How do I finish a book quickly

Write a book

Have you been working on your novel for a long time and can't finish your book? Do you lack motivation or time? Maybe you are never satisfied with your work and keep starting new manuscripts? Then you've found the right post. We analyze reasons why novels are not finished and give tips on how to finish a book.

Some writers have been working on their first novel for a long time and just can't finish the book. There are several reasons why a work cannot be finished. For example, writers lack the time or the right motivation. Authors often have too high demands on the text or a “better book idea”. It happens again and again that writers simply break off a manuscript in the middle and start a new project.

Andreas Eschbach warns against simply breaking off manuscripts: “If I could use the time machine to send myself one piece of advice in my early years, it would be this: Don't break off manuscripts in the middle to start another. No matter how bad it seems to you right now -finish writing it!“ (Source: The well-known author calls novels that have come off badly and ended as successful training sessions. Unfinished manuscripts, on the other hand, are simply a waste of time.

But how do you end a novel? This article is devoted to this question. We'll give you tips on how to do it first version finish what is already a great achievement. Few authors get that far. Before we get into the tips for finishing a book, let's take a closer look at the reasons authors can't get to the end.

Four reasons a writer can't finish a book

There are a variety of reasons a writer might not finish a novel. But the most common reasons include a tendency towards perfectionism, starting new manuscripts due to new ideas, lack of motivation and lack of time.

1. Perfectionism

One reason writers don't finish a novel is because of a tendency toward perfectionism. The lines written just don't seem good enough and are constantly being revised. Those who want to be perfect when writing often suffer from writer's block. Words and phrases in your head don't seem good enough to get on paper. After a few weeks of working on the book, the story and the characters are no longer convincing. Such novels are often never finished and remain a fragment. Especially authors who tend towards perfectionism keep starting new books in the hope of finally having the perfect idea and writing the perfect novel.

2. Always new ideas

Some writers have a variety of ideas for a novel, which is admirable. Such a flood of ideas is only problematic if new books are started over and over again. So it happens that a writer the interest in a topic loses and prefers to start a new book. Often times, the new idea seems much better. Starting new novels over and over again is an avoidance strategy so as not to have to finish a book.

3. Problems with motivation and discipline

Authors are always lacking the motivation to continue writing their own book. There are several reasons for unwillingness to write. Self-doubt can be a reason for a lack of motivation. Some authors have this wrong idea of ​​writing. Unfortunately, it is not the case that the pages flow out of the pen and that working on a book is always fun. Writing is hard work and there are some hurdles to overcome during the writing process. One quickly loses the desire to write when things don't go as desired. Sometimes there is a lack of writing discipline to work on the novel regularly.

4. Lack of time

If you write your book in addition to your job and family, you often don't find the time to write on your work. Especially those who have a lot of stress at work only come to writing very irregularly. Sometimes a novel can be left lying around for weeks. Some writers may feel like they're in Film "Mr. Holland`s Opus ". In the 1995 film, a composer and music teacher tried to write a symphony. Between everyday work and family duties, he did not manage to finish his work for decades.

6 tips on how an author can finish a book

There is no silver bullet for how to finish a novel. Basically, a lot depends on your inner attitude and how well you can motivate yourself to write on a regular basis. To do this, it is important to really only focus on one book project. It may seem tempting to start with a new book idea. But often the same problem occurs after a few weeks or months. You're stuck and don't know how to end this novel. It is also important. That you always have in the back of your mind: You are writing the first draft. It is not a perfect text, the revision is still pending.

1. Find a writing group

Writing in a group is an effective way to finish your novel. In a writing group, authors can motivate each other and give feedback. People in such groups are more motivated to work on their own novel. There is often gentle pressure in the writing group. The fellow writers expect every member of the group regular progress presented in your own book. Writing groups exist in every major city. These groups also work online. In the social media (e.g. on Facebook) you can quickly find like-minded people in order to found an online group for mutual exchange and motivation.

2. Set daily goals

Do you have enough time to write, but lack the motivation? Sometimes it can help to set small daily goals. This is what you plan to do, every day between 250 to 300 words to write. Certainly, you are making very slow progress with your novel. However, it makes a difference whether you do not write anything for 10 days or have achieved your small daily goals in 10 days. Your novel has grown by about 3000 words. The daily goals should be increased regularly if possible. Perhaps for the first week you will only write 300 words a day, from the second week it will be 500 words. The big goal: Writing on the novel should become a daily routine.

3. Use small time windows

If you have little time to write, you should try to use small time windows every day. It's about the use of small time windows between half an hour and an hourto write a page or two. Here, too, the novel grows in small steps. Andreas Eschbach makes it very clear what is meant by small time windows: “Grisham once mentioned that he found that if he got to the office half an hour earlier - at 5:00 instead of 5:30 - he could pick up bits of time here and there during the day. His goal was to write at least one page a day. In this way, it took him three years to finish his first novel, A Time To Kill. " (Source:

4. Set and celebrate milestones

Some writers can come up with Motivate rewards. It makes perfect sense to set goals while writing a book and to celebrate these milestones accordingly. The principle works in a similar way to the daily goals described, here the aim is to achieve ever greater goals. The first chapter of a book can be a first milestone with a small reward. Later, for example, you will celebrate your first 100 pages. For motivation, you can hang a plan with milestones over your desk. Achieved goals are marked, at the end there is the greatest milestone: a finished book.

5. Change of location

Sometimes a change of location can work wonders and motivate you to write. Perhaps a beautiful reading room in a library will give you a boost in motivation. There is one in such rooms special flair. You sit between many like-minded people who are reading, studying for exams or writing a scientific paper. Such an environment can motivate people to write. In a library, you can write on your book without the distraction. It doesn't have to be a library. There are many other creative places that encourage writing. For example, it can be a café or the allotment garden.

6. Fight your weaker self:

For some authors, all of the tips don't help. You have been working on your first book for years and cannot finish the novel. Progress is always slow. A few pages are written and phases of idleness follow. Passages are repeatedly rewritten or deleted. It helps here Fight your weaker self with all your might. At some point the time has come when you give yourself a kind of ultimatum. I either start working on the book regularly or I leave it. Sit down and start writing. Your inner resistance will be great at first and the first few lines will be difficult. It's a first win when you write. To really finish your book, you will have to win some fights with your inner bastard.

If the last lines are written, your book is not finished. A thorough revision of the first version is pending. Later you have to edit your final version. But only a few authors even get to the first draft of a novel. When you have reached this point, you can be proud of yourself.

Conclusion of the book insider: How do I finish a book?

There are many reasons why writers don't finish a novel. This includes perfectionism or the tendency to always want to implement new ideas. Often there is a lack of motivation and time to write. With the right attitude and the right tips, anyone can finish their book.

  • Find a writing group
  • Set daily goals
  • Use small time windows
  • Set milestones and celebrate
  • Change of location
  • Fight your weaker self

When the last lines are written, the book is not finished. But the first version is an achievement that you can be proud of. A big step towards my own novel was made.