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Introduction | Getting Your Story Started

Updated: Mar 12

So You Want to Be an Author?

Typewriter on wooden table

Everyone has a story to tell.

This is one of the foundational beliefs we hold when talking with people who tell us they want to write a book. It’s an important one, too, because not everyone believes this, which can become very discouraging to an aspiring author. It dowses the spark in someone’s heart.

But while everyone has a story to tell, can everyone actually write it out? Again, we believe they can; they only need the tools and the right teacher to show them how.

S. D. Howard worked with hundreds of authors from all walks of life. High school students, middle-schoolers, stay-at-home moms, CEOs, entrepreneurs, and everything in between. From those experiences, he created these lessons to help fellow authors on their journey.

There have been amazing fantasy stories, science fiction worlds, heart-rending memoirs, and encouraging self-help books. Do you know how many of them had ever written a book before?


Many of those same people ended up moving forward to publish their novels. Some found they had only written it for themselves. Others continued working on their stories longer, and he looks forward to seeing their books published in the future.

What many of those aspiring authors had were these worksheets to help guide them, and when they committed to the process, they found it worked. Not because these are something special, but because they helped them find their voice, their process, and their writing rhythm. We want to do the same for you, which is why we got permission to share these as resources for all authors.

How to Use These Lessons

Nothing in here is meant to be taken as a ‘rule’ of what you have to do in order to write a book. Instead, look at them as guideposts on a trail that takes you toward the goal of completing your first draft.

While there are hard rules in writing, and they are important, we focus on the elements of storytelling.

We try to simplify things down so you understand where to start, where you are going, and what to do when you get there.

These lessons are not comprehensive, nor will they cover everything about writing. They are not a ‘silver bullet’ to help you ‘write more books faster’. Trust us, there are plenty of other people who are happy to sell you shortcuts. If that is your goal, these are not for you.

If, however, you have a love for storytelling and doing it well, and you’re in this for the long haul: Welcome.

Where to Start?

Below is something for you to review and see where you fall in the Writing Journey. This will help you know where to start with the worksheets (though we recommend starting at the beginning no matter where you fall on it) to really get the most out of them.

Writing Journey Scale:

1. Never written a book:

a. Don’t know where to start

b. Don’t know the basics

c. Don’t know what to expect

2. Written some stories, but nothing serious:

a. Has a general idea of the basics

b. Has a general idea of how to tell stories

c. Rough idea of what’s required

3. Written stories, but got burnt out:

a. Probably over-researched ALL THE THINGS about writing

b. Has lost the passion for writing

c. No idea where to start with the story at this point

4. Written a book, but not sure what to do for the second draft:

a. Unsure how to revise your story

b. Not sure what to add/takeaway

c. Looking for the elements to improve

Where to Start:

Depending on where you find yourself, here are the recommended places we suggest you start. If you fall somewhere between, we suggest starting where #2 falls.

If #1 - Start at How to Define Your Why

If #2 - Start at How to Set Writing Goals

If #3 - Start at How to Create Interesting and Relatable Characters

If #4 - Start at Lesson 7 | Benefit of Outlining (even just a little)

Each lesson has a full worksheet complete with little writing assignments. If you would like to download a free copy, hit the button below.


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