Saturday, September 7, 2013

Commonly-Made Mistakes When Writing a Novel


Part of being an author means that you read a lot of books. TONS of books, in fact. This is the only way you can truly develop your own voice and grow in your craft. By reading many different styles and deciding what you like and don’t like, you will establish your own voice that will eventually become your unique signature.

While there is a wide range of writing styles that vary greatly from person to person, there are general rules and guidelines that need to be adhered to in order to make the story flow correctly and keep the reader’s attention.

Each time I am asked to critique another writer’s manuscript before it goes to print, I always manage to catch a number of common writing no-no’s. Unfortunately, the same frequent errors being made are also the ones that detract the most from the story. Writers opting for the self-publishing route tend to make these mistakes more for the simple reason that they usually don't have an editor and/or publisher picking out these errors.

I have compiled my short list of mistakes that I commonly find in the works of newbie writers:

POV Slip (aka 'head-hopping')

This is probably the number one problem I see among new writers. (OK, I’ll admit that this was a problem of mine until something in my brain finally clicked and I actually got what I was doing wrong.) When you start writing a story, you'll first need to decide from which character's viewpoint the reader will be seeing the story, or if it will be told by a narrator.

There are three main kinds of storytelling; first person, second person, and third person. To explain them in here detail would take too much time. For a complete explanation of these varying points of view (POV), read this brief article entitled Understanding Point of View in Literature.

The biggest problem occurs when the writer skips back and forth between different characters’ points of view without so much as a scene or chapter break. This is extremely frustrating as it confuses the reader, drawing him or her out of the story. As a general rule, if you begin a scene or chapter, make sure it is written from the perspective of only one of the characters, especially if there is internal dialogue going on. Otherwise, your audience will have a tough time feeling empathy toward each individual character since they can't tell who is thinking/speaking!
 
If you expect the reader to invest time and emotion in your characters, you need to make sure those characters are accessible. What I mean by this is that you need to put some effort into it by devoting that scene or chapter to just the one character. Many newbie writers tend to skip over things for the sake of ease, only to be told later that the reader was unable to empathize with the character. Make the reader care about what is happening to him/her/it. If the thoughts and viewpoints are constantly flipping back and forth between characters, the reader will put down the book out of sheer frustration and most likely not pick it back up again.

Use of Words Ending in ‘ly’

This is something that literary agents absolutely abhor. Words like finally, suddenly, quickly, slowly, etc., need to be used sparingly. Find other ways to express the action in a scene without resorting to use of these words. This will make your manuscript stronger and not drive the reader bonkers!

Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation

These are some of the most obvious and common mistakes, and yet they still need to be pointed out. Anyone with a computer and a connection  to the internet has ready access to more than a dozen spell checker programs. If you plan to release your story to the reading public, please, please, PLEASE run a spell checker more than once. You won’t always catch all the errors in one round of editing, and most novels require at least four or more.
 
In the current climate of authors choosing the self-publishing route, spelling and punctuation errors are occurring on a more frequent basis. If there are just a few spelling errors in the book, most readers will be forgiving, especially if the story is engaging. But if a novel is riddled with punctuation mistakes and grammatical errors, there are very few readers who will stick it out until the end.

NOTE: If you are going to name-drop, make sure you spell the name correctly! (i.e. Dolce & Gabbana instead of Dulce and Gabana.) Misspelling common brands or names will make you look unprofessional and will leave the reader with the impression that you don’t know your own subject matter. In short, don’t let bad punctuation and spelling errors ruin a good story!!

Overuse of Dialogue Tags

These are the ‘he said,’ ‘she said’s of the story. Use them as little as possible, when the reader would not otherwise be able to determine who is speaking. If your characters have established their own voices during the story, many of these dialogue tags will not even be necessary. Can't tell if you need them or not? Have someone else read the story and see if they can tell who the speaker is.

Telling When You Should Be Showing

The mantra of many authors I know is ‘Show, don’t tell.’ I disagree only slightly with this, because there does need to be a small amount of ‘telling’ which often occurs in your prose. I prefer to say 'show MORE than you tell.' But a major mistake that nearly all writers make in the beginning is to tell the reader what happens instead of showing how it happens.
 
With a passive voice, the story basically flows like this: He went there and did this, and came back and did this. After that, he felt like this and then he did that. Of course, that is exaggerated, but you get the picture. In reality, the story should show the reader what the character is doing, thinking, feeling, or saying through the character's own actions and not simply narrating from a stand-offish point of view. Showing the reader how the story unfolds can usually be accomplished by using an active voice instead of implementing a passive voice.

