Welcome To My World - Part 2
Hi everyone, welcome once again to my realm of medieval/epic/heroic fantasy and a bit of fun.
Here is the second part - enjoy.
6. Think Beyond The Now.
Supposing, just supposing you have this great idea for a tale? As your world develops the number of words increase, more characters are added, and your planned 70k novel is going to be a bit bigger than you thought.
Nothing wrong with that, is there?
I’m stating the obvious, but stay with me. More scenes mean more characters, more action, more dialogue, more description and more planning.
It’s all too easy to come unstuck by,
a) Bringing in superfluous characters.
b) Adding too much description.
c) Having to go back and rewrite gaps in plot holes.
When your masterpiece is finished, your first task - well once you’ve walked away from it for a week or two and recovered your sanity – is to read, read, read again and cut like hell. As Stephen King wrote ‘It’s like murdering children, but it has to be done.’ I think you get the gist of his metaphor.
My point here is simple. Even though it’s hard, try to think of the end product at the beginning. What are you trying to achieve? Are you going to self-publish? What about promotion? Do you need an editor? The list of needs grows ever longer, but at some stage many points will need to be addressed and any pre-planning will really help once you are ready to do, well whatever you decide.
I never thought I would ever finish my first book let alone publish. Looking back, I would definitely have changed my modus operandi, but that’s life and I’m still learning.
7. Are You Deaf?
Listening is very important to authors and if you haven’t joined a local writing group, why not? The advice and help is free, the chocolate biscuits great and the friendship long lasting.
What about your characters? Mine talk to me as I type. Sometimes I even listen when they lead me astray and I’ve gone off in more directions than those on a compass, but then I am a forgiving man.
Your beta-readers can provide excellent feedback on your work prior to publication, and if two or more pick up on the same problem then listen and amend.
Finally, take note of your own feelings. After all, you are closer to your inner self than anyone else and when ideas, doubts or self-satisfaction enter your brain-box, have a good think before acting rashly.
World building takes time, yet often the writer is too eager to finish the story and cannot see the wood for the trees. Whereas, another reader can spot an error in a flash, well they haven’t been poring over the same manuscript for months on end, have they?
8. You Can’t Please Everyone.
What a truism that is. No matter what you write, someone, somewhere, will pick holes in your work. Critique is essential for any writer. It usually gives a different perspective, allowing the writer to improve their tale. On the other hand criticism is nasty, unnecessary, and should be ignored.
Yet all writers need to grow a thick skin, as alas, it goes with the territory.
Some readers love long descriptive passages, others like me, skip through them. I see great novels of 100k plus, but so much is description. The story could easily be condensed, thus increasing the pace of the tale. Stephen King’s comments come to mind once again.
I love to write, and read, books with a good tempo that drag me in and carry me along. Others are the exact opposite. So it’s up to individual authors to decide how their book will pan out. I guess that you will follow the route that your favourite author has taken, but then again...
Make the choice, write the book but be prepared for a few negatives, for they go with the territory.
9. Edit Away.
Now is the time to assess your new creation. You gave it life, nurtured it over the months and soon it will be thrust into the ever growing world of global books.
What a frightening thought.
Yet, wait a while, for you have one massive task that you cannot shy away from.
Check, check, triple check and so on until your brain screams at you to get a life.
Printing off all the pages is both time consuming and costly. Reading your tale back takes even longer but it must be done. It has been proved that anyone using an e-reader will absorb less information than those reading a paperback. So print, and read back, you will see more mistakes this way and be able to correct them.
When you see spots before your eyes and your beloved has moved out, promising only to return once you’ve regained your senses, you know enough is enough. You can read no more.
Find a couple of beta readers, people you can trust to give an honest opinion and a good critique. Maybe your new friends in the writing club can help? Do you need a professional edit? Sum up the pros and cons of all your options and once you are satisfied, decide on your publishing course of action.
You’ve created a world of your own making and it’s time for others to see it.
10. Do You Want To Have Fun?
If you don’t then forget everything I have written.
The world is one big ocean and we are but tiny fishes trying to make our work visible to the huge shoals of readers. Yet writing is like anything else in life, for the more you like something, the more effort you put in and the greater the potential for reward.
Writing is such a fulfilling pastime. It allows every individual total freedom of their own mind, even to the very depths of their soul.
Seeing your own words flow into sentences, forming paragraphs and chapters, is very satisfying. What an achievement when your work is complete. Feel proud, take a bow and enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done.
But there is more, as your world is now ready for others to enter and to enjoy the magic that you have created.
Your smile will widen as you read your first review, and now addicted to writing, your fun has only just begun.
The next new world is already taking shape inside your head. You simply haven’t felt the power growing yet.
I wish you the very best of luck.
Thanks for reading.