Brown? And the non-magical answer to that one was this-REJECTION LETTERS after sending one after another to one Publisher after another. So, yes, if you want a Publisher to publish your story or book, then good luck and remember this-
Time is on your side or it is not. And by that I mean the age factor and the health factor. Being Famous helps and a Timely Topic helps. Both will sell. So, while you are young, you might not think about writing a book, let alone sending it to a Publisher. And I want to let you in on a little secret-Most Publishers already have their Egg Basket of Writers and most are not really looking for new Mr. or Ms. You. See? But that does not need to be your reason for excusing yourself from writing your book.
Also, please get ready to “live and breath” your book. And dream it. A lot of great storyline comes to me in my dreams. Yes, actual dreams. And even what some would call visions. But when writing, be devoted totally to the writing without disturbing distractions. Be in the moment. And for me, I always pray and ask for aid in all my writings. But for you, don’t think the “no” and begin thinking “yes”. And don’t ever fear what others are gonna think. This is you writing and only you knows what you think.
GO FOR IT! WRITE IT! Let your words come flowing forth young man, young woman, or whatever your age is. Really let it flow. And don’t get frustrated. Many people could have written magnificent books, but for one single reason they do not and that is due to frustration or fear. THEY QUIT! They quit. They got flabbergasted and just up and quit! And I want you to know this-You don’t quit right in the middle of going to the potty, do you? And hopefully you will see the “simpleness” of what I just said. And don’t be a “Quitarangamus”! And if you quit, you will be the one who will suffers the most by your up and quitting. So, stick to it.
So, let’s keep moving on, shall we? And the 1st thing that I think any beginning writer should do is this-get a spiral notebook with several different sections in it and a pack of fine point pens. Then after you completely fill up that 1st notebook, get the next one and do the same thing. And if you already have a good computer, then you can skip the notebook for writing. But for me, a notebook becomes invaluable when you need to jot down some quick notes and such. Also, I use a spiral notebook to keep a good description of each chapter in it. That way, I can just up and jump back in a certain chapter to make sure of something. And hey, I even caught myself changing the name of one character and I only caught it when I reviewed my Notebook Chapter Descriptions. So, yes, no matter how long or how good you are at writing, get ready to make mistakes. Tons and tons of mistakes.
And if you are using a computer, deciding on which format to use-Microsoft Word or WordPerfect or some other platform. I have used both and several others, but now I only use Microsoft Word. And at the conclusion of a day’s writing, I use an external hard drive that I back-up my work to the external. Hey, if you lose your stored work at one location, you should get the 2nd so you don’t lose days, weeks, months, or even years of work at one time if your computer crashes. And you can also send it to the CLOUD if you so desire. Alright, alright, alrighty now.
So, what to write? Yep, got to have something to write about, right? And are you an expert in a certain field? You know some hot juicy stuff that you wanna say? Or, are you a future romantic novelist? Love makes the World go round for sure. Or is there something that you love very much? And what is it that you want to say? What do you want to tell me? To tell someone else? And remember this-once you put it out there, it’s out there forever. So, the 1st book I wrote was in 1996 and that was Handgun Safety.
And why write that? I wrote it in 1996 because I found no other books on Handgun Safety in any book stores. So, I wrote what I knew and at the time, I was a DPS Certified Concealed Handgun Instructor. And the amusing thing I found was this-no matter how much money I spent advertising this book, the same amount in Book Sales took place. And I always found that very odd. But good luck on your book sales.
And one thing that you will have to decide on is your own order on how you want to unveil your storyline. There’s always a beginning, a middle, and an ending. And there’s thousands of ways to unravel your book for your reader. But do remember, you are a reader too; and that comes mostly in your editing your book over and over. So, lay out your book, shuffle it up and then put it back together again.
But right now, let’s not even think about those book sales right now, okay? Forget them. Now, you finally found a subject that you know that you can write about. And right now, let me tell you-practice, practice, and more practice is vital to your becoming a good writer. And when you write, I say this-write exactly the way you talk. And why do I say that? So many people are hung-up on one thing or another and I majored in English with a BA from a College in it. And I never use my Degree to preach to me. I never let it’s hardline disciplines tell me how to write or always put things together. Don’t be afraid to be original in your writing style. Sure, I write like I talk and here’s an example of how to write the sentence more correctly and then how I talk-People ought to be right. Now see how I talk-Peoples needs to be rights. And why point that out?
