10 Tips for (Teen) Writers

I got inspired by Joseph Eastwood’s blog post with the same title that I thought about writing my own version of it. Not that I don’t agree with him, but I believe there are things that I can add to what he said, which I totally agree on. If you’re a teenage writer, like we are, here are some of the tips I think could help you out.

1. Ambition is not enough…

I am aware that it’s our ambition which motivates us, but it’s not exactly enough to reach your dreams. If you want to become a successful singer, you can’t just be singing in your bathroom. Expand your wings, do whatever it takes to be noticed. It’s always the first step for everyone to do mistakes before we learn, so don’t be afraid to commit them. In writing, even the most talented and experienced authors nowadays make them. But don’t be too overconfident, too. Sometimes, if not always, overconfidence fools you; letting you think that what you did is good enough when it still needs some work.

2. Don’t be afraid of judgments…

Believe it or not, judgmental people are everywhere. When you’re still writing, these judgments are what help you to know where you went wrong, and what your weak points are. They actually help you become better, so don’t fear them. After all, judgment will always be there, no matter how good you’ll become. You’ll encounter hurtful words from critics and for people who feel like they are good enough to be critics. Learn from them, and try not to be so sensitive about them.

3.  Write your life.

It’s true. I’m not saying write an autobiographical novel of yourself. Just be who you are. Always bear in mind that the words that come out from you is who you are. If you’ll write about a character who shares no similarities with you, that’s going to be a problem. In all of my characters, I’ve always tried to put something in them that defines me. I believe that when you put bits of your soul into these characters, it’s what makes them believable and easy to relate on.

4. Read a lot of books.

Trust me, that’s how you develop your style. It also gives flavor to your own writing. Don’t read something just because you think it’s what’s in today, but because you want to. Also, read different kind of books, because you only absorb few things from a book. Reading books of different genre will help you expand your knowledge about writing and vocabulary.

5. Be brave.

Let’s be honest. Every writer feels fear somewhere inside of us, because it’s really scary when people are out there to judge us. But being brave doesn’t mean the fear evaporates just in a second. It’s still there, but have the courage to accept whatever these people say. Do not let yourself feel intimidated by other people’s words, when you know you also have your own words you’re sure that have to be heard and read.

6. Keep writing!

Writing is what makes you become better. It’s quite obvious isn’t it, because you want to be a writer! Write your life, write what you know, and write something that you think you know. It doesn’t matter if your writing your novel, or a blog post, or just updating your Facebook or Twitter status. The important thing is that you’re writing something. Every word you write is a step up on a staircase.

7. Stop being such an introvert!

I’m telling you right now, don’t stress yourselves in front of your computer/laptop screens. It’s always a great thing to be out there, and be inspired by the world. There’s no better inspiration than the people we meet and places we go. It also helps your imagination to widen. Talk to people, appreciate your surroundings. Just like that and words will keep flowing on your computer screens!

8. Have a break, have a… critic.

Please, don’t ever think that your friends are good enough to criticize your works. I have friends, too, and they’re all nice. They say nice things about my works, which sometimes help because they make me feel like I’m doing the right thing. But it’s not always the case. Find someone who you know you can trust, but will never just say good things about your work for the sake of sugarcoating. Search for someone who’s honest and who you believe. Like a professor you’re close to, or someone who has the experience and will be willing to help you out. There’s no such thing as a lone wolf in the writing business! It’s always a group effort!

9. Do not take revisions personally.

We’ve all been there. We keep saying, “We’ve already done a spectacular job. Why do I have to go back again and edit my work?” Please, don’t be such a cry baby. Revisions are important, especially if you didn’t write your novel in one-month without sleeping. There will always be those moments that would feel choppy, or like you just passed by in front of your computer screen to write something you thought about. Revisions are what make your work smooth-sounding when you read them again. It’s what crafts your craft. It makes your work become even better than it already is, so don’t ever take it personally.

10. Patience and perseverance is the key!

It’s a process! If you’re writing a poem, I’d believe you if you’ll say that you wrote it for just one night. But a full-blown novel? Stop talking, because there’s no such thing as finishing a novel overnight. As I always love to tell people, talents and skills are never enough. There’s always patience and perseverance that most people doesn’t have which is the real key to finishing a novel. Even if you’re the most talented person in the world, if you’re lazy, you’ll never go anywhere!

Thank you so much for reading this! ‘Til the next post!

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First Five (The Rejection Letters)

After quite a long break I had to take from posting here in my blog (because of some school businesses, and writing stuffs), I have decided to come back today, and share with you guys just a little something: the First Five Rejection Letters I have received in the past months. Of course, the names of the companies and agents will not be disclosed. For beginner writers, you may use this to imagine how you would feel if, but not hoping for it, you would receive one in the future. Also, feel free to compare them all with one another, and see for yourselves the similarities and differences the letters have.

January 25, 2012

Hi Celester,

Thank you so much for sharing The Chosen Ones with us! We were intrigued by your premise and especially loved the dynamic you’ve built between Reina and Harry. Unfortunately, though, we don’t feel that we can successfully offer to pursue The Chosen Ones. As I’m sure you know, there are several fairy stories on the YA marketplace right now, and we just don’t see a place for this on our list, which is already paranormal-heavy.

We hope you find the perfect place for The Chosen Ones, and thank you again for thinking of us!

Best,
(Agency’s name)

February 11, 2012

Dear Author:

Thank you so much for sending the (Agency’s name) your query. We’d like to apologize for the impersonal nature of this standard rejection letter. On average, we receive nearly 100 email query letters a day and despite that, we do read each and every query letter carefully. Unfortunately, this project is not right for us. Because this business is so subjective and opinions vary widely, we recommend that you pursue other agents. After all, it just takes one “yes” to find the right match.

Good luck with all your publishing endeavors.

Sincerely,

(3 agents’ names)

February 24, 2012

Dear Celester,

Thank you for your query.Your project sounds interesting, but after careful thought, (Agent’s name) just wasn’t as enthusiastic about the idea as he needs to be in order to take on a new project, so he’s decided to pass. As you know, these decisions are highly subjective and another agent may have a completely different opinion.

Thanks again for thinking of (Agent’s name).We wish you the very best of luck in finding a good home for your work.

Kind regards,

(Agent’s Assistant’s name)

February 28, 2012

Dear Celester:

Thanks for sending along the pages of your manuscript, The Chosen Ones. Truth be told, though, I’m afraid these pages just didn’t draw me in as much as I had hoped. I’m pressed for time these days and, what with my reservations about the project, I suspect I wouldn’t be the best fit. Thanks so much for contacting me and for giving me this opportunity. It’s much appreciated, and I’m sorry to be passing.

I wish you the very best of luck in your search for representation.

Best,

(Agent’s and Agency’s names)

February 29, 2012

Celester,

Thank you so much for sending a sample of THE CHOSEN ONES for my consideration. Unfortunately, I will have to respectfully decline your invitation to see more.

As you know, these decisions are highly subjective, and another agent may have an entirely different opinion. Thank you again for thinking of (Agency’s name), and I wish you the best of luck in finding a good home for your writing.

Thanks!

(Agent’s and Agency’s names)

Questions and Answers…

I have to be honest: this totally surprised me!

As we all know, or at least I do, I am yet to be published. I actually am afraid that I might not ever be published the way I want it. But that doesn’t seem to be the issue to these people who were sending me an e-mail, asking me about being an author. I was having second thoughts if I should be sending them answers to their inquiries, because I am not an author yet. I am just a writer. But I also figured that it would be rude not to send them anything back. Hence, this post. I will be posting the questions some people asked me (e-mail addresses and last names will be hidden, and other parts of their messages will not be posted), and answer them as well.

Disclaimer: Again, I am not an author yet.

Melanie: How do you pronounce your name?

My name is Celester Mejia. Celester is the easiest one between the two. Just think Celeste and Lester, and combine them. That’s my first name. And Mejia is of Spanish origin. It’s pronounced as Me-hi-ya, not Me-Ja-ya. Trivia: Celester is a combination of my father’s name and aunt’s name, and it means “heavenly star”, or I think my mom told me that, while Mejia is derived from the word messiah.

Alex: What is The Chosen Ones about?

I’ve had second thoughts about answering this one, because I don’t want my idea to be used by other people. So to give a very “vague” description, but will surely give everyone a hint about the story… The Chosen Ones is about fairies in the mortal realm. It’s not an epic fantasy/high fantasy novel, rather an urban fantasy one. It tackles about how one selfish decision might affect other people’s lives.

Jerry: Why did you choose to be a writer?

It was a choice, yes. It wasn’t like other authors/writers who writes because they know nothing else to do; because not writing is an option. It started when I was 15 or 16, and I was looking for a way to have an additional money for school. Writing is easy, I thought. So from there on, I started writing. I was a crap author then, by the way. But I fell in love with words, and never stopped writing since that day. I only expect myself to become better.

