writing a novel

Your Daily Writing Pleasure

Chipping Away at Rocks…

Rocks

 

Not all writers can spend a lot of time typing away at a keyboard each day.  In fact, many would-be writers say, with absolute sincerity: “I’m just itching to get to this novel I’ve had in me for a while, but I have absolutely no time.”

Well, I’d like to claim that there is no such thing as no time at all.  You don’t have to have a lot of time, but you need to set aside a daily portion of it, however small, to write.

Even if you have little available time for writing, consistency is absolutely essential for those who want a jab at writing and publishing professionally.  Consistent daily output adds up, even though each separate day might not feel very productive. It’s like chopping away at a great big rock with a hammer: you break off a tiny piece each time, and while for a long while it may seem as though you aren’t doing anything at all, eventually the rock will crumble.

What exactly do I mean?  It’s better to put in 1,000 words a day, every day than writing 5000 words in a single exhausting burst and then need a week’s worth recovery time.

If you outline carefully and know exactly what you want to write next, those 1,000 words can be written very quickly – in 30-45 minutes.  Most people can carve out 30 minutes of their day to do whatever…  I mean, most people do carve out a lot more than 30 minutes, without even being aware of it, to do stuff like hang out on social media or watch cat videos on YouTube.

When I began writing my most recent release, Wild Children, I was dealing with two little kids at home, pregnancy exhaustion, and an unstable housing situation.  Finding time to write really was like pulling teeth.  So I didn’t have 30 minutes available each day, but I took advantage of what I could get – 20, 15, 10 minutes – figuring that two paragraphs are better than nothing.
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Your Daily Writing Habit:
At 1,000 words a day, 5 days a week, 20 days a month, it will add up to 20,000 words a month. It means you write the first draft of a 100,000-word novel in 5 months. It’s two solid books a year which, while not insanely productive, is a respectable output.

I know, I know – the first draft needs to be edited, it needs to be proofread, it needs to be sent out to stand in the throng of queries if you trad-pub; and if you self-pub, you need to format, obtain cover design, publish and market.

But still, those 1,000 words a day will get you in the right direction. So don’t be sorry you can’t put in 2K, 3K or whatever it is other people write daily.

I don’t know what challenges you might be facing in your life right now.  Maybe you have a day job, kids, elderly parents, other commitments.  Maybe you have a spouse who thinks their  hour-long browse of AliExpress is legit recreation, but your hour writing is shameful neglect of family duties.  Heck, I’ve had periods in my life (mostly during Mommy Boot Camp with newborns) when I was so desperate for some writing time that instead of taking a long shower every day, I took a shower every second day and wrote instead.  And I carved out epic novels.  It was a slow, frustrating haul but it happened – one word at a time.

Just do what you can, and do it consistently, and it will pay off!
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Hannah Ross is the author of the dystopian novel Wild Children, and of several other books. She enjoys a quiet rural life with her husband and three children. Follow Hannah’s blog, Flight of Fantasy.

 

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Motivation for Writers

Self-doubt plagues every writer at some point, no matter how successful they are.  Authors are often wondering whether their efforts are worthwhile.
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Motivation

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Cherish Your Visions and Accomplishments.
Write down every time you have been published or praised.  Napoleon Hill advices: “Cherish your vision and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.”  Talk with readers and writers about your work – if it is constructive. Ensure that you reach a milestone every week or two, such as 10,000 words or three chapters.

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Have Your Own Voice.
List your favorite artistic and cultural influences.  Are you using these as references in your writing, or avoiding them, because you don’t think people would understand them.  Ask other people: “What’s my (writers) voice?  What do I sound like?”  Ask yourself: “Do I enjoy what I’m writing as I’m writing it?”  If it feels like work, you may not be writing like yourself.

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Keep Writing.
Stay busy and produce more work, use writing tools that increase your productivity, exercises that kickstart your novel.  Establish a writing routine: keep a regular time and place that is dedicated to your writing process.  Sit down and start writing!
One page is roughly 250 words, and writing three pages for six days per week, for 50 weeks, you will finish a draft of around 225,000 words or 900 pages.   James Patterson launches as many as six novels a year (with the help of ghostwriters – however he outlines mostly around 80 pages himself).  Another writer who is very prolific is Stephen King with 60+ books so far.  Other such writers are mentioned in a former blog post, they wrote between eighteen and ninety-eight! books and they are true role models to follow for anyone, who complains about the hardship of writing.

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Sit Down, Write and Reach Milestones.
Reward yourself when writing is especially difficult.  Some days are just awful struggles.  You don’t want to sit down, and even when you do, the words just will not come.  Force yourself writing for ten or fifteen minutes, and you usually get the momentum to keep going and continuing.
Have a deadline and making it a realistic one.  Figure out how many words or pages you need to write per day and how many days per week to reach it.  Tick off the days on your calendar, where you reach your target.  Reward yourself when you are able to keep on track – it will increase your writers motivation.
Choose achievements along the way based on reaching milestones in terms of words or numbers of pages written depending on which you tend to count.

