Posts Tagged ‘indie writing’

I hit a major milestone today that I’m surprised I noticed. The Wasteland Chronicles passed 200,000 words.

That seems a like a lot of words. But really, it’s just a little bit over Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (which, admittedly, is a fairly large book).

I finished the first draft of Revelation today – I think. I may add on an ending that’s less cliff-hangery, but for what it’s worth, it’s pretty much done. It’s only 43,000 words or so now, but I imagine that will grow as I comb through it and add on to it. I’m on target to have it out by late September, which would be ideal.

For the first time I’m ever, I’m writing every day and sticking to it. It feels great to have finally conquered the part of me that always wanted to write, but never did. I think putting my books out there and seeing the successes has kept me going on – the believing that it was possible. I finally woke up and went after it probably around last December, when the first one came out. I’m working on it all the more, now.

It’s been an amazing journey so far. Now, the first three books are out, and all have paperback versions. I want to make some slight changes to third one before finalizing it (even though it’s published – that’s the beauty of e-publishing – you can always go back and tweak some things).

Before I know it, Book 4 will be out. Book 4. It’s crazy that this is starting to become normal. It’s the kind of normal I love.

I’m starting to recognize a flow to the writing life.

I think this looks different for different people, but this is what it is for me, so far:

1. Have a good idea for a book. Usually gotten from reading/culture at large, or personal experience.

2. Write about that idea. Develop characters, outline, whatever…just get a vague semblance of a plot in your head.

3. Usually at this point, I’m ready to begin writing.

4. Write every day. Finish the first draft as quickly as you are able, going no slower than a pace of 1,000 words a day.

5. When finished a month, or the latest two later, let the draft cool for a while. Get some distance. Write some other stuff. Promote other books (if you have any). Decide whether or not what you have written is worth sharing. If the answer is yes, line up a good cover artist and a good editor. You will need both.

6. Edit the book. Read it through fairly quickly – you’re allowed to fix mistakes as long as they don’t bog you down too much. Take note of the parts that are entertaining, which are slow, and which are downright painful to read. Delete the painful parts, and see if the slow parts can be improved. If not, delete.

7. Go back to the start and edit again. Take out everything that is not the story. Take out everything that gets in the way. Repeat as often as necessary (up to six or seven times). Add anything that is part of the story (usually, this is not much).

8. Copyedit. Check for typos, missed words, spelling. Make sure the formatting is correct and Kindle friendly. Create front copy. Begin to set your book up for upload. Meanwhile, line up four beta readers prepared to give you an honest opinion. Listen to their feedback, and make changes where appropriate.

9. Make sure everything is absolutely as perfect as you can make it, within reason: the text, the editing, the formatting, and the cover. When you are sure, come up with a killer blurb, upload the book.

10. Meanwhile (and you can start earlier than this step, especially if you already have relationships with book reviewers/bloggers), try to line up some reviews early for the book. As soon as it is online, promote the hell of it. Promotion is something I’m still learning, and is something I can improve at in all links in the chain.

11. Continue promoting all of your work however you can. Start a new story. Repeat steps 1-11.

I may have missed a few things, but this is the basic gist. For me, it doesn’t stop when I’ve written the book. I want people to read it. Hopefully, I hope I can make enough for it to be a full time job. But I have to work for it.

Also, for the first time Apocalypse broke the top 10,000 paid. It is the the top one percent of all paid books on Amazon. And Night of the Necromancer has gotten over 1,200 free downloads.

Awesome. Thank you for your support.