Guest Articles >> Creativity

You Too Can Write a Book In Only 15 Minutes Per Day

By Sara Woods

Few people have either never admired the success of a best-selling author or secretly—or not so secretly—dreamed of writing his own book. Unfortunately, very few dreamers or admirers actually try, and if they try, they give up, feeling it's too hard. Usually the two primary reasons are self-induced: 'I don't have time' or 'I can't write.'

Unfortunately, most of us can squirm out of doing something that is uncomfortable or new. The human mind is extraordinarily powerful, and if you convince yourself you can't do something, then you won't be able to. Granted, humans have physical and some mental limitations, but remember how scared you were when you first rode a bike? You got over it, though, and now you ride like a pro. And it's something that has stuck with you for life.

If you want to write stories or a book, the first step is saying that you can over and over again—not that you cannot.

How long does it take to get to work? It takes as long as it takes. Writing a book can be accomplished in 15 minutes each day. That's all—just 15 minutes. Can you find 15 minutes in your schedule? What about just before you go to sleep? What about when you are drinking your first cup of coffee in the morning? Do you ride a bus or a train? You have time then, yes?

Start with an outline of your story. Name the place, time and primary people involved. Get down on paper what you have in mind for a plot. It's long been an honored recommendation that you write the type of story that you love to read. You are more familiar with how that type of story develops and progresses. Follow that advice. Branch out later if you'd like, but your first time out, write what you love.

Then write full biographies of each of your main characters. You should have one protagonist—the main good guy—and one antagonist—the main bad guy. Even books about groups or teams always has an on-spot leader who is the 'leading character.' Writing their biographies helps you fill out the picture of them. It also helps you keep the character 'in character.' Having someone who knows nothing about geology, for instance, instantly becoming knowledgeable about cave formations and weak structures just because you need to get the characters out of a cave before it floods just isn't going to cut it. By the time you have the biographies finished, complete with birth dates, birth places and family structure, you should know the character fully and as well as you know yourself.

Create supporting cast. Does the protagonist work in an office? Will some of the plot show that office? Then with whom should the character interact realistically? Don't add everyone on five floors, but add enough to make it believable. And make it relevant. For every supporting character, develop a biography with the level of detail required to fit the character role.

Your plot outline is a guide. If an interesting but related tangent presents itself, don't be hesitant to explore it. Merely mark in your draft where it starts and ends. If you end up not using it, you can always save that extract and write another story!

Don't 'fall in love' with your work. It's a work in progress; you're writing a draft. Even if you consider it a final draft and submit it to a publishing house for consideration, it's still a draft. Odds are, you'll still have to rewrite parts of it. Don't let it discourage you. Even best-selling authors get the dreaded Blue Pen marks from editors occasionally!

Despite common claims you may have read, very few people can write a good novel in 28 days, but just about anyone can write one in 15 minutes a day!

About the Author

Post contributed by Sara Woods from Coupon Croc. Gain some inspiration by planning a writers retreat, and save on your getaway with a Thomson discount code.


The above guest post is published on this website based on the premise that it will be helpful and informative. The opinions made within it are those of the author and not of The links you may find within this post do not necessarily imply our recommendation or endorsement of the views expressed within them.


simon says:

The author is right. I have recently started using this advice. You can write anything you like, even a PhD thesis. But, the key point to remember here is never to skip a day. Also use the time set aside effectively. Here is a tip: set a trigger, some action that you do every day like brushing teeth, to remind you to get to work. Otherwise you can miss a day, then two days in a row, and the impulse could be lost forever.

Your Comment: