How To Write The Perfect Book

How To Write The Perfect Book

Warning: this article could make you unreasonably angry

Here are some simple steps on how to write the absolutely perfect book:

1. You can’t.

2. Don’t even try to do that.

3. No, I said don’t.

4. Stop setting that goal for yourself.

5. Cut it out!

Here, let’s try a different technique. This article’s title is henceforth changed (yes, in mid-article):

"How to Write a Book in the First Place"

That’s better. By now I’m sure you’ve realized I'm not going to tell you how to write the perfect book, because no such thing exists. Anyone who thinks they can write the perfect book is not only a sad and misled individual, but more than likely a newbie to the writing world in general.

Think about it. You have a favorite book (recall it to memory). That book is not perfect. It may seem flawless to you as you read and re-read each sentence with the greatest care and attention to detail, but I can assure you—if the author didn’t think it was chock-full of nitpick-able errors and plot holes, then the critics do. Believe me, I took a class on literary criticism. The critics are out there.

In that regard, it is in your best interest to discard any notions that writing the perfect book is possible. It is not.

Now before you throw your hands in the air and give up on all your writerly dreams, sit back down. Remember the new title of this article is How to Write a Book At All.

Now that is entirely possible.

I believe everybody has a book in them—some have a dozen, and if you’re Stephen King, probably a good thousand—the hard part is actually doing it.

1. First, you need to write.

Ignore your grammatical errors. Ignore the internet. Ignore the entire world, if possible. And for goodness sake, ignore readers for as long as you can. This is your first draft (which I have heralded before). Get the words on the page. This is the most important step.

There! You have a first draft. But don’t stop there. I’m serious. Stopping at this stage kills almost as many books as never writing does. Read on.

2. Pretend it doesn't exist.

After you have vomited a good amount of literature onto some paper (or your word processor), put it away for a while. My personal don’t-read-it period is anywhere from two weeks to three months. (I can cut it to a week for short stories). Once you have sufficiently forgotten most of everything you spewed out, you are ready for step three:

3. Editing.

Some writers call this a myth. Those writers are wrong. You need to reread your book and fix all the mistakes you can root out. Be warned—this will be painful. You will cringe. You will slap your forehead. You will shake your fist at the sky and scream into the infinite abyss of space. This is natural. Also, the shaking of fists and screaming becomes more likely the longer you let a piece sit. Go back and read something you wrote in fifth grade and you’ll know what I mean.

4. First readers.

Once that’s done and you have finished lamenting at the universe, it’s time for your first readers. This is the time to let in those pesky people I told you to ignore earlier. They are valuable now—they have fresh eyes and fresh minds. Having never seen your manuscript before, they are the perfect guinea pigs to test your plot twists and jump-scares on. They will also root out most of the grammatical and plot errors.

Allow them to do their work and, in the words of my academic advisor, do not disclaim. Let the book speak for itself—if the readers gets confused or lost, you will know the story doesn’t stand on its own, and you can pick the readers' brains to find out how best to fix it.

As a side note: it really helps if your first readers are your friends. They tend to be nicer, so the shock of realizing your masterpiece is just a baby scribble is somewhat lessened.

5. Editing (round 2).

Once the first readers have had their go, edit the book again. I do not recommend waiting at this stage. Keep the readers’ comments fresh in your mind and make the changes that need to be made right away. Or at least take notes if you need a cool-down period (I know I often do).

* * *

This is where my pattern must break. From here, you may cycle back through the previous steps many, many times. Perhaps you decide to write an alternate ending and need more feedback. Perhaps you rewrite the draft entirely. Some writers navigate this loop for five, six or thirty-three drafts. The important thing is that they don’t give up. These writers understand that everything they do to the book makes it better, and every critical comment will only build its strength.

This is also where I must remind you:

You can’t write a perfect book!

Never forget this. Don’t let the criticism of your readers—or the rejection from publishers—bury you. There are a million reasons someone wouldn’t like a book, but there are another million reasons someone would. If you give up, if you decide that because you can’t reach perfection that it isn’t worth trying at all, then you have deprived not only yourself, but the entire world of a beautiful creation.

You can’t write a perfect book, but you can write your book, and no one in the universe has written one exactly like it. People out there will read it, and you will read it, and that will make you happier than attempting a perfect book ever would.