Jessica: How do you find inspiration for your stories, and who is your favorite author?

I let my imagination run every second of every day. Seriously, I have been like this since I was very young, before I even thought about being a writer. I think, as a fresh writer, everything just goes into my head — plots and stories that I think might work. But not all inspiration can inspire you, exactly. Sometimes, it becomes a distraction, especially if you’re writing a different story at the moment. I also look at my surroundings and try to appreciate them. Actually, one of my next works is about two warring schools — inspired by Philippine culture. You see, I am a student of De La Salle University, and Ateneo de Manila is, like, their rival. It’s a cool story, and I am not going to disclose the genre just yet! 🙂

My favorite authors are Mina V. Esguerra, Kristin Cashore, Suzanne Collins, and Alice Sebold. Mina V. Esguerra’s books are so different than the genre I am working on, but she keeps me inspired when it comes to the romantic elements of my story. I am far from being a romantic, and that is my weakness, which I call now as a solved problem – thanks to Mina! Also, Kristin Cashore and Suzanne Collins give me an insight on how a perfect adventure story really looks like. Alice Sebold, on the other hand, has only become a part of my favorite authors list just recently. I’ve read her book, The Lovely Bones, because my classmates and I were required to for our World Litt class, and I found myself enjoying her supernatural drama fiction. What makes it odd is because the story has serious themes in it, that others might think of as terrible events.

So that covers all the messages I got. Not that many, but still heartwarming to know that people actually cares about my work! So, I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who sent me lovely messages, telling me not to give up on finding an agent. Also, thanks to those people who have read a bit of my story, and told me that it should already have a space in the shelves!

I really appreciate you guys! Thanks, again… a lot!

A Salute to Ms. Kristin Nelson

Time with the computer (Deviant Art © Purple-Legion)
Deviant Art © Purple-Legion

Just yesterday, I published a blog post regarding people ranting about how finding an agent could be a (insert profanity here), and why we should not be doing such thing. (Click here to read.)

I understand how hard it is to find one, because I am looking for one as I’m making this post. However, I said in my previous post that I am only sending one query letter at a time, thinking that if I send multiple queries to different agents and that they’d (or at least more than one will) be interested with it,  it would be a waste of time for those I will not choose to go with.

However, after giving myself some more time, I guess that having this thought that more than one agent would be interested with my work sounded so smug of me. Of course, I believe with what I’ve written, but I also believe that not everyone would be in love with it. Some may think that I’m the worst writer they’ve ever encountered, and others might say otherwise.

And just earlier, about fifteen minutes ago, I stumbled upon a post written by an agent named Kristin Nelson.

Kristin Nelson

I’ve only known about Kristin Nelson for less than a week, but I’ve been coming back in her blog to read her posts as I find them interesting. They were so enjoyable and very mind-satisfying, in my opinion, that after just a day, I probably have read most of her posts she made this and last year.

And today, I was able to read one of her old posts. (Link’s here.) There, she was answering questions, and in the final one she answered, she was asked: “What happens if more than one publisher wants the book?”

It was an answer to my prayer to be enlightened about this, considering that I am a newbie writer and certainly very green about these kinds of experiences. Turns out that it’s a common practice being made by authors and there’s nothing wrong about it.

Forgive my stupidity, or innocence, or whatsoever… This is really the first time that I’ve heard about this. And this blog post is dedicated to Ms. Kristin Nelson who I think is unaware of how many people she’s been helping with her beautiful posts and guides, especially to someone like me who’s just starting their career as a writer.

So, salute, Ms. Kristin Nelson!

*****

PS.

By the way, Kristin Nelson is an agent. If you find her interesting (like I do), do your homework and then submit your work/s to her.

Finding an Agent is a bi-*shh*

Deviant Art’s ©~louro

One thing I learned from people who are more knowledgeable than I am when it comes to this: You don’t have the right to rant. You only have the right to be patient, and be professional.

The Publishing Industry is one of the fields that never stops progressing. In my belief, literature has been a big part of our world since the Bible has been published.

But when has it been published, really? To be honest, I have no idea. However, before we all get religious here, I think that it is one of the industries that keeps on developing and continuously outdoing itself. As I always describe this: it is its own enemy.

My first book, The Chosen Ones, has been finished for quite a while now. Months, to be precise. I’ve been wanting to publish it since I finished everything – starting when I was through doing the first, second, third drafts; then after I edited it countless of times, and when I finally was done editing its cover.

Well, the cover part is not really included.

