How to Write a Book, The Second Step – Research

In order to write your book, you are going to do some research.  No matter what you are writing, an autobiography, a memoir, a fiction novel, or a nonfiction book, research is needed.  Research is essential to make your write-up or book an authentic well-written piece of art. Nothing is worse than writing a book where you get facts, dates and other information wrong.

Research different types of books that have been successful in the genre that you have chosen for your book.  While researching for your book, you can go to your local library, borrow and read books related to your niche or you can search on the Internet.

If you have an imaginary story in your mind, you probably want to write fiction. Categorize your story into the genre and read books related to that genre. Fiction needs a bit of more research when it comes to setting, world-building, and characterization.

For instance, if you are writing a science fiction, you probably need to know about artificial intelligence, machine learning, and partially true and partially fictitious facts and truths of science. You can discover this information through your research by taking a look at the books at the local library.  Some authors go as far as to take a class in something that they want to learn about at a community college so that they can be better prepared for their book.

You need not get tired with the research process.  Often aspiring authors spend so much of their time and effort in researching the topic of their book that they almost get bogged down when it comes to writing.  This is not what you want – you want to research your book so that you have the right information, but not to write a thesis.  Too much research and your book will never be written.

One way to research what you are writing is to do the research after you have finished the first draft of your book.  Or research as you are writing.  The internet makes it easier to do research now more than ever.  You can get most of the information that you need to research your book if you go online.

If you write fiction, do a proper characterization which includes making a character sketch for each of the main and supporting characters.

You can do this by making notes about characters’ voice tone, color complexion, hairstyle, hobbies, preferences, lifestyle and so more.

A good writer is very much in tune with psychology and the way that people think.  In fact, if you want to get in touch with the characters that you create, you can do so by learning a bit about psychology. By learning how others think, you will be able to bring more to the book than your own perception of how to react in a certain situation.  This will also help you with dialog as well.  The realistic dialog is very important when writing a book.  If you understand how and why people react a certain way and speak in certain terms, you can give your characters more depth.

How to Write a Book, The Second Step - Research

Besides writing a character sketch and researching for the plot of your book, also try to improve your writing skills by writing small articles and blog posts. You can even try submitting your short write-ups to article marketing directories like

This will help you improve your writing skills in terms of grammar and vocabulary.

You can take a writing course to learn how you can write a good book or even join a writing group.  The more input that you get from other writers and the more information that you share the better your book will be.

There are conferences that you can attend for writers, as well as workshops.  Try to maintain a fine balance between research and writing, keeping in mind that you have to produce a good book.

Tips for Writing a Book – A good book has the following:

  • Three dimensional, believable characters
  • A conflict
  • A climax
  • A resolution to the conflict

You need to have some sort of conflict in the book that is presented right from the start.  The conflict must be resolved by the ending of the book.  This does not mean that your book has to have a happy ending, but you cannot leave anything hanging out there that remains unsolved.  You also want to craft your book so that it reaches a climax, which builds up throughout the book.

Another thing that you need to determine is which point of view you want to use to write the book.  You can choose first person narrative, which is an easier style to write but is limited to the thoughts and actions of the main character, or narrator of the story.  You can write first person observant which tells the story from the point of view of another character who is observing the action.  You can choose the third person and still write from the point of view of the main protagonist.  When you are writing from the third person, you can also delve into the point of view of other characters in the book.

Take a look at books that you like to read and see which writing style will best fit your book.  The point of view that you write from can make or break your book.  For example, the Sherlock Holmes books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle were a flop at first, until he changed the point of view coming from Dr. Watson, which was the first person observant.

In addition to point of view, you also need to decide if you are writing in the past or present tense.  Most books are written in the past tense, although you may want to take a look at “Presumed Innocent” by Scott Turow to see an example of the first-person narrative in the present tense.  Writing in the present tense is more difficult but lends more action to the book.

Do your research by studying other books and your own writing style to see which point of view and tense you wish to use in your book.  First person narrative, which is also called prose writing, is the easiest but has limitations.  Third person omniscient is the most difficult but opens up the thoughts and feelings of other characters in the book.  This type of research should be done before you start your book but can be changed if you find that it is not working for you and how you want to tell a story.

If you want to know more about writing, publishing and marketing your first book, you can check out my upcoming nonfiction book – How to Write a Book – A 12-Week Book Writing, Publishing, and Marketing Challenge by clicking the image link below.


Till then, keep writing! Don’t hesitate, comment below if you want me to cover any other aspect of book writing.



Mariyam Hasnain lives in the Garden City of Bangalore, India with her husband and son. She writes both sweet and clean contemporary romance as well as dark and steamy passionate romance. Her engaging plots portray strong independent women and rugged alpha men who beat the predictable, display deep emotions and courageously overcome extraordinary circumstances. Discover the intriguing and unusual side of romance with her bestselling books! (You will always want to read more...)

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