Whether you are writing a book of fiction or non-fiction, you need to write with your reader’s journey in mind. When your reader opens your book to the Foreward or Preface, they should read some clues about what the starting point of this journey is, and where the book journey will take them. Regardless of the genre of your book, there should be a story element in how you write it.
In her book, Wired for Story, Lisa Cron writes, “Story is what makes us human, not just metaphorically but literally. Recent breakthroughs in neuroscience reveal that our brain is hardwired to respond to story; the pleasure we derive from a tale well told is nature’s way of seducing us into paying attention to it. We are wired to turn to story to teach us the way of the world.”
If you are writing a non-fiction book, you still want to include an element of story by writing with the reader in mind as your main character. Your reader has a problem which your book will address, and throughout their reading journey, they will be taken through the book with content that helps them arrive at a new place by the end. They will have new strategies, tactics, and mindset for overcoming their problem and achieving success.
In a novel, of course your main character needs to be appealing, flawed, noble, and resonate with readers because of the obstacles he or she will face throughout the story. Readers truly are wired for story and specifically, they need to identify with characters in a novel.
In my experience of coaching authors, I have discovered that a strong book outline is essential. Many writers prefer to write “stream of consciousness” and while that worked for Virginia Woolf, it is not recommended. One of my favourite books is her novel, To the Lighthouse, a landmark work in the stream of consciousness genre.
But for your book, creating a strong outline will enable you to write faster, more confidently, and with a story arc to engage your reader from beginning to the end.
For more on writing a strong book outline, see my online course “Accelerate Writing Your Business Book: Create a Story Arc Outline.”
The course will be launched October 28.