5 Must-Know Rules for Writing Your First Book

5 Must Know Rules for Writing Your First Book

5 Must Know Rules for Writing Your First BookBy CJ Childress

While on your way to total #BOSSBABE dominance a little itch strikes you…

You’ve caught on to the idea that being an author can boost your profile to uber it girl status. Not just because every book that one sells = moolah in their pocket, but for the very fact that those that write books are admitted entry into an elite sorority. A girls’ club that entitles you to more professional opportunities. More speaking engagements. More leading of workshops. More clients. More authority.

And let’s keep it real, we live in a world where MORE is apart of the game. MORE is what we want as we build our Boss Babe careers.

And even when we’ve made it, we will then want more down time, more balance, more security.


I am sure you’re now saying, “Yeah yeah yeah, the hell with all of that philosophy. How do I write my first book?”

That’s fair, because that is what you came here for. If you’re up for the gorgeous challenge, then here goes: Continue reading “5 Must-Know Rules for Writing Your First Book”


Writing a Novel In Under a Year

Black Writers - Write a Novel in Under a Year

Black Writers - Write a Novel in Under a YearMake no mistake, writing and publishing a novel is no small feat. The elite class of people who have accomplished this — either by traditional or independent publishing — are few. Finishing your first novel will be a challenge, but one you can overcome with careful planning and diligent effort. If you want to finish your novel within a year or less, there are several things that you can do to make this a reality.

Plan Your Writing

One of the most common questions writers ask when planning to write a novel is how many words or pages they should write. While some experts advise that an adult commercial or literary fiction novel should ideally be no fewer than 80,000 words with the most acceptable range between 80,000 and 110,000 words, the reality is that 70,000 or even 60,000 words can still be considered a novel. Your target word count will depend on your genre.

But for your goal-setting purposes, an 80,000 word novel is approximately 188-258 pages. To complete an 80,000-word novel in a month, you will have to write 2,667 words a day. While this may seem daunting, it can often be easy to bang out this amount or more when ideas and your storyline start flowing. Many writers designate a set time each day to write. Some get up before dawn to write while others toil away at their novels until well past midnight. The goal is to write consistently each day.

Set a Deadline

The key to getting your novel finished is to set a deadline. For writers who want to publish on Amazon, the site allows you to pre-release your novel before it is finished. Amazon will give you a date that the work must be submitted in order to be released on that date. This is a great way to impose a deadline on yourself that will propel you to complete your novel.

Leave yourself additional time for the post-work after you have completed your book. This means re-reading and rewriting, having the book professionally edited, formatted, and your cover designed. You will need to order an ISBN, arrange to have an author’s copy printed, and set up book signing events. Plan this time into your deadline to be sure your book is ready to go on your release date.

With the right amount of effort and planning, you can finish writing your novel in a month and be published within a year. By applying these few tips, you will become a published author and join the ranks of writers across the world who share this distinction long before this year ends.

Part 3 of a series for the aspiring novelist


Best Software Programs for Writers

Great Dialogue writing software

In this article we discuss several of the best software programs designed for fiction writers. These programs aim to help save writers hours of time in addition to offering a plethora of benefits that writers may find immensely useful.

Great Dialogue

Great Dialogue writing softwareNothing sinks a novel faster than poor dialogue. This software from WordPower Technologies contains a repository of thousands of samples of the best dialogue from videos, television, and books. Many of these offer a detailed analysis. This software offers 101 dialogue practices and techniques so that you can learn by seeing great dialogue in action, which can help you to improve your dialogue skills. The cost of the software is a winner since, at $20, it isn’t expensive. (Windows)


Ideal for beginners, NewNovelist enables you to break down the process of novel writing into manageable chunks. The program helps newbies to get organized while offering writing advice and creative inspiration. (Windows, $29)


WriteItNow is a creative writing tool that aims to help the writer to easily organize writing and background materials. It basically acts as a cloud, which means you can get rid of all of those sticky notes and scraps of paper and manage your story and historical material (figures, areas, functions, and descriptions) in one single place. (Windows/Mac, $70)


With this free storywriting software, you manage your novel as a ‘project’ into chapters and scenes, adding sections to the undertaking, locations, heroes, objects and then moments. Organize a visual format of your work, a storyboard watch, and more. (Windows, $0)


Designed to support the writer through the entire process, Scrivener enables you to outline and structure ideas, manage and view research, keep notes, and storyboard your work on a virtual corkboard and more. (Mac, $45; Windows, $40)

Dramatica Pro and Dramatica Story Expert

Dramatica software for writersOne of the more popular programs for writers, Dramatica (Pro for Windows/Dramatica Story Expert for Mac) can be a complete fiction writing tool. It’s a bit like having a coach working with you as you write. You will be ready to cast and build your characters, plot, subjects, and your history, and fit all of it together into scenes. While’s a bit more expensive, unfortunately it doesn’t write your story for you. It does, however, make you think by offering suggestions you might not have considered. (Pro, $129; Story Expert, $159)

While few of these software programs are free, sometimes it’s worth investing in software that will make your job as a writer easier. Buying a program that can achieve this can undoubtedly be one of those investments that enhance your production along with your bottom line for years to come.


Resolutions for the Aspiring Writer

Start writing today

Start writing todayWe know the common New Year’s resolutions people make: lose weight, save money, get more organized. As a writer, you probably have at least one writing-oriented resolution. But, why not make your entire list of resolutions for this year those that’ll lead to success to your writing goals? Here are some resolution ideas you might make and how to keep them.

Create and commit to a routine of writing

Plain and simple, nothing gets written if you don’t write it. Sometimes it seems that most of writing is the waiting for it to happen somewhere in between the procrastination snacking and the writer’s block at the eleventh hour. We can even get into the habit of only writing when we feel like it or when pressed with a deadline. Try writing promptsHowever, your craft will not improve if you don’t practice it. Set objective goals that are realistic and measurable. Either commit to a word count (perhaps using word count meters to track your progress) or an amount of time that you will write on a daily or weekly basis. For example, 200 words or one hour per day are easy goals. Use this time to write about anything to exercise your creative muscle or use the time to devote to a project, which leads to the next resolution…

Finish that writing project

You know which one. It’s THE project – the collection of poems, the finished book, the biography. It’s the one that has sat half-done for longer than you can remember. You can envision the finished product, yet finishing it has become your personal Moby Dick. Well, channel your inner Captain Ahab and finish it once and for all. Sit down and write out a timeline and give yourself deadlines to meet. Use your writing routine as time to dedicate to it.

Find other writers

Meetup.com is a great place to find local writers. Many writing groups will have weekly meet-ups where you can share your work for feedback and hear what other people are working on. It’s a great way to find inspiration and support. Also, join groups online where you can connect with writers and exchange ideas. These connections in person and online can lead to other possibilities like finding someone to walk you through publishing your first book. Or attend writers’ conferences, workshops, and retreats, like those produced by Black Writers Events.

Try a new genre

Writing in a different genre is another way to keep your mind fresh and flexible. Trying out new genres also brings diversity to your portfolio when you apply for a writing position. If you mainly write non-fiction, try writing a short story. If you write novels, try writing an article on current events. And everyone should try his or her pen at poetry. What’s a writing collection if you don’t have a few embarrassing poems of ardent love sprinkled in there (hopefully, only discovered posthumously).

The more you actively remind yourself of the reasons that you enjoy writing and are a writer, the more this can motivate you to continue on with your resolutions. The most important thing is to have confidence in yourself and in your craft. Happy writing!