Example of a passive voice (‘telling’):
Anna Richards was going to the store to pick up some groceries before it closed. She didn’t make it on time, and when she got there, Old Man Peabody was locking the door. She got mad when he saw her but he just turned around and went back into his store.
Example of an active voice (‘showing’):
Anna Richards hopped in the car and raced to the Shoppette to grab her favorite yogurt before the store closed for the long, holiday weekend. Slamming the car door, she dropped her keys into a muddy pothole. With a frustrated groan, she picked them up and wiped the dirt off with her hoodie. 
She jogged up to the glass doors, reaching them just as Old Man Peabody turned the key in the lock. She glanced down at her watch. There was still five minutes left until closing time! Old Man Peabody gave her a smug grin and shuffled back up the candy aisle.
Banging angrily on the glass, she cursed at him, shouting loudly so that everyone in the neighborhood could hear what a jerk Old Man Peabody really was.

Not Having Your Book Proofread and/or Professionally Edited

This is a shortcut that many writers take, and one that always makes me scratch my head. Yes, to have a professional editor pick apart your story can be very costly. But if you have the extra money, it is well worth every penny. If you can’t afford a professional editor, then at least enlist the help of a beta reader. These are people who, out of the goodness of their own hearts, will give you an invaluable second set of eyes and help catch errors and plot holes you may have missed along the way.
 
If you don’t know anyone willing to read your story and correct mistakes, join a local critique club or get involved in an online writers' forum. Most beta readers enjoy reading new stories and thrive on making a good story even better. Whether or not your book has been scoured by others can make the difference between landing an agent or publisher and getting a steady stream of rejection letters. Don't be one of the many authors who impatiently rushes his or her manuscript to print before it's ready. If a story is worth being written, it’s worth being edited!!
 
I have listed only a couple of the many frequently-made mistakes. Of course there are many more. What is your most common writing mistake? Share in the comments below.
 
 
 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Free Fantasy Book Giveaway: Everville: The First Pillar

Today I'm helping author buddy Roy Huff get the word out on his fantastic promotional deal for the second book in the Everville series: Everville: City of Worms. More about how you can get the first book, Everville: The First Pillar FREE for a limited time. But first, here is the blurb on the back of his brand new book:

College freshman Owen Sage has just started to understand the darkness trying to overtake Everville and the earthly realm. With the help of The Keeper and the Fron army, Owen has managed to buy some time, but new problems have already emerged, new secrets need to be revealed, and the race against time to stop Them from conquering both dimensions has only just begun. The Keeper, Owen Sage, and his friends at Easton Falls University must now battle threats from within. To do it, they must reunite with familiar creatures and join forces with new ones as they navigate their journey to the truth that awaits them in Everville.

And here is the stunning new cover design:

 
 
And until September 3rd, you can get The City of Worms for only $3.62 by clicking on the link above. It's that simple!!
 
And if you haven't read book one of this fantasy trilogy, it is available FREE for only a few days through August 29th! Here is the blurb for book one, Everville: The First Pillar:
 
Owen Sage is the emblematic college freshman at Easton Falls University. With all the worries about his first year in college, he was not prepared for what would happen next. His way of life was flipped upside down when he mysteriously crossed into another dimension, into the beautiful land of Everville. 
His excitement was abruptly halted when he discovered that there was a darkness forged against both the natural world, which he knew well, and the new land which he discovered, Everville. He must devise a plan to save both worlds while joining forces with the race of Fron and The Keepers, whom both harbor hidden secrets he must learn in order to gain power over the evil that dwells in The Other In Between.
 

 
 
To download your free copy during this limited time offer, just go to Amazon. Don't forget to add both books to your Goodreads shelf and thanks for your continued support of indie author Roy Huff!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

FREE Tara Maya eBook Giveaway

Today I have the extreme pleasure of hosting science fiction & fantasy author, Tara Maya who is best known for her Unfinished Song series.

The Unfinished Song is an epic faery tale... epic fantasy rewoven from fairytales, set in Faearth, a primeval world of magic where Faeries still rove the world. It is one story, split into twelve novels.

And right here through my blog, you can get a free copy of Initiate, the first book in the series.

But first, here is a short description:

DEADLY INITIATION


A DETERMINED GIRL...

