Writing a book, starting from scratch

I think this may be the best sub forum to ask, as its language based and writers probably hang out here. Feel free to move or suggest otherwise.

Asking for a friend.

There is an interesting story to be told and is in the lines of a memoir, autobiography or biography. Where would one go to learn about such writing styles. I am this persons closest friend and he or she wont trust many others with their identity, so they asked me to help. Which is funny as i write for shit. But i am loyal and honest, so here we go.

More about story structures, character development, ordering etc. I can figure out spelling and grammar when doing something.important, so all jokes aside i am looking for resources on how to structure a lifetime into a properly flowing book. Probably a few books if they want to share more before death.

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How to Research and Write a Non-Fiction Book that Readers Will Love




I have been taking a memoir writing class online for the past year. Find one online… like a local hometown arts council thing or community college. Cheap and can be excellent.



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Awesome thanks a lot guys. That should give some great starting material to read/listen to and digest.

Not sure that my area has classes, we dont even have a universit nearby. i am more skeptical even if there were because my mandarin passes but is pretty much total shyte in any kind of academic realm haha. Plus the book would be oriented towards a western reader more than a Han type culture.

Great resources i will be reading into these weeks. Cheers. More are always more than welcome.

The internet is a saving grace. I visited Taiwan last year and Zoomed to class at 6AM once a week. It’s a great thing, writing wise, to join a class. If you want to write, hang out with others who want to write.


You are right, i think for writing zoom/meet styled classes probably arent such a loss of quality compared to.physical. thats a great point, will certainly start looking once i read up a bit on the subject and know what quesions to ask teachers!

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I do my class through a community arts center. Good price. US $175 for 8 weeks. Guy gives a solid critique each week and the other members are incredibly supportive.

Is that class related to what i am seeking?

If its ok, mind sending a link i can read further on? Pm if easier. No worries if you want to remain more annonymous :slight_smile:

I can recommend Strunk&White for some timeless advice on the basics, and Stephen King’s On Writing. Somewhere I also had a rather good book on writing memoirs, but damned if I can find it now. Not even sure why I bought it.

To be perfectly frank, the only way most people get good at writing is by writing and reading a lot. Just like painting or architecture, it isn’t one of those things you can learn from a For Dummies publication.


Write a short story first. Publish it. Many novels which became films started as a short story

This is a great book

So, read lots of the genre/style that you are aiming for.

Also, good writing is rewriting.


I agree. I read a lot, quite enjoy it. But mostly non fiction. Early in years i was quite into fantasy books. I have published my writing but its more science aimed and not at all “fluffy”. really BORING as its more about data sets and results. Then editors butcher it even more and take the last sparkles of interest someone from outside the realm of the article might find entertaining haha. My experience is summarizing facts, makes a really damn boring story. That’s what needs to change cor this persons story. Wish it wasnt me, but due to trust, legal issues and whatnot, he has convinced me. I do feel good about new challenges, so its not all bad. Old dogs must learn new tricks.

I am quite intrigued about the King suggestion on writing. I have read numerous books of his, but wasnt is huge fan. Plus, not into coke, and dont want to rely on stimulants to write haha.

I REALLY like wade Davis as its a related field and he is great with making “fluff” interesting while also of scientific importance.

King went sober long ago… right afterwards his books went to shit. So there’s that. Lol

King’s On Writing is very good as is Murakami’s What I talk about when I talk about Running.

I read lots of memoirs. That helps when deciding what kind of memoir you are hoping to achieve.


Ya, haha. No issues against drug use, just saying its not my goal haha. I have a day job and a family i am quite happy with, writing this is a favor not a King level of excellence and dedication!

I do agree, some of the best entertainament is from that of substance use. Very glad for it as i enjoy reading, watching movies, looking at art etc.

Yeah, that’s not what I meant. Write stoned and you get The Bell Jar and On The Road. :face_vomiting:

This episode sounds relevant here

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Hello writers,

This looks like a good place to ask: Does anyone know where in Taiwan I can get a largish pdf printed into a hard cover book?

Thanks in advance.

Author friend claims “Save the Cat!” is one of the best writing guides. The screenplay writing version was really popular.

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There are 3 places in Taipei I would check, depending on how good your Chinese is, how patient you are, and how great is your willingness to spend.

Starting from lowest level of Mandarin / Impatience / Budget and going up:

Starting from highest level of Mandarin / Patience / Thrift and going down:

  1. Find copy shops around major universities - in my experience, the 3rd or 4th one will be willing to help you the way you want (probably because by that point I am able to explain what I need in broken Chinese more precisely)

  2. www.cellay.net - Yvonne Chen in Taipei near Guanghua used to run her own Sir Speedy Shop once upon a time. Her English level is… um… admirable … and her determination to deliver to you exactly what you need is even more impressive. It’s when what she thinks you need (given the tremendous experience she has in quick printing) and what you think you need do not jive is when things can get a little bumpy. But up to that point, she is a stalwart friend and an ingenious printer.

  3. www.sirspeedytienmu.com - Roma Mehta has seen it all and done it all. She will usually tell you upfront why and how there is a better way of doing what you think you need to do. For the Mandarin-disabled among us, she is a Godsend - reliable, professional, talented. Compared to the others, she prices at a premium – and she deserves it.