There are many different methods for writing a book. Some write by the seat of their pants, other use the snowflake method, while others use the outlining method that we learned in high school and all can work to varying degrees. All have their pros and their cons. For example for writing fiction the snowflake method is one of my favorite ways to outline a book. I’ve used all three methods before and that one turned out to work the best for me personally. However for writing nonfiction I found the snowflake method had limited applicability and wasn’t very effective. The outlining method worked okay but I knew there was something better.
After much trial and error I finally settled on something I personally call the funnel method. The funnel method is what I have found to be the most effective outlining tool for writing nonfiction books and delivering information in the most effective way possible. I doubt that the funnel method is new and has probably gone by different names at different times in the past and is probably just common sense to some (then again what isn’t). But it is what I have found to be effective in writing and wanted to share it with you here.
Introduction To The Funnel Method
The funnel method is taking a large subject and breaking it down into three separate parts. Like a funnel with the top of the funnel being the widest, followed by the middle which is less wide, and then the bottom which is the narrowest. So we’ll use a book about attraction as an example.
So the goal of this book is we want men to understand women so they can have successful relations with them (whatever those may be). So before we do this we need to outline everything that a man needs to know to go from clueless to complete understanding (or at least as complete as possible). For example there is no point telling a man what he should wear if he’s a pussy and doesn’t under the basic nature of women. So we have to start with the fundamentals and then work our way from there. Start wide and then drill down.
The first part of the funnel method is the mouth. This is the widest and broadest part of the funnel and is going to be the foundation upon which everything else is built. The mouth usually doesn’t provide action tips but rather provides the underlying theory behind what you are trying to teach. The mouth is the broad stroke big picture outlook on the topic.
So for example in the book about attraction for the mouth we would start with biology. As a man who doesn’t understand basic biology about women is going to have a hard time understanding why you are telling him to do the things that you are telling him to do. So it would explain concepts such as hypergamy, the rationalization hamster, and so on and so forth so that the man would have a solid base from which to work from. The mouth is generally the largest part of the funnel method, and not just in width but also in length.
The next part of the funnel method is the middle. The middle builds upon the very broad and wide base you built with the mouth and begins to narrow down the information. The middle generally doesn’t contain action tips but rather things to do right before the action tips. The middle helps add on to the ideas you discussed in the mouth. It provides more “practical” information and begins to show the real world applications of the theories and base that you described in the mouth.
Going back to our example now that our reader knows the basis of female biology he can start learning about other concepts as well. He can learn about alpha and beta, about being a strong man, and being dominant. In this section we would discuss the mindset behind attracting women. He would learn to be confident and since he understands women’s biology he understands why confidence arouses them and so on and so forth. We have established the foundation now we can set the frame.
The bottom is generally the shortest portion of the funnel method and generally consists of action steps or practical tips. This is the section where the reader can begin applying all that he has learned so far and he will be very effective at applying methods and such because he will understand the reasoning behind the actions that he takes and not simply working from something that someone else has said. Give someone the basic principles and the actions will matter little.
In our book about attraction we would now lay out where to go for dates, what to do on a date, when to touch a woman, and so on and so forth. Now we can get into the actual actions steps and since he understands everything behind the steps he can be confident making action steps of his own. Instead of delving straight into action steps which will most likely either confuse the reader or turn him into a parrot doing it this way allows him to make his own structure and put his personality into the concepts you are teaching him.
The funnel method has been the most effective book writing strategy for nonfiction books that I have found. It definitely works better for some subjects than others but still remains a good fit for just about all. Even if you don’t use the funnel method all the way through it can still be helpful to write down what each part of the funnel would be. Once you have your mouth, middle, and bottom the book will come together much easier. You can even combine it with the other methods if you so choose. Regardless the funnel method has helped me and will help you write out your nonfiction books.
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