February 5, 2018

Writing with a Group

I’m currently running a promotion for Quality DNA, and it’s going pretty well. Even so, the whole process is a bit nerve-wracking—I still haven’t really gotten a handle on ads.

I’m pretty excited that my local writing group has decided to reintroduce their novel-writing small groups. Writing can be a pretty isolating activity, so having a group of people to support each other and discuss the process will be really awesome. I’m having a bit of a hard time wrapping my brain around the time frame, though: the goal is to finish the first draft of a novel-length manuscript after 6 months.

As a serial participant in NaNoWriMo, I’m used to pounding out the first draft as quickly as possible. The biggest benefit for this pace is that I’m able to stay motivated through the entire draft. Always being motivated is impossible, but it certainly helps to take advantage of that drive while it’s there. Editing, at least in my case, is certainly a practice in sheer determination.

I’ve heard of countless writers who took several years to finish their debut novel, but that pace won’t work in the long run. A lot of my favorite authors publish at least 1-2 books each year, while most successful indie authors launch new books even more frequently. It takes a lot of book sales to support oneself, and a number of books to achieve those sales.

Of course, my writing group doesn’t consist of a bunch of career authors. We all just share a common interest—creating and sharing stories. A few have self-published, and others are looking for representation from a literary agent or have published in literary journals. The novel program is a great step in encouraging the more casual members to achieve something big. Because, even with my experience, I’ll readily admit that finishing a novel is hard.

I’m hoping to complete self-edits on The Other Humans soon so that I can start a new project for our group’s novel program. And by new project, I mean The Other Humans: Book Two. Of course, I’m hoping to have my book completed, edited, professionally edited, formatted, and ready to launch after six months. No pressure.

What I’m particularly looking forward to is having the support of some fellow writers. When I talk to my friends or family about characters getting stuck in an impossible situation, trouble describing setting, difficulty naming new tech, and the dreaded middle-of-the-book-slog, they don’t really understand where I’m coming from. And, of course, I love reading others people’s work that is still a bit fluid, knowing that my feedback may actually impact the story.

I’m still tinkering with the cover for my NaNoWriMo 2017 project and came across a few recent videos on the cover creation process in traditional publishing. I found it interesting to see how much or little say the author gets in the final cover, and how common it is for authors to hate their covers. I guess that’s one of the perks of doing it all yourself—you can be as picky about the cover as you want and get something you love!

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