How to Write A Manuscript

Step 1:

invent a story idea

I’m not kidding. You’ll need a story idea. In it’s most basic form, a story idea is:

  • a person
  • something happens to them
  • what they do about it
  • how it’s resolved

​If you can outline this, you have a story idea.

Step 2:

talk about it with someone

There is no better way of getting to know your idea and starting to see how it could become a story than by talking about it. You could talk about it to anyone who will listen.

Talk to me, though, to know quickly and effectively, how to take your idea and make it into the most effective story it could be. Identify its weaknesses, spot opportunities, and begin developing it.

You could do this in one of two ways:

Step 3:

write a plan… or don’t

Most authors write a few notes.

Some write long and detailed plans. With wall charts.

Do whatever feels comfortable. Nonetheless I advise most strongly that at the very least, you write about 250 words about what the story is about, and how it should make the reader feel.

You could also:

Step 4:

write your first draft

The first draft is essential, because that’s how you discover what your story really is.

There are likely to be plenty of problems in your first draft. It doesn’t matter too much. Get the complete story written.

If you don’t know how or when to get started, Read Worthy Fiction is the A to Z of writing your first draft. It’s a course I created for new writers to guide you through the entire process; 25 detailed lessons. Sign up here.

You will make plenty of mistakes in your first draft – but many of them are avoidable. Send me your first 5kl to 10kl for an Early Diagnosis.

Step 5:

write your second draft

Now that you know where your story goes, what happens, and how, you can rewrite it. Your second draft is your opportunity to tell your story again, now that you know what happens. 

It’s necessary. It will be obvious to any reader of your first draft when new ideas came to you, or where you got bored, or where you forgot something that happened before. All this can be fixed in your second draft.

Step 6:

prepare for your edit

Your second draft will be coherent enough that it is worth presenting to an editor, either for:

These services will enable you to produce a working draft that can be sent to a copy editor, or sent to your beta panel.

self-publish or start querying

Go here for my 10 Step Guide to Self-Publishing

Or, if you want to be old School, start researching agents and publishers, and start the querying process.