All that being said, it’s time to stop talking. I am going to go work on one of my books.

Are you?
Cover Image Credit:

Popular Right Now

50 Quotes from the Best Vines

If you're picturing the vines in your head, you're doing it right

In 2017 we had to say goodbye to one of the best websites to ever roam the internet: Vine. In case you have been living under a rock since 2013, Vine was -(sad face)- a website and app that took the internet and the app store by storm in Winter 2013. It contained 6-second videos that were mostly comedy- but there were other genres including music, sports, cool tricks and different trends. Vine stars would get together and plan out a vine and film it till they got it right.

It was owned by Twitter and it was shut down because of so many reasons; the viners were leaving and making money from Youtube, there was simply no money in it and Twitter wanted us to suffer.

There's been a ton of threads on Twitter of everyone's favorite vines so I thought I'd jump in and share some of my favorites. So without further ado, here are some quotes of vines that most vine fanatics would know.

1. "AHH...Stahhp. I coulda dropped mah croissant"

2. "Nate how are those chicken strips?" "F%#K YA CHICKEN STRIPS.....F%#K ya chicken strips!"

3. "Road work ahead? Uh Yea, I sure hope it does"

4. "Happy Crimus...." "It's crismun..." "Merry crisis" "Merry chrysler"

5. "...Hi Welcome to Chili's"

6. "HoW dO yOu kNoW wHaT's gOoD fOr mE?" "THAT'S MY OPINIONNN!!!.."

7."Welcome to Bible Study. We're all children of Jesus... Kumbaya my looordd"

8. Hi my name's Trey, I have a basketball game tomorrow. Well I'm a point guard, I got shoe game..."

9. "It's a avocadooo...thanks"

10. "Yo how much money do you have?" "69 cents" "AYE you know what that means?" "I don't have enough money for chicken nuggets"

11. "Hurricane Katrina? More like Hurricane Tortilla."

12. "Hey Tara you want some?" "This b*%th empty. YEET!"

13. "Get to Del Taco. They got a new thing called Freesha-- Free-- Freeshavaca do"

14. "Mothertrucker dude that hurt like a buttcheek on a stick"

15. "Two brooss chillin in a hot tub 5 feet apart cuz they're not gay"

16. "Jared can you read number 23 for the class?" "No I cannot.... What up I'm Jared, I'm 19 and I never f#@%in learned how to read."

17. "Not to be racist or anything but Asian people SSUUGHHH"

18. 18. "I wanna be a cowboy baby... I wanna be a cowboy baby"

19. "Hey, I'm lesbian" "I thought you were American"

20. "I spilled lipstick in your Valentino bag" "you spilled- whaghwhha- lipstick in my Valentino White bag?"

21. "What's better than this? Guys bein dudes"

22. "How'd you get these bumps? ya got eggzma?" "I got what?" "You got eggzma?"

23. "WHAT ARE THOSEEEEE?" "THEY are my crocs!"

24. "Can I get a waffle? Can I please get a waffle?"

25. "HAPPY BIRTHDAY RAVEN!" "I can't sweem"

26. "Say Coloradoo" "I'M A GIRAFFE!!"

27. "How much did you pay for that taco?" Aight yo you know this boys got his free tacoo"

28. *Birds chirping* "Tweekle Tweekle"

29. "Girl, you're thicker than a bowl of oatmeal"

30. "I brought you Frankincense" "Thank you" "I brought you Myrrh" "Thank you" "Mur-dur" ""

31. "Sleep? I don't know about's summertime" "You ain't go to bed?" "Oh she caught me"

32. "All I wanna tell you is school's not important... Be whatever you wanna be. If you wanna be a dog...RUFF. You know?"33. "Oh I like ya accent where you from?" "I'm Liberian" "Oh, my bad *whispering* I like your accent..."

34. "Next Please" "Hello" "Sir, this is a mug shot" "A mug shot? I don't even drink coffee"

35. "Hey did you happen to go to class last week?" "I have never missed a class"

36. "Go ahead and introduce yourselves" "My name is Michael with a B and I've been afraid of insects my entire-" "Stop, stop, stop. Where?" "Hmm?" "Where's the B?" "There's a bee?"

