By the end of this week, you should wrap up the introductory material about yourself, your business, and background knowledge about your topic, and start moving into the meat of your book–the information you want to impart to your reader.
How do you do this smoothly?
For nonfiction writers, it’s actually quite easy. End your current chapter with something to the effect of, “Now we’ll dive into Topic X,” and start a new chapter about Topic X. Readers will follow a shift in gears as long as you let them know it’s coming. You only need one or two transition sentences, and then you can get back to the main point of your book.
Once you’ve finished your beginning, re-read it and make sure you’ve answered three questions in the text:
1. What is your topic?
2. Why should members of your target audience care about your topic? What will they get out of reading this book?
3. Why should your reader trust what you say about your topic?
You don’t have to specifically tell the reader that you’re answering those questions for them, but the answers should appear somewhere in the opening chapters. This will get the reader excited to keep reading and encourage them to engage more deeply with the book.
Now that you’ve got a solid beginning, keep on writing as you roll into the main body of your manuscript!
Happy writing! You’re doing great!
*This Week’s Word Count*
Your book is as long as: A twenty-page thesis paper
By the end of this week, you should be moving out of the introduction phase of your story and into the rising action, if you haven’t done so already. Your reader should know which character is the protagonist and what goal they’re trying to accomplish.
They should also have a clear understanding of what success or failure will look like at the end of the book. (This understanding can, and probably will, change over the course of the story, but the reader should at least have a preliminary idea of what the “good” and “bad” outcomes might be.)
Likewise, the main character’s goal can change later in the story, but the reader needs something to root for at this point in order to stay invested in the character. Make sure that your character has clearly defined objectives and takes steps to achieve them.
Speaking of taking steps, a great way to transition into the rising action and ramp up your story is to have your main character step out and do something bold to try to achieve their goals. Have them form a plan and then try to carry it out. This plan can weave through the entire plot to the end of the story, or it can fail right here at the beginning and force them to try something else, or some combination of the two. Whichever route you go, it will help you connect the introductory information at the beginning to the action leading to the climax.
Whenever you’re stuck and can’t figure out how to connect two plot points, have your main character do something to achieve their goals. While you might go back and edit the idea later, you can keep moving forward from that plot point and continue building your momentum. Don’t worry if you think you’ll need to change the idea when you edit. The most important thing at this point is to just keep writing!
Keep writing, author! You’re well on your way!
*This Week’s Word Count*
Your book is as long as: “The Nose” by Nikolai Gogol