Dindi can't do anything right, maybe because she spends more time dancing with pixies than doing her chores. Her clan hopes to marry her off and settle her down, but she dreams of becoming a Tavaedi, one of the powerful warrior-dancers whose secret magics are revealed only to those who pass a mysterious Test during the Initiation ceremony. The problem? No-one in Dindi's clan has ever passed the Test. Her grandmother died trying. But Dindi has a plan.


AN EXILED WARRIOR...

Kavio is the most powerful warrior-dancer in Faearth, but when he is exiled from the tribehold for a crime he didn't commit, he decides to shed his old life. If roving cannibals and hexers don't kill him first, this is his chance to escape the shadow of his father's wars and his mother's curse. But when he rescues a young Initiate girl, he finds himself drawn into as deadly a plot as any he left behind. He must decide whether to walk away or fight for her... assuming she would even accept the help of an exile.

Sounds cool, huh? Well, below you can also read a short excerpt:


Blue-skinned rusalki grappled Dindi under the churning surface of the river. She could feel their claws dig into her arms. Their riverweed-like hair entangled her legs when she tried to kick back to the surface. She only managed to gulp a few breaths of air before they pulled her under again.

She hadn't appreciated how fast and deep the river was. On her second gasp for air, she saw that the current was already dragging her out of sight of the screaming girls on the bank. A whirlpool of froth and fae roiled between two large rocks in the middle of the river. The rusalka and her sisters tugged Dindi toward it. Other water fae joined the rusalki. Long snouted pookas, turtle-like kappas and hairy-armed gwyllions all swam around her, leading her to the whirlpool, where even more fae swirled in the whitewater.

"Join our circle, Dindi!" the fae voices gurgled under the water. "Dance with us forever!"

"No!" She kicked and swam and stole another gasp for air before they snagged her again. There were so many of them now, all pulling her down, all singing to the tune of the rushing river. She tried to shout, "Dispel!" but swallowed water instead. Her head hit a rock, disorienting her. She sank, this time sure she wouldn't be coming up again.

"Dispel!" It was a man's voice.

Strong arms encircled her and lifted her until her arms and head broke the surface. Her rescuer swam with her toward the shore. He overpowered the current, he shrugged aside the hands of the water faeries stroking his hair and arms. When he reached the shallows, he scooped Dindi into his arms and carried her the rest of the way to the grassy bank. He set her down gently.

She coughed out some water while he supported her back.

"Better?" he asked.

She nodded. He was young--only a few years older than she. The aura of confidence and competence he radiated made him seem older. Without knowing quite why, she was certain he was a Tavaedi.

"Good." He had a gorgeous smile. A wisp of his dark bangs dangled over one eye. He brushed his dripping hair back over his head.

Dindi's hand touched skin--he was not wearing any shirt. Both of them were sopping wet. On him, that meant trickles of water coursed over a bedrock of muscle. As for her, the thin white wrap clung transparently to her body like a wet leaf. She blushed.

"It might have been easier to swim if you had let go of that," he teased. He touched her hand, which was closed around something. "What were you holding onto so tightly that it mattered more than drowning?"

 
If you would like to read more about Tara and the Unfinished song series, you can visit her blog.

You can also follow Tara Maya on Twitter or The Unfinished Song on Facebook

 

Last but not least, here are the super links for free and/or next-to-nothing downloads:

 
 
 
 
 

 

Don't forget to share this special offer with all your friends!!

 
 
 
 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

How to Give Your Characters a Voice

One of the most important aspects of creating a believable story for the reader is using what is called voice. If all of the characters in your book talked exactly the same, not only would it be boring for the reader, but she might also have trouble trying to figure out who is doing the talking. But what exactly is voice?

Voice is just as it sounds. It's the intonation, word choice, slang, accent, plus the myriad of other sounds that make a character uniquely different. If I were to blindfold you and line up your uncle, your teacher from the third grade, your mother, your boss and your significant other, you would probably be able to tell me who they all were once they opened their mouths to speak. So should it be when writing a novel. But how do you give different characters different voices when there's only one person writing the story? Easy peasy - you get to know your characters as the unique individuals they are!

Let's say I continue with the example of the people you know as they gather at a party. Listen to the way they introduce themselves to others or how they comment on the food, music, and house decor. Pay attention to their character and what that character might be likely to say and how they say it. The schoolteacher might choose to use proper English grammar while your boss or uncle may happen to have a Southern drawl. Your boss might express himself in short, easy to understand sentences or drone on and on in monotone. The point is, they all have different ways of communicating, and drawing on those unique traits is what sets each character apart on the printed page. It's the difference between creating dull, two-dimensional characters and interesting, three-dimensional characters.

