Writers’ Connection


101 Things Authors Should Know When Writing a Book

This article delves into 101 crucial elements every author should be aware of, from character development and plot structure to pacing and voice. Understanding these aspects is vital as they collectively contribute to creating a compelling story, engaging readers, and ultimately determining the success of your book.

As an author, the process of writing a book can seem overwhelming, with numerous factors that can influence the quality of your work. Read on to explore 101 essential components that authors need to know, ranging from the intricacies of character creation and plot design, to the subtleties of pacing and narrative voice. Understanding these elements is critical as they work together to shape a captivating story, engage your audience, and determine the success of your book writing journey.

1. Identify your audience: Know who you’re writing for and understand them.
2. Choose a genre: This will help guide your writing, even if it is cross-genre.
3. Read widely: Familiarize yourself with the genre you’re writing in and what other authors are publishing.
4. Create an outline: This will serve as your roadmap and is a must-not-miss first step.
5. Develop your characters: Profile them in detail to make them real and relatable.
6. Choose a point of view: First person, second person, third person.
7. Show, don’t tell: Let your readers experience the story instead of telling them every detail.
8. Write a strong opening: Hook your readers from the start to keep them turning pages.
9. Use active voice: It’s more engaging and direct.
10. Avoid clichés: They can make your writing seem unoriginal and uninteresting.
11. Use dialogue: It can reveal character and advance the plot, but choose when to use it wisely.
12. Edit ruthlessly: Cut unnecessary words and phrases, but not while you are writing the first draft.
13. Revise: Your first draft won’t be perfect, and that’s okay.
14. Seek feedback: Fresh eyes can spot issues you might have missed.
15. Stay consistent: Keep your writing style and tone consistent throughout.
16. Research: If you’re writing about something you’re not familiar with, do your homework and verify facts.
17. Write regularly: Make writing a habit that you do on a cadence.
18. Avoid info dumps: Don’t overwhelm your reader with too much information at once.
19. Create conflict: It drives the plot and makes things interesting and needing resolution..
20. Write a compelling climax: This is the moment your story builds up to. Don’t disappoint.
21. Wrap up loose ends: Don’t leave your reader with unanswered questions and ambiguity.
22. Write a satisfying conclusion: Leave your reader feeling satisfied that they have found closure.
23. Consider your book cover: It’s the first thing potential readers see and can make or break a customer (reader).
24. Write a blurb: This is what will entice readers to pick up your book and look deeper.
25. Think about marketing: How will you get your book into the hands of readers? What are all the ways?
26. Consider self-publishing: It’s a lot of work, but it gives you complete control over your creation and finances.
27. Explore traditional publishing: It’s tough to break into, but it can offer more support.
28. Learn about literary agents: They can help you navigate the publishing world.
29. Understand copyrights: Protect your work. Period.
30. Don’t be discouraged by rejection: Every author faces it and there will be no’s and bad reviews..
31. Celebrate small victories: Every word, every page, is progress. You can do this.
32. Don’t compare yourself to others: Write your own book, not someone else’s.
33. Write what you love: Passion shines through in your writing so go for what makes you tick.
34. Don’t forget about pacing: Keep your story moving forward.
35. Use sensory details: They can make your writing more immersive.
36. Create a writing schedule: Consistency can help you finish your book by a goal you set.
37. Don’t wait for inspiration: Sometimes you have to write through the block. Every day will not be a good writing day.
38. Set realistic goals: Don’t set yourself up for failure by trying to take on too much, too soon.
39. Take care of yourself: Writing can be draining. Make sure to rest, recharge, and celebrate milestones.
40. Don’t be afraid to rewrite: Sometimes it’s necessary and will make it better.
41. Learn from criticism: It can help you improve so you are better next time.
42. Don’t rush: Good writing takes time. It’s okay to take your time.
43. Keep learning: There’s always more to learn about writing. Never stop learning.
44. Find your voice: It’s what makes your writing unique.
45. Don’t neglect your setting: It’s more than just a backdrop for the story.
46. Avoid head-hopping: Stick to one point of view per scene.
47. Use subplots: They can add depth to your story and take you to places you did not expect.
48. Understand the theme: What message do you want to convey?
49. Use symbolism: It can add a layer of depth to your unforgettable story.
50. Avoid purple prose: Overly flowery writing can be off-putting to most readers.
51. Write a strong ending: Leave your reader wanting more and “wowed” by your finale.
52. Consider a writing group: Feedback from peers can be invaluable so you can push past your comfort zone.
53. Don’t plagiarize: Always credit your sources and never steal from anyone or any tool.
54. Use a professional editor: They can catch mistakes you might have missed. And there will be mistakes.
55. Understand your market: Know what’s selling and what isn’t in your space.
56. Don’t forget the middle: Many authors struggle with the second act. Give it adequate outlining and attention.
57. Write even when it’s hard: Persistence is key. This is work!
58. Don’t be afraid to cut: If it doesn’t serve the story, let it go. But keep it handy just in case for later.
59. Read your work aloud: It can help you spot awkward phrasing, pacing, and dialogue..
60. Don’t rely on spell check: It won’t catch everything. You will need an editor and proofreader.
61. Avoid repetitive phrasing: It can make your writing feel stale.
62. Use strong verbs: They make your writing more dynamic and engaging.
63. Avoid adverb overuse: Remember, show, don’t tell.
64. Understand publishing contracts: Know what you’re signing down to the last detail. Spend the time to ask questions and fully understand the agreements.
65. Don’t forget about your back cover: It’s prime real estate and readers will look there.
66. Consider a pen name: It can offer privacy and branding opportunities.
67. Keep a writing journal: It can help you capture ideas and work through problems and procrastination.
68. Know your strengths and weaknesses: Play to your strengths and work on your weaknesses. You can’t be everything all the time.
69. Don’t neglect subtext: What’s not said can be just as important as what is.
70. Understand story structure: It’s the backbone of your story and poor structure can ruin a good story.
71. Use foreshadowing: It can help build suspense and keep readers guessing.
72. Avoid stereotypes: They can make your characters feel flat and unoriginal and forgettable.
73. Write diverse characters: Add color and flavor to your characters based on almost anyone you can remember, people that you meet, whether they are real or entirely made up.
74. Understand character arcs: Characters should grow and change throughout their time in the story.
75. Don’t neglect secondary characters: They can add depth and interest and support to the main actors on the literary stage.
76. Avoid plot holes: They can undermine your story and confuse your audience.
77. Understand your genre’s conventions: Readers have certain expectations of what they like to read.
78. Don’t be afraid to break the rules: But understand them first.
79. Write a strong first chapter: It sets the tone for the rest of the book and keeps that reader reading.
80. Don’t info dump in your first chapter: It can overwhelm the reader and lose their attention fast.
81. Introduce your main characters early: Let your reader get to know them right away.
82. Start with a problem: It will keep readers turning pages trying to figure out where this goes.
83. Avoid too many characters: It can confuse the reader and make it hard to follow.
84. Understand the stakes: What does your protagonist stand to lose?
85. Keep raising the stakes: Keep the pressure on your protagonist.
86. Give your protagonist a goal: It drives the story to a specific place and end.
87. Give your characters flaws: Nobody’s perfect. They should all have more than one flaw that you can use in the story.
88. Make your protagonist active: They should drive the story, not be dragged along by it.
89. Give your characters a past: Their histories will influence their actions and an interesting backstory makes readers connect on a deeper level and care about them.
90. Give your characters motivations: Why do they do what they do?
91. Understand character relationships: How do your characters relate to each other?
92. Use conflict: It’s the engine of your story and good conflict can be addicting to a reader if they relate.
93. Understand the climax: It’s the moment everything builds up to.
94. Resolve the main conflict: Don’t leave your readers hanging and wondering what happened.
95. Tie up loose ends: But leave some questions for the next book (if there is one).
96. Write a satisfying last line: It’s the last impression you’ll leave on your reader. A soft last line is a letdown.
97. Consider a sequel: If your readers want more, give it to them, delving deeper into the subplots.
98. Don’t be afraid to kill your darlings: If a scene or character isn’t working, cut them.
99. Keep writing: Even when it’s hard. Especially when it’s hard. This is what makes you an author.
100. Believe in yourself: You can do this! It’s a fact.
101. Enjoy the process: Writing a book is a journey. Enjoy the ride! Every minute.