At first, I was thinking of going indie for this one. But everything changed when I get good feedback from people I trust to tell me the truth (who can also be harsh, but constructive, at the same time.) Hence, I started looking for a literary agent.

I thought, “It can’t be that hard to find someone to represent me. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of agents out there who would certainly want to do that job for me.”

I was wrong, nevertheless.

I learned about this when I first sent a query letter to ***** (I’m not going to name anyone, or any companies.) I’ve waited for months before I finally got a reply from them, only knowing that they can’t represent me.

I am the kind of person who would rather not send my work to a lot of agents, and just choose one when two or more would say they’d be happy to represent me. I don’t want to waste someone’s time only to fulfill my desires to have my work be out there in the market. I know that they are just as important as I am, and I am in no position to do anything that would probably hurt their working routine.

But I need to be honest. It is becoming really more difficult for me to keep this going. I am a very impatient person before all this happened. I’ve never wanted to be the person who’s being kept waiting. I was never someone who would think of other people’s well-being if mine is already not in good shape. I was never those. However, things have changed when I finally decided to become a writer. (If you wanna know how I got myself into writing, read this.)

In my head, writing is the hardest part of being a writer. I was half-wrong, it turned out. Because writing is not the only part which is the hardest when you choose to go this way. It is the whole process which is difficult to do. It wastes a lot of your time, put your hard works on hold, your sanity in jeopardy (at times), and your social life. And then comes the part when you have to look for an agent (for starting writers, and who chooses to go traditional.)

But life ain’t easy. It’s never been. If you’re looking for comfort, this is not for you. But if you’re looking for a lifetime fulfillment, this is the way you’re supposed to be.

So, for us writers, we don’t have the right to be querulous. Patience is a virtue, as many would say. But I’ll say: Never complain. If you truly believe with what you’ve done, there’s no point for you to be impatient. Time is your friend. Sometimes, it takes a right timing to find the right person.

Untruth Be Told

© Celester O. Mejia

In this world where lying was invented,
What could be real? What could be true?
The turning of reality into lies has no ending.
So where does honesty really fit inside of you?

Melodramatic scenes from your over-the-top storytelling,
We are not kids anymore; aren’t you tired of all this?
Because I already am, and I will begin begging:
Start being real to yourself, will you just please?

No, I am neither jealous nor happy.
You are nothing I want to be alike.
But with you, I am so done and angry.
Why won’t you commence getting a life?

They say that a word is a creation of a man,
And that already makes a sentence a masterpiece,
So do me a favor and answer me, young one:
When have you first become a professional artist?

Trespassing is a crime, and I’m willing to get caught,
If my offense will mean the end of your stupid act.
Lying is a game and I am beyond distraught,
Because we just want to play the words of fact.

Nothing good will ever happen to someone like you.
Einstein said imagination is more important than knowledge,
But without knowledge, what kind of vision would you use?
Try straightening your acts, you with personality damage.

Why YA fiction is huge?

The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey # 3) by Julie Kagawa

Young-adult fiction (as Wikipedia would define it) is a fiction written for, published for, or marketed to adolescents and (of course) young adults, roughly ages 14 to 21.

I have encountered someone who has asked about my opinion to why YA novels are so in today. I totally did not know what to say as I am not an expert, until I gave it so much thought that I think (again, I think) I have the answer to that.

Most YA novels nowadays sells more than million copies. YA authors gain a lot of recognition from different award-winning bodies, and acquires a big amount of money from their works (but that’s if they did their works right). Also, every single time that I’d check what’s today’s bestsellers in different reputable websites, I find a lot of YA novels on their lists.

Should I be surprised? To be honest, no.

Even though YA novels are being marketed to young adults, its real audience encompasses to different age ranges. From middle-grades, to the adults. You know why?

After giving some thought about it, I finally figured out why. Here are some of them:

1) There are lots of movies and TV series nowadays which are based on YA books.

From Twilight to The Vampire Diaries, TV and film companies have jumped into the hype of YA lit. This one, I think, should be the last one on this list but it’s too obvious I thought I should mention it first. TV is the widest medium of all media that there is. You can never deny the fact that this is one of the biggest reason to why YA books, which have been adapted into a series, and which worked very well on its new home (meaning, the TV medium), have become successful. Everyone wants to know where the books and the series differ. Intrigue, that how it’s called.

2) Young people want to dive into the world of teenagers.

