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Write, write, write

November 20, 2018

Have you ever thought about writing your own novel? Lots of people do, and lots of people would like to, but don't. Can you do it? Of course you can. Like everything else, it is simply a matter of application.  Anything is possible with a little application.

 

It is said that everyone has a story in them. That may well be true. The trick is in finding it. Life is full of experiences, good and bad, and experience is the basis of a good story. When you have that story idea in your head, what then? Well, as the title above suggests, you write, write and write. In the beginning, don't worry about spelling mistakes or grammar; just get the story down. Editing is an art in itself and you can get help with that later, but the story is yours.

 

A question I am often asked is, do I plan out my novels? In my case, the answer is no, I don't. I sit down and I let it flow. Not everyone does that of course and many established writers would probably say I'm crazy. Maybe they're right, but I find when I'm writing that I prefer to let it flow. I've tried the planning route but for me, plans just go awry. But that's just me. Everyone does things differently and what works for one doesn't always work for another. You should never be swayed by anyone telling you "this is the right way to do it" if you're not confident that for you, it is.

 

So, you've got pencil and paper ready or, in this modern age, you're sitting in front of your laptop and you write. What then? You have written anything from say 5,000 words to 100,000 words. Where do you go now? In the old days... the days before the digital revolution, you would have your manuscript typed up and you would send it off to a mainstream publisher, and then you would wait. Sometimes you might receive a reply, more often or not you would not and, even when you did, it was more likely to be one of rejection. Soul destroying to say the least. Nowadays, however, you do not need to rely on publishers or literary agents. You can do it yourself. Self-publishing is now something anyone can do.

 

That is the route I decided to follow. It takes out the lottery factor of sending off your manuscript to a publisher or agent who might, after a cursory glance, reject it. Who needs that? You certainly don't. What I would say is that whilst you don't need a publisher or an agent these days you do need friends. As someone who self publishes, it is important to get honest opinion on your work. Give it to friends and family and ask them what they think but be careful. Tell them you want an honest opinion. You don't want them to tell you it is wonderful just so as not to hurt your feelings. Better they hurt your feelings and you work to improve it or you put it out there and risk ridicule. No one likes that. Editing is the same. You can do it yourself, sure you can, but you are likely to perpetuate your mistakes.

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