Wednesday, January 2, 2013
IWSG: Baby Steps
So going through successes and failures from last year and writing goals for this year got me thinking. There is something I am pretty good at that I don’t think comes naturally for everyone. And I believe it is the REASON I am able to be so persistent for so long on projects that can seem ENDLESS. So that is good help for others, ne? (and be sure to visit the other Insecure Writers today, too)
So in writing, there are a couple GIANT goals, each as intimidating as the next… WRITING THE BOOK (the first is always hardest) and PUBLISHING THE BOOK… So I thought I’d break down some of the steps a person might break out, though keep in mind everyone has a different process for both of these things.
WRITING A BOOK
If you like to plan ahead…
* Character sketch
* Research (though beware of the black hole this can become—limit this to what is absolutely necessary for the story—DETAILS can be researched after)
* Get a few books you think fit the genre and get familiar with what DOES and DOES NOT belong in stories like the one you have planned.
* Write the pitch that will go with your book
* Write the synopsis if you are a superstar
* Figure out the time of day that works for you and schedule it…
* Remember a page a day is a book in a year.
* Set reasonable wordcount goals
Or if you are in between like me…
* Make your timeline
NOW just write regularly… set your goal… a chapter a week? A scene a day? 1000 words a day? (or 500?)
And let yourself be proud for each thing you get done…
* Read blogs!!!! (I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned about this business from reading the experience of others)
* Go to The Writer’s Knowledge Base[http://hiveword.com/wkb/search] and look up the latest on the process including wordcount guidelines by genre if you are publishing traditionally
* Find someone to READ your book and give you feedback (edit, repeat, ad nauseum)—some people write relatively clean first drafts… like one in a thousand. Most of us THINK we write clean first drafts at that first book and learn we DO NOT.
* Look up the agents who represent your genre and read more specifically what they like OR find the small publishers who publish what you have
* (if you’d prefer to self publish, on about your 10th draft, hire a professional editor and shop cover artists—we have several of both of these within our blogging circle)
* As you research your process make your OWN list of baby steps. Because as I said, we all have different preferences, but know that networking can teach you of alternative routes, so keep that piece in the loop.
So there you have it… Baby steps + Just keep swimming = success.
Good luck to all of you trying to bit off something new and HUGE!