A good way to test whether or not your writing is succeeding in creating different voices is to read the dialogue out loud without the 'he said,' 'she said,' tags. Can you tell who is speaking? Or more importantly, can others tell who is talking? The best and most easy-to-read novels are the ones containing very few dialogue tags which allow the characters to speak for themselves. If they are not placed properly in a sentence, the eye tends to trip on these tags. This slows down the reader's pace and in turn ends up frustrating the reader. Instead, find other ways to describe the emotion of the setting and purge the urge to drown your sentences in dialogue tags.

An example:

Two-dimensional voice:

"Where are we going next summer on vacation," asked Marian.
"I was thinking that Cape Cod might be nice," answered Wayne.
"I would rather go someplace warm," said Marian.
"What would you suggest?" asked Wayne.
"I was thinking more along the lines of Hawaii," said Marian.
"Don't you think that's a little out of our budget?" asked Wayne.
"Not if we save up between now and then," answered Marian.
"Aloha, baby," said Wayne.


Three dimensional voice:

"Where do you wanna spend our summer vacation next year?" asked Marian.
"I was thinking Cape Cod might be nice," answered Wayne.
Long pause.
"Something wrong with Cape Cod?"
"No, no. It's just that I'd rather go someplace warm."
He sighed. "Well, what do you suggest?"
"I was thinking more along the lines of Maui."
Silence.
"Hawaii? Don't you think that's a little out of our budget?"
"Not if we start saving our pennies now," she suggested.
"Hawaii, huh?" A smile crept across his face. "Aloha, baby."



Saturday, June 8, 2013

What Being a Writer Has Taught Me About Myself

When I was in grade school, I marched through life with the notion that someday I was destined for greatness. I imagined this would manifest itself in me becoming a Hollywood movie star or famous celebrity sometime before the age of twenty. About this same time, I developed a reputation among my teachers for my creative stories and poems. They encouraged me in the art of writing, but at that young age, the voice of doubt was omnipresent and I never considered publishing stories to be something that I would or could do "professionally." (Even to this day, I still find it unfathomable that becoming a famous actress seemed more attainable to me than becoming a published author!)

As the years wore on, I settled into the life that I like to call "blissfully average." The idea of becoming famous dwindled by the wayside, but the desire to express my creative side grew. I had a musically-gifted friend who once told me that entire symphonies were swirling in her head just waiting to be released. That was exactly how I felt about writing stories.

But like so many, the need to put food on the table soon trumped the "hobbies" that could have kept me sane in a fast-forward, chaotic life. These hobbies laid dormant for many years as I focused on being a wife and mother to my husband and four children. There was precious little time for writing then, but the need to spill my thoughts and emotions onto the written page did not diminish. If anything, it increased exponentially. The Christmas family newsletter, the monthly non-profit column for moms and a few secret poems on my laptop were the only manifestations of this creativity that ever saw the light of day. And all the while, the characters and storylines that haunted the confines of my own head begged to be released from their virtual prison.

One particular story in my head grabbed ahold and refused to be ignored. It slowly simmered in the recesses of my brain for more than twenty years, waiting patiently for the day when I would finally be willing to share it. But even as my children grew older and there was more time for myself, I still managed to convince myself that I wasn't talented enough to write professionally. For the longest time, little voices in my head had the upper hand as the epic tales of fascinating worlds and captivating characters were suppressed somewhere deep in no man's land.

You see, I had been trapped into believing the unspoken yet common myth among writers that my stories, while very entertaining, were never good enough for public consumption. With over 2.2 million books published each year worldwide, how could I even dare to assume that anyone would be interested in reading what I had to say? To actually attempt publication of one's novel was simply audacious and a fool's errand to say the very least.

Then, in 2010 at the age of forty-two, I had an epiphany. I could write down my stories just for myself. And if I liked them, I might consider sharing them with one or two of my closest family members, but further than that, I drew the line. Once the story that had been trapped in my head for more than two decades came bleeding out, there was no turning back. But then I made the critical error of allowing my sister and good friend to read my novel. They actually had the nerve to say that the story deserved to be shared with the entire world. And the whole time I still told myself that I didn't have what it takes to be a writer, let alone a published author.

