Writing Your First Book

The outline for my presentation at LTUE about Writing Your First Book

Where Do I Start?

How many of you are writers?
How many of you have a book published?
How many of you have written a full book?
How many have started writing a book?
How many of you have written something simply because you wanted to?
YOU ARE WRITERS! Because you choose to be!

Challenge: Tell someone during this conference that you’re a writer. Raise your hand if you commit to do that in the next two days.

How to Get from, “I want to write a book,” to “I’m writing a book.”

The Question was never, “Can You Do It?” You can. The real question is, will you?
Stop telling yourself you don’t have time
Give yourself a regular time to write.

How to Generate Ideas

Write what you know.
Write what you don’t know.

Getting Started

Trouble getting the first sentence or paragraph?

1. Skip it!
2. Summarize
3. Don’t be Afraid to Write Badly

For Fiction Writers:

Crash course in:

Basic plot structure: Hollywood 3-act
Character development
Basics of word count
* Identify your genre
* These are a basic GUIDELINE right now. Focus mostly on writing.
* Adult: 80-90k with 10k leeway on each side
* Children’s
* Picture Books: 500-600 words
* Middle Grade: 25k-60k (depending on age)
* YA: 55k-70k
Narrative voice

For Nonfiction Writers

The power of story (fiction AND nonfiction)
Google is Your Friend (but read multiple results)


Don’t submit immediately
Don’t show it off immediately
All First Drafts Stink

Things to consider in revision:

1. Hook
2. Character development/arc
3. Consistency
4. Research
5. Scene Structure
6. Anything boring, confusing, or unbelievable
7. Line edit (overused words, grammar, cliche’s)
8. Visual Balance

About Chas Hathaway

Chas is an author, musician, husband, dad, and X-grave digger. He's always enjoyed writing. He started keeping a daily journal when he was 13, and that started a pattern of regular writing that has continued to this day.

His first book, Giraffe Tracks, a memoir of his missionary experiences in South Africa, was published in 2010, and in July 2011, Cedar Fort published his book, Marriage is Ordained of God, but WHO Came Up with DATING?!

Chas has been playing piano since 1994, and actively writing New Age piano compositions since 1996. He has long felt that the greatest factor in the influence of a piece of music is the intent of its author. He has also written numerous LDS Hymn arrangements, many of which are available in sheet music, including the favorite hymns, If You Could Hie to Kolob and Come Thou Fount.

So far, Chas has 4 albums out:

Tune My Heart, Released 2012
Anthem of Hope, 2010
The Ancestor, 2009
Dayspring, 2007

While music and writing are his most time-consuming work, he also enjoys gardening, inventing games, and most of all, spending time with his beautiful wife and adorable little kids.

Chas Hathaway
Chas Hathaway

I would love to see the comments, too! More coming!

Bob Muench
Bob Muench

I would LOVE to see the comments as well. Do you plan to post anything more?