Crazy Little Thing Called…
Seriously, have you ever tried to write? No? Then you wouldn’t know how crazy it really can be. Oh, you said yes? Then you know what kind of lunatic I will become if this wouldn’t go right. Gaah!
To those of you who don’t know how to write, let me give you a little background on how I do it. There are few steps:
1) Since I am a newbie writer, the first step that I had to go to was to prep myself for the challenge. How was this a step? First of all, there’s a shortcut to writing. But to go that path is also a shortcut for downfall. Rushing, that’s the shortcut that I am talking about.
If you really wanna be a writer, do not take any shortcuts. Shortcuts are your enemies, and do not be fooled. Do not give in to temptations. And do not even think of doing it!
Also, preparing to write a novel includes thinking of what genre you think you will excel. Are you the troll-loving type, or are you more of the kind of person who loves to write about a character with complex personality, and always have a diabolical plan? Think about it.
2) After thinking of a genre, the next thing you need to do is to design your characters. Is it easy to plan your characters? Could be. Well, that’s if you’re going to make all of them having the same color of hair and eyes, same texture of skins, and same personalities. If you don’t want that, then no, it’s not easy to plan your characters.
Think of how many characters do you really want to make, and decide how you are going to make them distinctive to one another; which of them should be the much better person and who wouldn’t be. And just an additional note: do not make your protagonist too lovable — like the kind who never makes mistakes, and do not hate other people; and your antagonist too hateful — too much scheming, too much killing. If you want to make them work, try to do it the other way around. Explain why your antagonist is an antagonist, and how different a protagonist you can make.
Then choose who gets this and that physical appearance and personality.
3) Once you’re done designing those unicorns, grab a paper and pen, or just face your computer. Plot the story. Never underestimate the power of plotting. Once I tried not to plot and my always endgame was rather finishing the novel as a novella, or not knowing how to end the story. If you don’t want readers to feel as if your work was rushed, or it’s too long, then plot! No, that’s not a command. It’s your novel after all.
Also, construct a setting. Is your novel set on a different era? Do you have a fictional location or are you going to use a real place fictitiously. That is up to you.
After that, you write the synopsis/summary/main plot of your story so you won’t get lost while you’re already writing.
4) Write. Yes, you haven’t even began writing yet, so write. Put your characters to life, make your location vibrant, add flavor to the conversations, and do not be boring! Well, of course, that depends if your main audience are parents who want to put their kids to sleep by reading your story. If not, then beware of boring people.
5) Finished writing it? Good, but you’re not done yet. Yes, you’re not so do not complain. What you have written is called the “first draft.”
Now, what you’re supposed to do is to clean it. Check for the errors, add something else you think is missing, remove the others you think as redundant. If after cleaning it up and you still think it’s not good enough, do not worry. There’s always a “second draft” that you can fall on, and a “third draft”, and so on, and so forth.
Other writers let their first draft stew in their storage boxes for months before editing their work to have a completely different outlook when they read it again, and so that they could start fresh. If you don’t want to wait too long, then I suggest you hire a professional editor. Or a friend who is not so stupid about editing. That way, you can just “have a life” for a while until the editing process concludes.
6) Well done, kiddo! After the editing, all you have to do is find a publisher. Or if you don’t want rejection from publishing companies then I suggest you self-publish. But don’t get excited. Self-publishing takes a lot of work, whereas traditional publishing takes a lot of patience.
Self-publishing is an all-me work. Or if not, it’s an all-me budget to make other people work. So if you’re not talented enough to make your own book cover, but you also don’t have enough money to pay someone’s services to make you one, then I guess it’s time for you to study how to use Photoshop or other image editing software. Or just go to traditional publishing. Whichever option works for you.
And those are, well, steps if you’d like to call it that way. For me, I’m just blabbering. Blabbering like a BOSS. And I hope you learned something from it. Namaste, readers!
P.S. – If you decided to go indie, I suggest you join a lot of groups where people publish by themselves as well. That way, you will learn more of what to do and what not to do in self-publishing. Also, it will help you publicize yourself. Yes, that’s also an additional work to indie authors. So to those people who think Indie Authors are crappy authors, screw… your thoughts. In my opinion, it takes a lot of courage, talent, and skill to publish by oneself.
I hope you all got some points from this post!