How Did I Write A Book? Basic Writing To Completion Tips

May 31, 2023 by Shannon Mori

Ernest Hemingway had it right. He said, “There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it’s like drilling rock and blasting it out with charges.”

Sometimes it does come easily. For me, The Ear Bend just flowed and the other Pawsome Pal books to come did too. It took me a bit of time to figure out how to get there. Sometimes there is drilling rock to finally get a thought to flow in written word. When it comes to words, we all have them and we all have a story to tell. Some have a gift for putting their stories down on paper in an interesting and entertaining way. Some have a gift for spoken word and can gain interest with their verbal communication. I am most certainly the former rather than the latter so I’m here to encourage those who have a talent or love for writing and show what has worked and what hasn’t worked for me.

Let’s start with what has personally not worked for me. Like many writers, it has always been a dream of mine to write a novel. Over the years, I’ve started several, but never finished. I’ve had great ideas and stories, characters I could develop, plots that could keep one’s interest but why could I never finish? At the time of all of these writings, I did not have or follow my how-to steps of writing to completion so let’s move on to what has worked.

How did I write a book? How did I know what would work and what people might want to purchase and read themselves? Where does one even begin? Whether you have goals to have your writing published, work as a professional writer or enjoy writing for fun as a hobby, I have some tips that have worked for me. As a writer though as in other creative outlets, what works for one may not work for another. These are simply my basic writing tips:

  1. Write what you know. If you feel as though you have nowhere to start, start with what you know. For me, children’s books was the absolute way to go. As a proud mom of two, a lover of animals and a former poetry writer, I knew exactly what stories I had to tell and what message I planned to deliver. I have been so absorbed in mama life, the words just poured out of me for my first book one day while I was putting my daughter down for a nap. If you are writing a novel, start with a topic you know and are passionate about. If you know something you want to write about but aren’t too familiar with the subject, with the theme, with the setting, etc., it will make the writing process more of a challenge and that will delay your steps to completion or in some cases (like my work in progress novels), become an unfinished work of fiction (or non-fiction) for an unforeseeable future.
  2. Make the time to write. Even if it’s just 5 minutes a day, set aside time to focus on writing. I know how busy we all are. However, it is well worth it if you want to write, to make it a priority at some point during the day. Not only will the practice help you be a better writer, but it will help you to complete a written work. If you don’t make the time to write, it will never get done and again, that unfinished work of fiction or non-fiction never to be completed. How did I write my second Pawsome Pals book? In the carpool line waiting to pick up my son from school. I am creative so I get creative with my writing time. I am a mom so I know how to squeeze in my own personal time whenever I can get a chance and I take full advantage of any free opportunity to get some writing in, whether it be in the Notes app on my phone (as in the case of Pawsome Pals #2) or sitting down at my computer or with a pad and paper.
  3. Find your voice. Determine your point of view. You know when you are reading a best-selling book and you can tell what author is writing it simply by the style of writing? That’s voice and it’s a combination of point of view, vocabulary, tone and syntax. The best writers have a distinctive voice. Developing your voice can take a great deal of time and effort so be patient with yourself.
  4. Know your audience. Another important thing to keep in mind when you are writing a book or an article, know who you are writing for. A target audience is the people a piece of writing is intended to reach. As a children’s book author for example, my audience is children within a certain age group. When writing for your audience, you will use language your audience understands and is comfortable with. This is also key to any marketing strategy you will undertake as an author. I market to children, parents, and animal lovers, and there are audiences I would not market. Find your niche and write for it.
  5. Identify your purpose. This one is important. What is your reason for writing? What motivates you to produce a piece of writing? The three basic purposes of an author’s writing are to inform, to persuade and to entertain. If you go into writing without a purpose, you will have poor focus and your content will not be clear to yourself or to your reader. Understanding the reason you are writing will help with the understanding of the writing itself.

These are just the basics. These are my simple steps in how I completed a written piece to become a published book. Be patient with yourself and kind to yourself as a writer. The takeaway here is to just keep going. Write everyday whether it is towards a piece of work you hope to someday publish or just words you need to get out to get you through the day. It is practice and with any great skill, practice makes perfect. Good writing takes practice, patience and imagination.

Like Hemingway puts it, “Imagination? It is the one thing beside honesty that a good writer must have. The more he learns from experience the more he can imagine.” If you can imagine it, you can write it. The greatest story tellers have an honest imagination and a truth to be told. Get your story out because there is someone out there that wants to read it!


Shannon Mori is the author of The Ear Bend, the first of the Pawsome Pals book series. She is the current Author of the Month at The Paper House Publishing. Her passions include animals, writing and supporting fellow indie writers. Her blog, That's A'Mori, shares experiences in being an author, mom, wife and whatever other hat she is wearing that day. Her incredibly supportive husband and her two bright young children, who love reading as much as she does, are her inspiration. After living all over the U.S. with a love for new adventures and travel, Shannon and her family which includes five pets now reside close to the beach in sunny Florida.