Friend, I just retired from working in the Texas Prison System and one black lady once told me this-Mr. Brown, if I closed my eyes and listened to you talk, Lord, I would swear a black man was talking to me. And why is that? It’s simple. All of us are a product of our own environment. And in the Texas Prison System, and after having grandparents who did not get beyond the 2nd and 3rd grade in school, I was way behind in how I talked. But, how I talk is not the issue. Being comfortable to write as you talk is the issue and can you do it? Can you go beyond the “Has to be Perfect English” and “Correct” before you proceed? Forget about it! Write as you talk and don’t ever fret. And why am I saying that? I want you to succeed. But I want you to realize this-As an Officer with the Texas Prison System, I never told any Offender that I was an author or about my life or me and I never wrote about the Texas Prison System.
And now, here is the 1st of my books in A Panther’s Father Book Series which is being received very well by the entire World.
A Panther’s Father
Artist: Jessica Arbelaez
The book is over 550 pages long.
When you complete your writing, there will be many times to revise your writings and there are Auto-Correct programs that will scrub the heck out of what you are trying to say. When I complete a book, I then go back and begin re-editing it. And I might spend a whole day on just one chapter because me and Mr. Auto-Correct aren’t very good bed partners. No, I write as I talk and the auto-correct thinks that I am absolutely stupid by the amount of issues it has with my writings and the slang words that it wants to change.
Remember, this is your write and you are doing it for what reason? You have something that is got you in a pickle and you will no matter what, hunker-down and write until your fingernails bleed. Right? Well, no to the fingernails bleeding like learning to play a guitar. But now, how do you begin? And for me, I write until my fingers become too waxed. Yep, I stop when my fingers have polished the tops of the keys on the keyboard until they shine. And more truthfully, my fingers start mixing up on the right keys and then for me, it’s time to stop until the next day.
FORGET YOUR AUDIENCE! You must write it first. Write for yourself first. The audience can be addressed after you begin editing and re-editing. I don’t know how many times I have read that one-write to and for your audience only. Well, I don’t. I have a write and I am going to write that write, right? And after you begin looking at all the articles on how to write until it makes you want to puke, you will see this one peculiar thing-People will lie to you and they are there to hook and fry you into believing that they are the greatest and you must follow them ONLY! And you MUST SIGN-UP FOR THEIR NEWSLETTER! Really? Hey, I believe if a person is true to the Art of Writing and really cares, then they will reach out and attempt to help the newer writers get over that 1st hump. And do it all for free. Free, no charge.
Okay, now where do you go? You already now know what you want to write about and you have narrowed it down from a list of maybe twenty things that interest you. And then what? Yes, what comes next? When you are creating a book, always have a pen or pencil and a few pieces of paper with you at all possible times. A writer never knows when the creative juices will jump into your mind. Some visible image, or words you hear might bring a wonderful and useful thought to your mind that will aid you in your book. And then, write it down right then and there! Don’t let those good juices go to waste because saying you’ll remember them for later doesn’t always work when you forget.
Now, your subject is found. And now, two things will be needed-an Outline and a List of Characters. Now for me, I use Outlines and I write a two or three sentence or even four sentences down for what I want to put into each particular Chapter. And as far as Characters go, a whole lot of them are developed along the road as I travel down the Writer’s Road of Literary Work. And you can do this. Yes, YOU! You can do this.
And will it be easy? No, writing is not easy and it is very difficult at times. Now for one of my best kept secrets-When I am really working on a book, I go to bed early and usually get up around 4 a.m. and begin work. And as I gaze, sleepy headed at my computer screen, I turn the Computer On and then Log-On. Then I turn on some music. I do like-
And the above site plays Ad-Free 1960’s music and if I do not listen to iHeart, I listen to Oh Brother, where art thou? And it plays very old music and is not the music in the movie. But I listen to it when the earlier music becomes a mood distraction. And yes, you always got to be in the mood to write unless you are getting paid to write about something.
So, after a week or two or a month, you should have an Outlline of Your Book and that’s great. That’s Super!
Now, comes the Name of Your Book? What’d you gonna call that sucka? Yes, what’s the Lucky Name going to be for your book? And after you decide on a Name, has it been already USED? And if so, can you change it to another just as good name as the 1st one? You see, tons of folks have been using and writing names all the time. And what you use should be YOUR TITLE and not what someone else tells you it to be. Stick to your guns and run with Your Name of YOUR BOOK.
So, now write the Title Page, including the Title of the Book and your name. On the Next page, make this your Copyright page and never forget those Disclaimers so you won’t be held liable for stupid stuff you write cause someone might say you be writing about them when you are not. Then comes the FOREWORD page which is whatever you want to say about the book and most say something about the book’s interior work. The next page, you can write a “Dedicated To-“ page.
