Greetings, fellow writers, authors, and readers of this blog. If you took part in National Novel Writers Month, how did you do?
I managed 54K, which is not bragging; it is just the facts. Those that know me ask me how I tend to write so much in so little time.
I think the first thing I would offer as advice is this. ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff.’
The more you write and edit, the greater your propensity to catch weasel words and punctuation issues as you tell the story.
That is great if you can quickly correct them but, don’t sweat them now.
I am divorcing the word pantser and adopting the word or term discovery writer.
Writing for me is a hobby. A hobby is something that you had best enjoy. I know way too many who have spent years on one novel and then are so sure it will make it to the bestseller list they invest heavily. When I say heavily, I mean they hire expensive editors, beta readers, book cover designers, and the list goes on.
In truth, if you are going to survive financially in this writing world, you had best have a side hustle. What is that, you might ask?
Maybe you are an artist. You learn all you can about book cover design, and you try to design covers for authors that will make it.
Possibly you are a grammar Nazi, and you understand the comma… well; you might be an editor when not creating your own story.
Writers are suckers for spending money on their babies. There is one born every minute, and trust me, if you have something to offer that we believe will make the difference of published or not, we will buy it.
My second bit of advice to you is this, try to stay objective. You can spend thousands on your baby. You end with a copy on your shelf, and you get to brag to your friends.
As a discovery writer, enjoying the storytelling is the fun part. In all likely hood, your draft will be shallow at best. By shallow, I mean lack of the attributes or layers that bring the reader into your world.
Who is your character?
What do they want?
Are they broken in some way?
Who is the antagonist, a jealous boyfriend perhaps?
We could go on forever with the details, from Save the Cat to Scene and Structure.
Vomit the story on your medium of choice before you dig into the details.
The more you write, the more you will learn. I have over thirty novels published that I will be re-working down the road. What I have learned by ‘forensic examination’ is that many of these things I do naturally.
The more you read, the more you write, the less you will worry about the muddy middle.
Very soon, I will be releasing Forensic Assassin, which I created in November. Currently, I am working on a cover design while I read and reread each chapter.
I get comments and e-mails asking me why I published before I had them polished…?
I had no tribe, no associates that were into writing so, I chose the only way I knew how. Bait the hook, cast the line, and see what happens.
On occasion, I will enter a contest just to see what fish I catch.
As far as Nano goes, I support the cause, and by support, I mean talk about it, financially support them, and of course, participate. What better use of money could there be than encouraging kids and young adults to write and become more literate?
Agents will be inundated with stuff for their slush piles from everyone that created the next Tale of Two Cities. That is the downside of Nano. It-dumps, and by dumps, I mean dumps, tons of slush for them to have their intern sort through.
With December just beginning, I wish you the best of the Holiday season. I hope that you keep your passion for writing alive.
Much Love -TW