Monday, 8 February 2016

Novel: Behind the scenes

Question: Why am I writing this?
Answer: It's my first blog post and my first time writing a novel.


I started my novel somewhere on the 20th January 2016 and finished my first draft on the 4th February 2016, with the irrational thought that it would be polished enough. See I've had this scene playing in my head for years and some nights just before I would fall asleep, I would play out this scene. The characters would change depending on whatever I was in to at the time, i.e. teen wolf, black dagger brotherhood series, twilight, the originals to name a few. Eventually, I decided to put it down into words, the hilarious thing is that it took me Twenty chapters, that's right Twenty chapters to get to the scene I'd dreamed about. I remember I worked through the night and most of the morning when I got close to chapter Twenty, writing like a mad man because I needed to get the chapter out. That was definitely an amazing milestone, to see your scene all there... in words. Conceptualized and visualized, taking form in this fictional world you created. There's no other feeling like it, but then again I was high of no sleep. Writing the book was an amazing journey, from having the basic outline in your mind to actually going into the chapters, splitting up the plot to lead up to one another. I don't think I ever got writer's block per say, as I wrote each chapter the next one would form but there were days when the idea for the next chapter would come but the words wouldn't come with it, not so easily as the others did anyway. So I would have to walk around, lie on a bed, go outside, have more showers than is necessary (LOL). Just do anything mundane so that my mind would wander enough to figure out the next chapter or scene.

I am probably one of the kings of procrastination, heck if I wasn't I would have started this novel last year November. I was at home, I had the time. But instead, all I did was download movies and tv series, then watch them. Every series and movie I could find that I like, I got it.

I would like to say I found the will power to eventually write but it was more like I basically ran out of the stuff I like to watch and then my cat died, leaving an empty hole no movie or series could fix.

So back to the book, I finally finished it!!! Which is awesome but I dunno, I enjoyed
the climb more than getting to the peak.... I'm definitely not at
the top yet that would be once the book gets's published but writing the draft was an awesome experience. I learned a lot about myself in the process.

What's the problem then?
EVERYTHING that comes after your first draft manuscript. I submitted my story to a few beta readers, mostly the ones that offered to do it for free but one beta was generous enough to help with the first 5000 words. Whistle* what an eye opener. Firstly in my haste to finish the novel, I left out a lot of description and detail. focusing on progressing the story and dialogue.
Here's what I need to sort out:
How much of the actual street names or places do I need to include?
Some of my characters descriptions I kind of broke up through the story, is this ok?
Dialogue reduction maybe?
Location descriptions and building the world.
Do I really have to include street names? or actual distances between objects?

Anywho, she edited some of it and gave me the sample, the errors I made were grievous I should have self-edited more before giving it out to the betas. Also since I live in South Africa and the book is based in Seattle, there were some words that we use that Americans don't.
Luckily I met a girl online named Rachel and she helped me greatly understand the American way. specifically school themes like summer vacation, subjects, schedules.

There's just so much information out there about self-publishing, agents, editing, beta reading, building a following. it's insane to try and keep up. I've read many blogs and watched many author interviews, they barely talk about the insanity after you finish the novel. I promise myself that if I ever give an interview or am talking to fans I will tell them exactly what happens after you finish a novel. because it's scary business the time frame of it all. it's been 5 days since I finished the novel and I'm nowhere near sending out a query letter.

Here are some links that I'm going to be using post first draft:
https://querytracker.net/top-10-agents.php
http://veronicarothbooks.blogspot.co.za/2010/08/strive-always-for-normalness-my-advice.html
http://blog.nathanbransford.com/
https://prowritingaid.com/en/Account/Register2?returnUrl=%2Fen%2FAnalysis%2FEditor%3Fnobreak%3Dtrue%26userTextId%3D5205%26userTextKey%3Dfff08770-38a8-4dc1-a214-4418f43ec72d#
====>>>An amazing free editing site.
https://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/category/agents/
http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/young-adult-literary-agents

Now I have to go back, figure out how to creatively make the narrative more provocative, add on to character and location description then fix the dialogue tags. I'm not sure whether I should give my self a date to query with an agent.
Because I also I have the daunting task of creating a query letter. I mean how's a new writer with no writing credentials make his/her bio sound good? I can't lie, I can't go instantly get a writing credit under my name. I haven't seen any writing conferences here in south Africa to go to. Besides, all the best sellers here are mostly nonfiction or about race and a lot of historical incidents. Sigh.
I am going to believe in myself and my stories, that we will somehow change this unfairness in my country, by giving more fiction and science fictions writers a bigger market to step into.

I'll end this first blog entry now with the hope that I can get this all done in a timely manner.



19 comments:

  1. It's definitely a lengthy process. My brother in law wrote a book a couple of years back and went through MANY revisions with the publisher before it actually got published.

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    1. Wow! Felicidades ├ępicas to your bro-in Law that's so cool that he got published.
      What's the book called and author name? Would like to check it out.

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  2. It is lengthy and confusing to me. I have had my poetry in a file for years wanting to publish.

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    1. That's brilliant that you write poetry Becca! Have you ever thought about posting it on your blog?

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  3. A friend of mine has been writing a book for some time now. It is a lengthy process that's for sure.

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  4. It's never easy to write a book, some people take longer than a month to finish one. It's good to know that there are people out there who would look at your work for free! Really awesome.

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  5. It's not easy to write a novel and it can't be done in a month, no matter how much dedication you have. There is that special feeling that you need to be into so that you are able to write.

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  6. I hear you, sometimes you think you have written the worlds best prose only to discover you have made a lot of errors and usually deadlines can cause grievous mistakes as you said.

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  7. I can only imagine how difficult the process from start to finish can be. A month to get it written is short from what I have seen other authors say. Now you have time to go back and perfect it and work it all out.

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  8. Writing a novel can be a lengthy and grueling process. That is probably why I have never attempted one! I applaud you!

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  9. Procrastination is a killer. I always finish all my chores etc. before I turn on the tv, those series never stop and they will take over your entire day, weekend etc. It's always good to do the most important stuff first.

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  10. I salute you, it sounds hard to write a novel. I can't imagine myself writing one.

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  11. That's so exciting! I wish you all the best on your novel, I remember how hard it was to just write short stories!

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  12. I think you're doing a wonderful job. I have often thought about writing novels, but I just don't think I could do it. I know it takes a lot of time and effort for a novel.

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  13. The query letter is the hardest part, I think. You're writing for someone else instead of yourself, trying to appeal to a stranger to get something from your heart accepted for publication. That's tough stuff.

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  14. Sounds like a very long process to make a novel, I think this is not suitable for me but someday I will try!

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  15. I am a procrastinator as well. I'm a freelance writer and spend a lot of time writing for others. However, I have been working on my own novel since November of 2011! Congrats to you on getting your first draft done and good luck on the next steps.

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  16. Kudos to you! I wish I had the focus to be able to write a novel, but even a 10 page paper loses my focus after about 8...! Best of luck to you! -Anne @ www.ourthriftylife.com

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  17. It would take me forever to write a novel. I am to much of a procrastinator.

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