At this point in the process of planning out your blogged book, you are almost ready to give your book’s spine, which you created with your TOC, some flesh—some real content. Before you begin writing, though, I suggest you take the time to complete three more planning steps that ensure you have enough “flesh on the bone” of your book. Additionally, these steps guarantee the content you produce matches your vision of the book you want to write and the book your readers want to read. Also, they help turn what can sometimes feel like an overwhelming job—producing a full book manuscript—into an easily manageable one.
Subheadings or Titles Create More Bone (Structure)
Before you begin writing your blogged book manuscript and publish even the first post on your blog, create just a bit more structure: Break your chapters into post-sized sections delineated by subheadings. These become actual titles of your blog posts. Use this simple process:
- Brainstorm possible content for each chapter. Consider:
- Questions to answer
- Problems to solve
- Scenes in the story arc
- Character development that must occur
- Period of time to cover
- Benefits to offer
- Information to provide
- Break that contents into many (10-20) post-sized pieces.
- Assign each piece of content, which will be 250-500 words (a bit longer for fiction), a subheading.
- Write or rewrite that subheading to become a blog post title. (You can do this later, but they need to be compelling and include keywords or keyword phrases.)
Consider these post-sized bits of content, each represented by a subheading or post title, the “extra bone” you added to the spine, a bit like ribs, legs, arms, fingers, and toes. They give your blogged book more form and definition. If you have difficulty brainstorming a list of post-sized bits of content, just create a list of post titles. This often seems easier but accomplishes the same end.
Chapter or Post Summaries Put Flesh on the Bone
Now that you have created a list of titles for the posts that comprise each of your blogged book chapters, you can add the “muscle, tendon and flesh” to the “bone” of your book—the real content.
- For nonfiction, write a brief summary of each chapter. This can be a log line, a few sentences or a paragraph or two. Think of this as a chapter-by-chapter synopsis.
- For fiction, write a synopsis. This is a short (a page or two at most) description of your novel that provides the key information, such as plot, theme, characterization, and setting.
If you want to make your writing go even faster later, provide a log line, a one-sentence description, of each of the posts you plan to write for each chapter. This means fleshing out each chapter in post-by-post detail.
Bring Your Blogged Book to Life
Once you have completed these two steps, look over your TOC, post titles, and chapter summaries or synopsis critically. Evaluate if the form and content, the bone and flesh, you have given your blogged book matches your initial vision of your book idea. Are you giving life to something that has the strength to survive in the world (the market)? Can it provide readers with benefits and address their interests, and is it unique and compelling?
If so, you can add the actual flesh to the bones: Begin blogging your book. Sit down at your computer 2-7 times per week and write 250-500 words that meet the requirements of your post description or headline and of the chapter as a whole. As you do so, you bring your blogged book idea to life.
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