Writing a Book – Gathering Then Weeding Out Material

When you decide to write a book you will need to have material for that book. Some people have been preparing for their book for a very long time and may have drawers full of information, pamphlets, notes, books, etc. that they have collected in preparation for writing their book. Other people decide to write a book, but then don’t know where to start.

If you’ve decided to write a book, you have an idea what you want it to be about. Gather anything that pertains to this subject matter. Let’s say you want to write a book about inexpensive family vacations that are kid friendly. You’ve probably taken a few of these vacations, and if you’re like Vacation Booking me, you have each vacation relegated to a separate box or file drawer. I keep information. I just never know when I’m going to use it. For this type of project, I pull out every piece of information that I ever collected on the family vacations we’ve taken with our kids. I’ll have maps, notes, pictures, postcards, pamphlets and leaflets of the specific sight-seeing areas. All of these spark a thought, a memory,

Each vacation is then separated into piles. In my case, this was already done, because I have a tendency to keep things in separate containers. Other writer friends of mine would file this under “vacation” or “kids” and be done with it. In my case, I have separate files: “Camping in the Colorado Rockies”, “Cross-country Road Trip to Michigan”, “North and South Dakota”, etc. You get the idea. Each of these would be a basic section. In the case of this book, each section will be divided into a couple of chapters.

As you can see, when you begin to separate your piles of information in a logical way, your outline begins to become apparent. Once you have all of this written down in an outline format, it will be very easy to see what belongs in this book and what either needs to be eliminated or used for a different book entirely.