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template for writing a book
It may seem like a simple step. Simply open a new file and start typing, right? But it’s rare for this to work for me. I love to have a strong working name and a summary before I write a lot of. John’s written about this earlier, after he found he could accelerate his writing procedure ~600% by producing a summary .
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realised I had been repeating the same procedure for every single new post I work . Like any good programmer, I realized repeating the same work over and over means that is probably a good chance for automation.
So I decided to make a few templates for myself.
I started by developing a template for the most common Ghost blog article structure. Since that structure’s particular to mepersonally, I created a template based on how John constructions his articles, and another according to a writer whose work I admire.
For each template I’ve made a gist to show you exactly what they look like. They are only Markdown documents, so go ahead and save , rename them if you like, and copy-and-paste the contents into a new file whenever you’re ready to compose. Click on the”view raw” link to the bottom of each list to observe the plain text version, which you may copy to a new file in your favourite writing app.
With this template, I can begin with answering each dot line with a few notes about what I need to write in that section. By the time I am done, I will have a rough sketch of what the finished piece will look like. This should make it simpler to enlarge my notes to fully-formed paragraphs and cause them to flow to each other nicely, since I understand the arrangement of the whole piece in advance.
Using the template, I found that my summarizing procedure became more involved. I’d actually planned to do a full rough draft of the post in the early hours, but it took me a couple of hours simply to have the outline done, so that I put the draft off for a different day.
On the other hand, I had over 1600 words composed in my outline, and a solid idea of what each segment would contain and how they’d work together to create a sense of flow in the post. Even though outlining took longer than normal, drafting took time since I had put myself up for victory. Composing the draft was just a matter of taking each chunk of notes from the outline and filling out it into a readable paragraph or two.
It had been quite a different procedure to the way I normally work, and I had been tempted a few times to avoid the additional research or thinking necessary to fill out the outline correctly. I frequently put off these things till I’m drafting, and that’s when I must be centered on writing rather. I adhered to it, though, and by the time I got around to writing the draft I was glad I had.
I’ve actually overhauled my outline and research procedure by applying this template. It’s a more productive part of my procedure now and makes printing easier. Hopefully it’ll lead to better function, too.
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