How to Write a Book: a guide from a student

We know that it can be difficult, especially in times of stress and hardship, to come up with something to write about. Thankfully, our students are here to outline the best way to get started. As people well-versed in the act of writing, we think they’re more than qualified to give you some advice. Below, Laura has created a thorough step-by-step process to get you started. There’s no better time to write a book, let’s get going! 

How to Write a Book

By Laura, 3rd grade, Starr King Elementary School 


Today I’m going to tell you how to write a book. First, you must have an idea. If you don’t, here’s an easy way to get one. Use this format on a piece of paper:


Chapter 1: Who, Why, Where

My favorite thing: ____________________________

My (second) favorite thing: _________________________________ 

What I get when I put thing #1 and thing #2 together I get: __________________

Good. The thing you just made up can be your character. Now you need a story. What’s your favorite thing to do? That can be what the character does.  If that is too simple for you, think about fantasy: Does your character encounter something magical? Does your character stop someone from doing something? It’s all up to you. 

When you’re done, meet me in Chapter 2. 


Chapter 2: How and Why 

Great! Now let’s go learn how to make your character get in the situation they are in. First, what do you want to happen? Write that down.  Here’s an example:

I want my character to have the power to read minds. But how does she get her power? Maybe she can go to the grocery store and touch an enchanted food. 

Make a lot of possible things so you can choose your favorite. Do at least three. Here’s another example:

  • She touches enchanted food
  • She has a magic dream (twist ending)
  • She is riding her bike when she falls and becomes suddenly magical

I like number #3 better so I’ll do that.

Good. In the example the person writing the book wrote “I like number #3 the best. I’ll stick with that. ” Make sure you do that because if you forget, how are you going to make your story? Now I’m going to teach you why. What I mean is why does something happen to your character happen? Here’s a example:

Maybe she was riding her bike on a muddy day and fell in a mud puddle. 

Like you see in the example, the person writing the example used the word “maybe”. This is important because if you don’t write that it might be your only choice.  

See you in chapter 3!!


Chapter 3: The End

When you come up with a good story, the best way to keep it is to write a summary. A summary is a paragraph explaining the book. Here is an example:

Sunny loves to ride her bike, but one day she falls off her bike and gains control of magic powers; the power to read minds. The thoughts people think are cruel, but one day when a friend is about to start a game of tag, a horrible, deep, dark secret of her friend, she has to spill her secret. She can read minds. With chaos as her parents lock her in her room, scared that she too knows their secrets. Will life ever be the same again? Or will life be wonky forever?

This is an example of a fantasy. 

Here are the genres you can choose:

  • Fiction (Fake, not real)
  • Non-Fiction (Real, true)
  • Fantasy (Magical)
  • Mystery (Clues leading to something)

Choose one and get to work. When you are almost done come here for me to teach you some awesome endings. Here’s a list of endings:

  • Happy ending
  • Sad ending
  • Twist ending
  • Happy + Sad ending
  • Restart ending
  • Sad + Happy ending 
  • Mystery ending
  • Series ending

Great job! You made a book!


Thanks, Laura! We feel ready to get writing, and we hope you do too!