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Posts Tagged ‘beginner writers’

The things I have learned after self-publishing my first novel has become unnumberable. I will try to give you a rundown of a few of the things that have gone through my mind.

1: So many typos to fix in the review process. I think I have reviewed and fixed my book hundreds (might be an exaggeration) of times. There is blood, sweat and tears put into this book.

2: I am never satisfied with the end result. I will constantly look through the book and say it needs a space here, a new indent here, a comma here, and maybe take out this or that. Plus the layout was very hard to figure out. In Createspace, you have to make sure your book layout fits their criteria of a print book for the size you went with. Lots of trial and error.

 

 

  1. The cover is frustrating. I mean frustrating in the fact that I went through a whole process of trying to find an illustrator. This took over a month or more before I realized that I am a nobody and they will not ever do work for someone who is new to the business. Besides they have their reputation to uphold. Finally, after trying to do the artwork myself (yuck!) and then scrapping months of hard work, I went to a website where I could buy illustrations or get free ones where I just credit them.  The last way was the best for me. Someone else might be better at drawing and writing. I’m just not that talented.
  2. Sells are not instant. A book needs time to gain a following of readers. Your book needs a reputation. I opted to not tell family and friends. I wanted to see how my book would do on it’s own with no help from it’s momma. So I am watching it flounder at the bottom of the sales list.  I want sells to be organic. I want young readers to search and find my book on their own. This is so painful and I keep wanting to throw a life preserver out to my drowning book. We will just wait and see how it does by the end of the year.

 

So it all comes down to the fact that everyone has self- doubt. I have many of mine own and only shared a few with you today. Heck, there might be more tomorrow! I see why most new authors want to have an agent and become published the traditional way. There are no worries except for your book being moved off a shelf at the bookstore. If any experienced, self-published author has any ideas on how to make this process less painful please comment below. Thanks and happy reading!

 

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This is a another hit for Nathan Bransford.  Again we see how a writer becomes an author.  For everyone starting out or just needing help please read this.

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Guest post and giveaway! – How and when to revise your manuscript | Nathan Bransford, Author.

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Has anyone ever read a book where the POV switches from one character to another or the POV is unclear?  I have, and at first I felt a little disoriented.  The POV should be clear from the beginning of your story and continue the same way throughout the story.  I loved reading Rick Riordan’s Red Pyramid.  This was a great story about Egyptian Gods.  But the story flip-flops POV between a brother and sister.  They tell the story to you in a way though that is cute and very likable. Rick pulled this off in a children’s book that not a lot of people can do.  images (12)

 

 

 

 

I have struggled with one of my stories switching POV, and now I have trimmed the fat.  Yeah, I did the hard thing and took out some parts where the POV switches to another character.  Some people might have liked it, but I didn’t want to confuse any readers.

After recently reading an article about Top Ten Mistakes new writers make I thought I would share some of them with you here:

  •  No clear POV– Children tend to relate to the POV character in a story. This is the person they will root for. Make it clear right from the start whose story is being told. Even if you have two main characters (twins, for example), you need to pick just one of these kids to be your POV character. And, it should go without saying, when writing for children, make sure your POV character IS a kid – even if Grandma has a big part in your story.

 

  •  Multiple POV’s – Unlike stories for adults, stories for children are generally told from only one POV. It isn’t difficult to maintain a single point of view once you get the hang of it. Just remember– if you are “showing” everything from your main character’s point of view, then he or she has to be present for everything that happens. I see stories all the time where the POV character suddenly leaves the room. Yikes! If your POV character wasn’t there to see or hear what went on, then we can’t see or hear it either.

This list goes on with other mistakes that have to do with other writing mishaps.  You can read more mistakes at:http://www.absolutewrite.com/specialty_writing/top_ten.htm

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So long story short,  I had to do what was best for the story.  Editing is the hardest part of writing, but well worth it.

Happy writing!images (14)

 

 

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1468803_10151725873696533_2066499872_nIf you haven’t read “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Children’s Books” then stop reading now.  I read it and somewhat loved it.  The no-nonsense way of telling writers who they can query and who would give a flip is awesome.  I always thought that companies like Scholastic would be open to new authors.  Well they are not.  Even though they might look at your work, they are really closed to new work.  Theses companies want to publish only the authors they have had for years.  The same authors and the same series.  It is their bread and butter.  Sure J.K. Rowling was a new name over ten years ago and sure Scholastic picked her books up.  But does that mean you have the next “Harry Potter” series?  I am pretty sure it’s a “no”.

So the book breaks down what is trade, mass market and independent publishing.  It also breaks down what an agent does and doesn’t do.  Some of the things is pretty standard stuff.  But reading it I thought I would find a golden nugget instead I found flakes of gold through out it.  This is a good thing.  After reading this book you will see that you do have to have connections and everyone in the publishing industry are human and want to be treated as such.  Common sense, right?  Well it should be, but for some writers I know, they tend to think they should do something to stand out in the slush pile.  Big mistakes are made and bridges burnt.  Instead try to learn who is working where and see how great the company is doing.  Is the company getting bought out or the agency closing down?  Is an agent retiring or focusing on their own career?  I looked up an agent once.  I Googled him, facebooked him, and even read his Tweets.  He sounded really good and seemed to be the right fit for me and my work.  Well what I didn’t know until after I queried him was that he just wrote a book.  He asked for my manuscript but was more interested in how his new baby was doing in the market.  Researching agents is tricky because sometimes they are focused on things you don’t know about until they make an announcement.

Publisher’s doors are closed and special invitations are needed to attend the party.  Trying to get in the “in-crowd” is about as difficult as pulling your own wisdom teeth out.  So for all the pain, worry, work, and research you do on your own sometimes it might be best to read a book, like the one I am suggesting above, to give you a clue about what to do next.  This book tells you to join a writing group (I’ve done that), to find writing critique groups (done that too) and to read (done) and write (done) until you have perfected your craft before you query (sigh*).

Well read the book and then tell me what you learned from it.  I’d love to see new advice.

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Critique Groups

How useful is a critique group?  Very!!  Especially if you are a beginner writer.  I belong to one and enjoy it immensly.  Try one out and see how it improves your writing.  Just remember the rules:

1. Don’t argue.  Even if you are trying to justify what you are saying don’t get upset.

2. If more than one person says a comment about your manuscript than there could be a rewrite in your future.

3. Own your work.  People will have advice and so forth but you are the one who has to like it in the end.

4. Have fun!  It is good to get out in the community especially for writers because we work alone.

I hope this helps. 🙂

http://youtu.be/q7ftIG8eiiE

 

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Corey D. Truax

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