So you've decided to write a book. Whether you have something important to say, or are just incredibly bored, writing a book is a great way to waste months or years of your life indoors. I envy you as you set out on what is sure to be an incredible, mostly stationary voyage.
Let' start right from scratch. Webster' Dictionary defines a book as:
Book (v.)To record charges against (a person) on a police blotter, e.g. "Take him downtown and book him"
So there' that. In general, there are two types of books you can write: Fiction and Non-Fiction. I'll briefly cover the pros and cons of both.
Fiction is a Latin word meaning "stuff that never happened." Because you're writing about events that never occurred, you will be forced to make up everything yourself. This is very difficult to do. The
pressures of creating their own universe has driven some writers to madness, as they find it difficult to distinguish between their characters and reality, much like an undercover officer who gets in too deep
. If you're writing a story about undercover police work this danger is magnified tenfold.
Consequently, very little of today' top fiction is written by a single person. For example, Michael Crichton is actually a rotating group of six to seven writers, aided by a priest and a small robot. I'm going to assume that you're not a team of people aided by a priest and a small robot, so I don't recommend you write fiction.
A Latin word meaning, literally, "Not stuff that never happened." Here the writer is freed from the tedious chore of creating characters and reasons to care about them, and can simply write down things that have already happened. This is very easy to do.
At first glance it would appear that the possibilities for writing non-fiction are endless, as there is a limitless expanse of human experience and history to write about. This is true only in the strictest technical sense; in practice, the only non-fiction books that are published anymore are criticisms of The Da Vinci Code
by Dan Brown.
The Da Vinci Code and Dan Brown (right)
The Actual Writing Bit.
For the front cover, you'll need to come up with an eye catching title. By now, most of the obvious pun-based names have been taken. For example The Truth behind The Da Vinci Code
and Da Vinci Code Decoded
are already spoken for. You're going to need something that quickly shows readers two things: That you're talking about another, more successful book,
and that you have strong opinions
about this other book. Something like:
- The Da Vinci Code? More like The Da Vinci Crap!
- The Da Vinci Code was Fiction, Morons
- Dan Brown: Lying Asshat Mega-Writer
- Da Vinci Codebreaker: A Journey on the Seas of History in a Boat Made Out of Slanderous Lies About Dan Brown