37. "There's only one thing worse than a rapist...Boom" "A child" "No"

38. "Later mom. What's up me and my boys are going to see Uncle Kracker...GIVE ME MY HAT BACK JORDAN! DO YOU WANNA SEE UNCLE KRACKER OR NO?

39. "Dad look, it's the good kush." This is the dollar store, how good can it be?"

40. "Zach stop...Zach stop...You're gonna get in trouble. Zach"

41. "CHRIS! Is that a weed? "No this is a crayon-" I'm calling the police" *puts 911 into microwave* "911 what's your emergency"

42. "WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? "

43. *Blowing vape on table* * cameraman blows it away* "ADAM"

44. "Would you like the spider in your hand?" "Yea" "Say please" "Please" *puts spider in hand* *screams*

45. "Oh hi, thanks for checking in I'm still a piece of garrbaagge"

46. *girl blows vape* "...WoW"

47. *running* "...Daddy?" "Do I look like-?"

48. *Pours water onto girl's face" "Hello?"

49. "Wait oh yes wait a minute Mr. Postman" "HaaaAHH"

50. "...And they were roommates" "Mah God they were roommates"

I could literally go on forever because I just reference vines on a daily basis. Rest in peace Vine

Cover Image Credit: Vine

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

The Short And Sweet LSU Freshman Year Bucket List You Can Actually Complete In 12 Months

A list to help freshman make the most of their first year in college


Freshman year is one of the most bittersweet times in a young person's life. Most people are away from home and old friends for the first time and are forced to adapt. I created a list of 10 things that LSU freshman need to experience because I believe it helps make that first year of college more enjoyable and it even helps a person step out of their comfort zone. Here is the ultimate LSU bucket-list for incoming freshmen!

1. Saturday night football in Death Valley

LSU / Instagram

This is definitely one of the most memorable experiences during my first semester. If you have never been to a game in Tiger Stadium, I promise you are going to have chills when the band and football team walk out on the field. An LSU win just makes the night even better.

2. Tailgating


Before the football games is the massive pregame party around campus. Students and adults everywhere are eating, drinking, and socializing before the football game. Without a doubt, tailgating is a big part of the gameday experience at LSU.

3. Tigerland


An area of bars just outside campus is the prime spot for students to hang out on the weekends and even weeknights. Even if you're not into bars, everyone should go to Tigerland at least once. It's a good time to just hang out with friends and maybe even meet some new people.

4. 2:00 A.M. Trips to Cane's


Cane's really does taste better late at night and the experience is just really unique. There's nothing that really screams college like sitting at a fast food chicken restaurant at two in the morning eating with your friends. It's just a good time.

5. Louie's Cafe

This is another spot for some late night food or even just a place to get lunch. The restaurant is open 24 hours, so it's always a go to. If you're ever there late at night, the chocolate chip pancakes are pretty amazing.

6. Chocolate chip cookies at The 5

Cookies from a dining hall? You're probably thinking they can't be that great. Well, you're wrong. Chocolate chip cookies from The five are the real deal and I have heard plenty of people tell me the same thing. One time when I was sick I went to The five just so I could get a plate of cookies, so there's that.

7. Sunday morning hangovers


This one's a little humorous, but at the same time expected. Honestly, I think hangovers just teach people to be a better person in the future, whether it be that a person starts drinking less or they drink more and stock up on Pedialyte. Anyway, it's just another part of the college experience.

8. Walking to class soaked


The second semester of my freshman year I had to walk across campus in probably some of the hardest rain I think I have ever seen. By the time I made it to my dorm, everything on my body was completely soaked in water. After that day I purchased a rain jacket and some shoes that worked better in water. It's a great learning experience.

9. CC's Coffee

@ccscoffee / Instagram

For those of you in Louisiana who always have access to a CC's, you're lucky. I used to love Starbucks, but now CC's is my favorite coffee. If you have never had CC's, definitely check it out as soon as possible, it's amazing.

10. Insomnia Cookies

@insomniacookies / Instagram

This is another late night snack spot that serves some of the best cookies around. My favorite is the chocolate chip cookies with some chocolate milk on the side, it's life changing.

Related Content

Facebook Comments