It was a long time coming, but my debut novel was finally published this year. And shortly after, the other voices in my head that had long been kept silent were vindicated and finally allowed to cheer. Not because I might become rich and famous and not because I could call myself a published author, but because I had conquered my own worst enemy--me. All along it hadn't been other people who had convinced me I couldn't write, it had been myself. And for once, I was happy to prove myself wrong.

I may not be a famous celebrity, but that hasn't mattered to me for my whole adult life. Doing what I love (i.e. writing) does. And yet, my life isn't over yet. As long as I breathe (and maybe even after) I will still dare to dream that my stories might possibly make the bestseller's list!


Monday, May 20, 2013

The Carnelian Legacy Tell-A-Friend eBook Giveaway!!

Okay, I am halfway through the launch of my debut novel, The Carnelian Legacy, so I'm celebrating by giving away free eBookStubs to one lucky winner and up to five of their friends!!

Entering is easy, just click on the Rafflecopter below and tell your friends!!  Feel free to repost, blog, tweet, or pin at will!

 


Friday, May 17, 2013

Dutch Quaintness at its Best -- De Zaanse Schans

Probably one of the top three tourist destinations in The Netherlands is the quaint village of De Zaanse Schans, located in the province of North Holland (near Amsterdam). This epitome of Dutch quaintness finds itself in the number three spot on my top ten list of places to see.

Filled with windmills dating back to the sixteenth century and houses from all around the Zaanstreek or "Zaan region," the village appears to be a place that time forgot and one that the first-time visitor to Holland shouldn't miss. The windmills are still fully-functioning here, and the visitor gets to see what daily life was back a few centuries ago when wood was cut, flour was ground, and paint was made all using the iconic and yet highly practical Dutch windmill.

Along with the windmills, one can see how the traditional Dutch cheese is made and even try various samples. Pewter was a valuable and practical commodity hundreds of years ago, and the visitor can see how it was incorporated into Dutch daily life. And because this is The Netherlands, what trip would be complete without watching how the artisans whittle away a lump of wood to make the famous Dutch wooden clogs?

Along with the various attractions at De Zaanse Schans, there are a couple of great restaurants that will make your visit complete. Don't forget to try the famous Dutch pannenkoeken, or pancakes which are actually a cross between pancakes and crepes. As with any tourist attraction, there are gift shops galore to make any souvenir purchases for friends and family back home. By the time you've spent a day at De Zaanse Schans, you will start to have a real feel for a culture and history of a country with a rich heritage.

Geniet ervan! (Enjoy!)

For more tourist destination info on De Zaanse Schans, visit De Zaanse Schans Museum homepage

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Pillars, Pilgrims, and the Pieterskerk

Climbing steadily higher on the ladder of places to go and things to see in The Netherlands, one of my all time personal favorite places is next on the list. Coming in at number four (which probably should have been two or at least three) is the fabulous Pieterskerk in Leiden.

This is one of the oldest and most important churches in all of Europe, and its origins date back to the Middle Ages -- 1211 to be exact! In the centuries following, it went through various stages of building and tearing down, but the current church as it now stands is basically the same as it was back in the sixteenth and seventeenth century. This was about the time when a small group of English separatists who fled Britain during the reign of James Charles settled in Leiden and would later set sail for the New World to become known as the Pilgrims and some of the first settlers in America!

Many of the Pilgrims moved with their families to Holland to escape religious persecution and they set up textile shops in and around the Pieterskerk where they gathered to worship around 1611. Here they remained for almost a decade, but then decided to leave for the New World when their children started to take on the "bad habits," "depraved language" and "faults" of their local Dutch friends. A small group of these Pilgrims departed from Delfshaven and set out for England on the Speedwell where they were to rendezvous with another ship filled with English separatists called the Mayflower. Both ships left England on August 5, 1620, but when the Speedwell began to take on water, both ships returned to Plymouth and all the Pilgrims were loaded into one boat -- the Mayflower. Then all 103 people aboard set sail for the colonies, and the rest they say--is history.

Each year on Thanksgiving, Americans and Dutch friends alike come together to celebrate the historic Pilgrims' voyage by gathering in the most beautifully restored place where it all began, the Pieterskerk in Leiden. I have had the privilege of attending the Thanksgiving Day service in this church not once but three times--the church is less than five miles from my house. Upon researching my own family history years ago, I was able to trace my lineage all the way back to one of the original members of the Mayflower Compact and I am very proud of this fact.

