I consider the basics to be things you need to think about before ever lifting a finger, sharpening a pencil, or opening your word processor. If you are serious about writing a book, chances are you have probably already thought about many of the topics I've listed on this page.
There are two things that you should possess at this point. The first is a desire to write a book. Again, if you are here, I am going to assume you already have that. The second thing you should have is a topic in mind to write about.
The desire to write a book can come from many sources. Some people, like me, simply feel the need to write. For others, it is the desire to be read. Some people are attracted to the challenge of completing a large project. Other people may simple have a story or thoughts on a topic that they feel compelled to put down on paper. It's a good idea to figure out what your motivation is at this point, so that when others ask you (or you feel like quitting) why you have taken on this seemingly Herculean task, you'll remember why.
As for topics, before you start writing, you'll need one. For some people, coming up with a story idea is difficult. For other people, story ideas seem to constantly pop into their brains. Whether you're writing fiction or non-fiction, you probably have a general idea of the genre or type of book you plan to write. Even if you don't have all the details worked out, that's okay. I'll be talking about brainstorming in the next section.
Almost everything you need to write a book is mental. You will need commitment, you will need determination, you will need self-confidence, you will need discipline, you will need confidence, and you will need time.
It's a fact that infinitely more books are started than finished (trust me). Good ideas don't get books written. You're going to need to put some time into this project. Some people call this "butt in chair" time. Again, writing a book isn't rocket science, but it does take a bit of tenacity. There were many times while working on my books that I considered not finishing them, but I can tell you now, I'm certainly glad I did. Whether you have to set aside a block of time to write each day or make word goals for yourself to meet, you will need to actively work on completing your goals to turn your desire to write a book into a reality.