And the next thing is to put in your Chapters Page-you know, CONTENTS page where you list the chapters of your book somewhat like this play-pretend book below-
Outlaw Bill’s Life
Chapter One Bill shoots his mommie’s best pie…………..7
Chapter Two Mom makes no more pies for Bill…………12
Chapter Three (etc.)
Now comes for the chapter themselves. And write them. Yes, write them all and enjoy writing them. And as you write, pat yourself on your back, you are doing it. Yep, you’re writing your 1st book and if you have gotten to this point, then you are on your way to doing all of it. And never, never ever QUIT! Keep at it and write it all.
And now, here is the 2nd book in my A Panther’s Father Book Series.
A Panther’s Father II
Artist: Jessica Arbelaez
This book is over 430 pages long.
And the artwork on the above Book Cover that you are viewing is entitled
which means “shut out the noise,” picturing a sinister Crow trying to distract a young woman from the righteous path, where she in turn is greeted by friendly plants and animals.
Please take a moment and closely look at the above Artwork. It is simply amazing. And its magic will call to you.
And when you finish writing all of the Chapters on the CONTENTS page, you can then write an “About the Author” page for the last or near the last page of your book.
And then comes some real tough work-EDITING IT. And re-editing it. And I want now to show you a little secret which is the very fact that every time you read your book, you should be adding more storyline into the pages and I will now show you how to do just the simplest of what I am trying to say-
Bill and Joan went down to the river and there, they made out.
Now as you read those lines, add storyline to them like this for instance-
Bill and Joan, both being sixteen-year old teenagers from Georgia High, walked down to Stonybrook River holding hands with love on their young minds.
And now every time you re-read your lines, add descriptive words to your storyline like above which can help a reader see what you want them to see in their minds. And as I write, I have a Cell Phone and a Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary and a list of descriptive words that will aid in your writings. And I use them. And the Cell Phone is the easiest to use to get the correct pronunciation of words and meaning.
And you write and you write and you get flustered and you get weak and you energy level draws down-so, take a break. That’s right-remember, Rome wasn’t built overnight and neither will your book be.
I want to warn you right now, if you a Writing Thief, you will get caught. Yes, on several times, I had my own books stolen by other authors who thought that they wouldn’t get caught.
Google is notorious in aiding the Correct Author and shutting down Copyright Violators and they aided me.
Now, your book is ready to go and WHAT IS NEXT? I am now telling you the actual truth of what I do. I transform my Microsoft Manuscript for the entire book and then, I Re-Format it to PDF so that it will be accepted at the United States Library of Congress. It costs about $35 dollars and the entire process takes less than an hour to do. And after you do that, they will send you an Official Document showing that you OWN the Copyright to the work that you submitted in about SIX MONTHS.
And when you get that sucka, you are good to go and now-Submit it to Publishers or Publish it Yourself?
But if you self-Publish, please take the time to have a Book Cover Design done and ready to go. And there are thousands of them to review on the Internet for a very small cost done by very good Artists.
Okay, after many Publisher Rejection Letters, you are ready to Self-Publish and THAT IS A OKAY! Be all the INDIE Author that you can be and you will be so very fulfilled that it won’t even be funny. And you will join with millions of other Indie Authors who chose to Publish on their own.
So, if you go it alone, I want you to know this right now-YOU CAN DO IT! Don’t let the “I can’t do this” monster climb into your mind. Come, and join all of the other Indie Authors who are having all the fun and you can too. And your greatest reward will be-Hey, I did it! I really did it.
Now, who to self-publish with?
Friends, the Cheapest is the FREE method and KDP can set you up very quickly and get your work out there. Now, I used them and then I bounced on over to LULU.COM. And I have no regrets for coming on over to LULU.COM where my last two books are being SOLD all over the World in both printed form and in Ebook. And no, I am not a Lulu salesperson and I get nothing by writing about them. It is merely the truth in my case. Lulu.com will walk an author thru the entire process and be there to hold your hand if need be(but not in real life).
Do not mind-melt over all of this. Your First Book is very Doable. It is so gosh darn easy that it’s not even funny. I know of other fellow authors who have written and write books of Poetry and all forms of writing so that others will genuinely get to experience something brand new.
So, I hope that I have made it very clear-yes, if your heart is burning with desire to get your 1st book into the mainstream where the World will remember that Your were Here and that You Wrote that First Book, then by all means-DO IT! Don’t wait! Don’t hesitate! Be BOLD! BE GREAT!
Be an AUTHOR!
And once you do, you’ll be glad that you did, I promise, and you’ll never look back at the person who was afraid to do this most simplest of things.
God Bless…the living breathing James Brown, US Army Veteran, author of A Panther’s Father Book Series.