But sometimes I wonder how my ancestor would feel knowing that one of his descendants had returned to the very same culture of "bad habits," "depraved language" and "faults" that had forced him to leave The Netherlands all those many years ago!



For more information on the Pieterskerk Leiden visit the official web site!





Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Emotional Roller Coaster of Publishing Your First Novel

Writers are a funny breed, and if you aren't one, you're probably wondering how one goes about creating a New York Times bestseller wannabe. Allow me educate and enlighten you on the process.




First, you have this phenomenal idea for your novel...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
And you just KNOW that it's gonna be a bestseller!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
So you sit down at your laptop and start writing the first chapter...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
...and you're all business just trying to get it down on the page!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
But then your kids keep interrupting while you're trying to write and you're like...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
So you concentrate the best you can and try to block everything else out.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
But the characters just aren't "gelling" the way you want them to...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
...so you work hard on developing your characters into real people and pretty soon,
 they become your imaginary friends...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
and...
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
A few chapters later, the plot is moving along nicely and you're like...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
...and before you know it, you've hit half your word count and you feel so...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Then you experience an absolute streak of brilliance! You write a really deep,
 moving scene and you're so...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
and so...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
...and then you discover just how witty you truly are!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
So witty, in fact, that it actually makes you laugh out loud!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
But then, all of a sudden you realize that the character you killed off in chapter six
is essential to the sequel and you feel like this...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
...and you start to do this...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
You get so frustrated, you just feel like doing this!!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
You lose sleep all night tossing and turning about where the story is going...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
...and the next morning you just want to do this...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
...but you still have to get up, go to your day job, and sit in all those boring meetings!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
You have a really difficult time trying to stay awake...
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
...so then you overdose on caffeine and your nerves are shattered like this!
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
By the time you get home from work at the end of the day, all you want to do is write,
but you just feel so...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
...and there's an email in your inbox from your critique partner and you discover that she has
completely butchered your manuscript.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
After you've read her brutal suggestions, you're like...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
She tells you that there are too many irritating clich├ęs in your story...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
And you feel like this...
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
And when you're telling her this...
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
...you actually feel like doing this.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
But you don't. You wipe away your tears and make the suggested edits...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Then you go out for a drive to clear your head and to get the creative juices flowing...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
...and it suddenly hits you that you need some major conflict to stir things up a bit.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
You realize that it wouldn't hurt to crank up the romantic action a notch or two, either!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pretty soon, you've chopped and hacked away at your manuscript but it's so much better now
and you're feeling good again!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
But in the meantime, you discover that your awesome title was already used
 for a bestseller five years ago!
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
And you just feel like...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
...and it was such a great title, too!!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
So you start to brainstorm once again to come up with the perfect title...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
...and after a while, you think of a new one that's even better!!
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
But then you learn that you have to start querying agents and you're like...
 
 
 
 "What's a query?"
 

 
 
 
And after sending out at least 50 queries with negative or no responses, you start to feel like...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Another month or two goes by and you're all...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
In the meantime, you enjoy a drink or two...
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
Finally -- when you least expect it, an agent asks to read 
your full manuscript and you're feeling absolutely...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
...and you do the happy dance...
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
But then you go back to being on pins and needles again
while waiting to hear back from the agent...
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
...and you slowly feel yourself going crazy.
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
Just when you think you'll never hear from her again, the agent contacts you
to say that "she will pass" on representing you and you just feel like...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
And...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
And...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
And...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
And you throw yourself a little pity party...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
And after months of more querying, more agonizing, and hearing from dozens of agents "I'm not the right agent for this project..."
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
...you finally pull yourself together again.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
You decide not to give up so easily...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
You finally decide to self-publish!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
So right before your book releases, you feel so...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
But then, suddenly your book is on Amazon and you're like...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
and...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
...and you're friends look at you like...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Then someone gives your book a five-star review on Amazon and you're feelin' pretty...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
But then its reviewed in the local newspaper and you just want to...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
...and then someone else gives your book two stars on Amazon and you just feel like...
 
 
 
 
 



 
 
And...
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
But then, you get to have a book launch party and everything is a little..
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
...and suddenly you feel so...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
Soon you have your first author interview and you try to act casual...
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
And you find yourself doing things you'd never thought you'd ever have to do...
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
Your book is finally out there in the world and people are reading it and you feel so...
 
 
 






 
 
 
and so...
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
And you can finally call yourself a published author!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
And you know you did good!!
 
 
 
 
 


Can you relate? Please comment here below!