It’s been a while since I’ve updated on my book process. There is a reason for that. I really didn’t want to. Call it superstition, or downright silliness, but I thought that blogging about my book before publishing it would bring it bad luck. When you write a book, you become attached to it. Your book becomes your baby, and in a way it is. You nurtured it inside of you for many months (or years), then you painfully gave birth to it. And there it is. A shiny, brand new story, full of innocence and timid beginnings. Inside there are thousands of words that are still rough, naive, uneducated. Your task to is to raise your book, giving it the substance and love needed to grow it into a well rounded, acceptable manuscript. You expect it to become part of society, to bring some value to it, or to simply brighten someone’s day. What you don’t want is to put it out there prematurely. It’s a big scary world, right? Your mama (or papa) bear instincts kick in, urging you to keep it hidden and safe until you know it’s ready to be viewed by the world.
But here’s the thing: this book is not my baby, really. I did pour my heart and soul into it. I do cherish it and wish to protect it, but it goes beyond that. It is only a small part of who I am, and what I am is a writer. That means that my responsibility isn’t just to my book. It is to share my journey with others, those who are also writing and need inspiration and support. Or to share it with people who want to become writers and are deathly afraid of the process. Like me, they may be navigating uncertain waters, trying to find their style, create decent characters, and fall in love with the process.
This is why I decided it’s time to share my first novel update. It is vulnerable, raw, but also beautifully real.
My novel is untitled, although I do have a few ideas in mind. Last month I finished my first draft, from start to end. For the first time in my life, I was able to complete a book. Mainly this is because I forced myself to outline. I HATE outlining. I’m more of a “fly by the seat of your pants” type of writer, but guess what? That never helped me finish writing any book. Outlining was tedious but it kept me structured enough to follow an idea from start to end.
Now the real fun begins. I’m currently in the first round of the editing process. It’s where I’m catching mistakes, plot holes, character deficiencies, and even changing some of my story. I was afraid of this process, especially after completing the stubborn phase of writing the first draft. But I realize it really isn’t that bad. In fact, editing is when the real shaping takes place. I’m no longer pressured to “finish” the book. My job is to mold it and fix it, not create it a new. What a relief!
Here are some tips I can share with you if you’re in the early stages of writing your own book. This is where I’m at in my own writing journey.
- OUTLINE. Yeah, it’s tedious and annoying, but do it. It will give you a structured way to write your story, even if that outline is a bit clumsy.
- JUST WRITE THE FIRST DRAFT. Don’t overthink it. Expect it to be complete trash. Yes, poke fun at it and even dislike it. Who cares if your grammar is horrid right now. And maybe Aunt Brunilda falling in love with the mail man is a stupid idea. Just write it anyway. Finishing the first draft of my book took several years. In fairness I did change my story quite a bit, but really it took so much time because I wanted to get it just right. Big mistake. A first draft is laying down the foundation of a story. It isn’t meant to be perfect, or even coherent.
- TAKE A WEEK OFF. Once your first draft is done…celebrate! Yes, it’s still crap and no, you haven’t published it yet. Still, you did it! You wrote a book. You ARE an author. Take a week off before moving on to the next process. This will give you time to relish the pure joy of completing a book. Tell all of your friends, share it on social media, bake yourself a cake…anything that celebrates this accomplishment. You’ve earned it!
- PRINT YOUR FIRST DRAFT. You’re finally ready to begin the editing process–the first round of it. There will be several of them, trust me. Printing your novel instead of reading it on the computer offers a new prospective. It actually feels more like a book and it’s like looking at a new story instead of the one sitting on your screen for the past months.
- SET UP AN EDITING GOAL. Do you want to start with plot holes, grammatical mistakes, or both? I suggest picking the most important thing. For me is to read the story and analyze it carefully. Does it make sense? Do my characters fall flat or are they interesting? Am I describing too much or too little? Are my chapters dragging on? Does each chapter move the story forward? I will deal with the grammar last because to me that will be the easiest fix.
And finally, I will take the overwhelming step to share my book’s synopsys.
An anxiety disorder and a dysfunctional family are more than Hera can handle. But when she’s abducted from her home one night and taken to a secret forest house, she has bigger problems to face.
Hera is weak, uncomfortable in her own skin, and constantly living in fear. When Aethen enters her life with the shocking revelation of psychic vampires and a prophecy claiming she’s a High Priestess, she believes she’s lost her mind.
Trapped in the middle of a war between psychic and blood vampires, where finding her true self is far more frightening than the battle raging ahead, she must find strength and love in the most unlikely place.
A story that intertwines psychic and blood vampires, magic, and the search for strength amid the ashes of loss and self-doubt.
—Have you been writing a book? Share your progress! Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to receive more updates on my book writing journey!