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Plan Your Days.
Are you an early bird or a night owl?  How many hours per week / day will you work on your new book?  When will your writing times be?
Don’t squeeze writing time into the leftover spaces. Keep a regular writing schedule,  just as you would make any other appointment.  Tell your loved ones when you will be unavailable due to writing.  Just because you are writing at home does not mean you are available for conversation, errands or household tasks.  If this is a problem, find an alternative place to work away from your home, such as a library or coffee shop and schedule time where you can write uninterrupted.

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Invest in Time for your Author Brand too.
Author Hope Clark recently wrote in her newsletter:
“…Branding is super critical right now. I hear long-time, mid-list authors complain these days about how their incomes are way down, but they are doing the same thing they have always done….marketing some, maybe posting on FB three times a week, thinking what worked in 2008 still works now.”

“You cannot be seen without being different. You cannot be heard without noise, a different kind of noise because God knows it’s noisy out there. You need a brand, and when you figure out what it is, then you need to sling it and work it hard. Daily. Yep, daily. You have to keep swimming or you’ll drown. Nobody is throwing you a life raft. The only options are to keep swimming, drown, or simply get out of the water. And the decision is all yours.”
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Persistence is the key for your writing success:
Fight back against self-doubt!  And always remember what Bestseller Author Stephen King said: “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us get up and go to work”.  Why not learning from and replicate the habits and qualities of some of the most famous, wealthiest, and most celebrated authors in the world?  Why not harness the power of these principles for your own success as an author? Read more in “12 Principles Of Highly Successful Authors”.

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If you would like to get a mentor and our support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer for three months all this and more for only $179 – or less than $2 per day!  Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting / Book Marketing for your success: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

To learn more about professional book marketing and publishing,
please read also “Book Marketing on a Shoestring”
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UAVL3LE

Our email newsletters with free insider tips are sent out once a month. To sign up, just go to the form on the right site of each blog post.



Food for Thought …

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Prolific-Writers

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Checking out Sarah’s Reviews’s on Goodreads and her website, I looked a little bit closer at her favorite authors list.  As an avid reader, a very fair reviewer and book blogger she read many titles of these prolific writers.  Note: these authors wrote between 18, in words: eighteen and 98, in words: ninety-eight! books, and they are true role models to follow for anyone who complains that their first book is not a bestseller…

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Jim Butcher 
author of 98 books, including Storm Front
Last book read by Skin Game (The Dresden Files)

Jim Butcher is the author of the Dresden Files, the Codex Alera, and a new steampunk series, the Cinder Spires. His resume includes a laundry list of skills which were useful a couple of centuries ago, and he plays guitar quite badly. An avid gamer, he plays tabletop games in varying systems, a variety of video games on PC and console, and LARPs whenever he can make time for it. Jim currently resides mostly inside his own head, but his head can generally be found in his home town of Independence, Missouri.
Jim goes by the moniker Longshot in a number of online locales. He came by this name in the early 1990′s when he decided he would become a published author. Usually only 3 in 1000 who make such an attempt actually manage to become published; of those, only 1 in 10 make enough money to call it a living. The sale of a second series was the breakthrough that let him beat the long odds against attaining a career as a novelist.
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Patricia Briggs 
author of 84 books , including Moon Called
Last book read by Dead Heat (Alpha & Omega)

Patricia Briggs was born in Butte, Montana to a children’s librarian who passed on to her kids a love of reading and books. Patricia grew up reading fairy tales and books about horses, and later developed an interest in folklore and history. When she decided to write a book of her own, a fantasy book seemed a natural choice. Patricia graduated from Montana State University with degrees in history and German and she worked for a while as a substitute teacher. Currently, she lives in Montana with her husband, children and six horses and writes full-time, much to the delight of her fans.
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Veronica Roth 
author of 30 books , including Divergent
Last book read by Insurgent (Divergent)
Veronica Roth is from a Chicago suburb. She studied creative writing at Northwestern University, and wrote DIVERGENT (Katherine Tegen Books, May 2011) and INSURGENT (May 2012). The third and final book in The Divergent Trilogy, ALLEGIANT launched in 2013.  Some of her books made it even into movies!
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Marissa Meyer 
author of 18 books , including Cinder
Last book read by Cress (The Lunar Chronicles)
She tells about herself: I live in Tacoma, Washington, with my fiancé and our two cats. In addition to my slight obsession with books and writing, I’m big on road-tripping, wine-tasting, and hunting for antiques. I’m represented by Jill Grinberg. CINDER, my debut novel, is a futuristic re-envisioning of Cinderella in which Cinder is a cyborg mechanic.