Final Thoughts

Writing a book is a journey filled with challenges and triumphs. It requires not only creativity and passion but also discipline, resilience, and a willingness to learn. The 101 points outlined in this article serve as a comprehensive guide for authors embarking on this journey, covering everything from the initial stages of planning and outlining to the final steps of editing and publishing. However, every writer’s process is unique, and these guidelines should be adapted to fit individual needs and styles. Remember, the most important thing is to enjoy the process and believe in your ability to create. After all, writing a book is not just about the destination—it’s about the journey. Happy writing!


Plan Your Book: Before you start writing, create a basic outline of your book. This includes understanding your audience, choosing a genre, and developing your characters. An outline will serve as a roadmap and can make the writing process smoother.

Write Regularly: Consistency is key in writing. Set a writing schedule and stick to it. This could be a certain time each day or a word count goal. Regular writing helps to maintain momentum and allows you to make steady progress on your book.

Revise and Edit: Writing is rewriting. Don’t be afraid to make changes. Once you’ve finished your first draft, take the time to revise and edit. This includes checking for plot inconsistencies, character development, and language use. Consider getting feedback from others as it can provide valuable insights.

Join Writers’ Connection today and gain access to a library of information and resources! Follow us on social media, including TwitterFacebookInstagramLinkedIn, and Substack for the latest topics, trends, and networking opportunities.

Do you have a favorite book writing and publishing success story? Share your story and ideas with us via email or on social media to be considered as an upcoming featured author or guest blogger!

Recent Posts
Fuel Your Creativity:  50 Unique Writing Prompts to Ignite Your Imagination

Fuel Your Creativity: 50 Unique Writing Prompts to Ignite Your Imagination

Are you staring at a blank page, grappling with writer’s block, or simply seeking fresh inspiration? Look no further! In this first post on stoking the fires of imagination, I share with you 50 interesting writing prompts designed to stimulate the mind, coax out hidden stories, and banish procrastination forever (or at least for the time being).

Top Book and Publishing Blogs for Authors in 2024

Top Book and Publishing Blogs for Authors in 2024

If you are an aspiring or seasoned author, there is a wealth of knowledge, opinion, and advice on book writing, publishing, and marketing at your keyboard. We scoured the web and connected with authors to see what is current in this space.

Embracing the Word Journey: Learning from Other Authors

Embracing the Word Journey: Learning from Other Authors

Writing is a journey, not a destination. Every peak and valley, every triumph and hiccup contributes to your growth as a writer. Embrace the fact that there will always be someone better than you, but let that awareness be a source of motivation rather than discouragement.