For the next few weeks of your self-publishing journey, your primary task is to write. However, in the interest of helping you learn from my mistakes, if you're planning to create an LLC or small publishing company to help manage your books, now is the time to get that ball rolling!
If you've been following along with this little series, then over the past few weeks, you should have: set up your website, set your personal deadlines, reached out to potential beta readers for their engagement preferences, and lightly outlined your novel. Now, you just have to keep writing.
Your deadlines are set and your calendar is drafted. Now, it's time to start writing! But as daunting as penning a whole novel may seem, there are a few strategies you can use to keep yourself on track.
Welcome to week 1 of "How to Write and Publish Your First Novel"! Last week we talked a little bit about the importance of precursors, like deciding whether you're a hobbyist or a career writer, setting a tentative publication date for your goals, and creating your author website. Now, it's time to get planning!
Now that Pieces of Pink is officially out, it's safe to say that I've learned a lot about independent publishing in a very short amount of time. From LLCs to Photoshop and InDesign, there are so many road blocks that spring up along the way -- especially for your first novel -- and it can be really helpful to have a clear-cut guideline to get you moving in the right direction.
When I was a freshman in college, I discovered Nanowrimo. Excited, I emailed my creative writing professor about mentioning it in class, thinking it might be a fun extracurricular activity for the other students. Although I didn't save her exact response, it went something like this: "Nanowrimo is silly, because there's no way a person can write anything but complete garbage if they only give themselves a month to do it." At the time, I felt ashamed and embarrassed for even suggesting something so foolish; but I've grown up a little since then, and now I know she was wrong. If you never write garbage, you never write at all.
Whether you're participating in the official NaNoWriMo or not, November is National Novel Writing Month, and for many people, that means setting a writing goal and sticking with it. Of course, by mid-November, more than a few people have fallen off the bandwagon, or maybe even missed the boat all together.
When it comes to writing fiction, death is often inevitable. No, I don't mean writing fiction will kill you, I mean eventually, you will have to write the death of a beloved -- or despised -- character, and sometimes, your fictional fatalities will have far-reaching consequences for the rest of your novel or series.
Although we speak every day, writing believable dialogue can be surprisingly difficult. From fluidity, to speech tags, to punctuation, there are many pitfalls when it comes to annotating your characters' spoken words. Luckily, I have a few easy tricks to help you get by!
It would be easy to swap Beowulf for Hercules (or vice versa) without really changing the integral themes of their source material; however, you'd be hard-pressed to switch Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games to Charlie from The Perks of Being a Wallflower without causing irreparable damage to the story itself. Because of this, most modern authors and readers place a great deal of emphasis on characters who are unique, relatable, and essential to the stories they inhabit.