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Exploring Routines of Famous Writers
You might discover certain patterns, such as: The best ways to get over the “blank page hurdle”. The trick to overcome this isn’t easy, but it’s surprisingly effective: give yourself permission to write badly, and just start writing. Many authors who write beautifully and make a lot of money, don’t sit down routinely feeling wildly enthusiastic and confident. Not one of them writes elegant first drafts.  So, to get over the biggest hurdle—the blank page—just get writing. The secret to prolific writing is practice!

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If you would like to get a mentor and our support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer for three months all this and more for only $179 – or less than $2 per day!  Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting / Book Marketing for your success: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

To learn more about professional book marketing and publishing, please read also
“Book Marketing on a Shoestring”
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UAVL3LE

Our email newsletters with free insider tips are sent out once a month. To sign up, just go to the form on the right site of each blog post.

 



3 Habits of Famous Writers

You may have heard that Stephen King has a writing quota of at least 2,000 words a day, while Arthur Conan Doyle wrote 3,000 words a day.  But you might be surprised that Truman Capote wrote laying down. Ernest Hemingway on the other hand wrote standing on a high desk.  See more habits of famous writers:
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Different Writing Techniques of Famous Writers Infographic
Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics
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Famous writers are also often open to help aspiring newbies, such as:

  • Make your own office—whatever it is to have your own writing space.  Ban the internet or phone from this refugium and hang a sign on the door: “Don’t disturb”.
  • Choose a certain time of the day to write, make it a habit to work on your book always at the same time. If necessary set an alarm clock.  Habits are extremely important.
  • Last but not least, read.a.lot!  Choose books from the best writers and you will learn.a.lot!

What is your advice for aspiring writers?

 

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If you would like to get a mentor and our support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer for three months all this and more for only $179 – or less than $2 per day!  Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

To learn more about professional book marketing and publishing, please read also
“Book Marketing on a Shoestring”
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UAVL3LE

Our email newsletters with free insider tips are sent out once a month. To sign up, just go to the form on the right site of each blog post.

 

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Prequels: Author’s Benefits of Writing Them

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Prequel

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J.K. Rowling did it for Harry Potter – every writer should create them too: Writing a Prequel for their upcoming book.  According to the FreeDictionary:  ”A literary, dramatic, or cinematic work, whose narrative takes place before that of a pre-existing work or a sequel. [pre- + (se)quel.] prequel.” They are teasers in short story form that preview the key characters and settings of an upcoming novel.
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Prequels: Promote Your Future Book Through Short Stories
Savvy authors are building excitement and attract readers to their upcoming books. Editor Alan Rinzler describes them: “Back stories for the longer book to come. Others are like outtakes from the novel, standalone narratives that add to our knowledge of the characters but don’t appear in the books themselves.  Prequels provide readers with the flavor and quality of the forthcoming book in a way that makes them yearn to read more. This technique has had notable successes lately, like propelling a book from obscurity to six-figure advances, and building pre-publication buzz and momentum.”
Rinzler mentions two authors, published by the “Big Five”: Brittany Geragotelis and thriller author Mark Sullivan.
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When and What to Write?
It is never too early to write a prequel.  You might write it even before starting to write your book, using your research, character outlines or your first draft manuscript. Often your novel has to be shortened to create a faster pace. Don’t delete these text parts! Create your prequel out of it. Or use locations where your novel takes place to elaborate and write in detail about it. For example:  If you write a thriller and your protagonist is an art dealer in Paris, you can write several prequels how and where in Paris your mystery unfolded, a comprehensive description of the main character and his dealings or a pre-story of the events.

No Limit on the Number of Prequels
The prequel can be one story or a dozen. However, it should be an irresistible preview of the book itself, short, but with a revealing scene from the draft manuscript of the novel, and a great teaser for the upcoming work. The author’s goal should be: to make the reader want more…
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Where to Publish a Prequel?
There is no limit how you publish a prequel. It could be a short story in the form of a magazine or website / blog article, a short (free or inexpensive) e-book or a guest blog, and even a video or slide show.  Most import is that you post it in as many venues as possible, including your Social Media sites. Even better are reader communities or forums, where people tend to spend more time, including sites, such as Google+, Wattpad and Goodreads or FictionPress, and send an invitation to load it down to your readers on your mailing list.
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Prequels are beneficial for you and your readers: Show off the quality of your forthcoming book, build pre-publication buzz and momentum and create back stories for the longer book to come. Don’t see prequels as a marketing gig, they are valuable parts of your author platform and brand.
Don’t forget:  Promotion of your book must start long before you finish your manuscript if you don’t want to loose sales and success!  Competition is growing by the day… Do what you as a writer likes most:  WRITE!  Not only 90.000-word-manuscripts, but also short stories and blog articles.

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing:  We offer all this and more for only $159 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about our individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

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Tagged: Alan Rinzler, FictionPress, FreeDictionary, GoodReads, Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling, Prequel, Wattpad, writing a novel


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