Young people are always the curious ones, aren’t they? They want to be out of their mini-clothing and be part of something new; something different. Somehow, these books help them satisfy their cravings to become older. These YA books are their guide to the growing up they wanted to experience. They try to visualize themselves being on the same position of the lead characters, few years away from their own ages. It could be considered as the modern kids’ first step to being a teenager.

3) Old people want to feel how it’s like to be teenager again.

Who wouldn’t miss anyone’s glory days? Teenage years are the best years of everyone’s life, so my high school teacher used to say before. You are not an adult yet but you’re no longer a child. It’s the kind of struggle every adults want to go through again. The kind of excitement a teenager’s being reckless gives is something that would only work for a teenager. Imagine an adult trying to make cute faces when she sees her crush? Is it going to be pleasant to look at? For me, not really. There are things that only teenagers can do which adults can’t as they would never be able to pull these actions really great. Somehow, the stereotypical characteristic of an adult is to act like an adult. Or probably, it’s the proper one to do. So in the end, they don’t act like teenagers. Through these YA books, they re-live the teenage lives they have long left behind.

4) Teenagers just want to be teenagers.

Why do we even have to wait for this one? This should be the first one on this list. Teenagers just wanna be teenagers. These years seems to pass by so quickly that after a lot of dilemmas (teenage dilemmas) they have faced, it still feels like it isn’t enough. There are things that they want to experience but they don’t get to because they may be afraid of dramas, or they just can’t get the drama they need and want. Either way, I think YA fiction gives them the idea of how it would turn out like to be in that kind of situation. It’s something that would satisfy your hunger for experience when you are yet to experience it.

I am not an expert when it comes to YA. But as I said, I just gave myself time to think about it, and these are the things that came through my mind.

So, what do you think? Do you agree, disagree, or is there something else missing?

Why writers write, why readers read, and why others don’t?

Image from: Deviant Art ©2008-2011 ~one-little-thing

These past few months after I created my Facebook Page, I met a lot of wonderful people around the world by just facing my computer screen. It is not a secret how technology changed the lives of the modern people, meaning us. From tapes, to CDs – we are now able to buy download songs online. From boutiques, to department stores, we can also buy our clothes, and even appliances, online. And from old-fashioned books, to a newer look, it’s no surprise that publishers and authors also took their chances on publishing works online.

I was just sixteen years old when I thought of publishing my work. It was a sudden decision. I was not needed to be forced, and nothing really motivated me to write.

No, maybe I said it wrong. Something motivated me to write, and that is because I wanted an additional money allowance for school. It was selfish, I know, but the story gets better.

I wrote and finished my first novel when I was sixteen. What gave me this idea was when I read Fairy Tale Fail, written by Mina V. Esguerra, who made this novella available for free for few days. She said it was a Philippine Independence Day gift. I took the chance and read it. To my surprise, I got hooked with it. And then I thought of writing.

I told myself, why not? Writing can’t be that hard. It’s just like telling stories to my friends, except I’m writing. It turned out that it wasn’t. There were a lot of things that needed to be done, and process that needed to be followed. I didn’t know that, but it was a mistake I had to commit to learn.

Immediately after writing my first novel, I sent it to only publishing company that I know of that time. It took me only few weeks to write that work, but the publishing company took more than a month to reply – only to tell me that my work was rejected.

Where did I go wrong? Why did my work got rejected?

Those were just two of the many questions that I had in my head. It crushed me. The rejection made me feel so down. I literally didn’t open Microsoft Word for more than two months after that. And when I finally got the confidence, I read my work again and realized how much of a trash it was.

I deleted it. It needed not to be revised. Seriously, it needed to be put inside the Recycle Bin and be forgotten forever. However, the latter didn’t work out.

That’s when I realized the real reason to why writers write, why readers read, and why others don’t.

Writers write because of passion. You don’t write because you just wanted money. The outcome will never be great because your goal is different than what you should be aiming for.

Readers read because of passion. You don’t read because you were forced to. You will end up jumping chapters to chapters if you don’t have the passion for it. The ending would be not understanding it, and you will realize how much time you have wasted.

Others don’t because of their lack of passion. Yes. They don’t have the love to read and write. Why would they do these things? It’s not something that should hurt us, writers and readers. It should give us an understanding to why they don’t.

And how did I know these things?

Because I was once one of those others, and I am currently a reader and writer — trying to appreciate things with the use of words, and wanting to be appreciated through my own words.

POETRY: The Grouch of the Unborn

THE GROUCH OF THE UNBORN
© Celester O. Mejia

 

Who are you to tell me that we were not the same?
What you went through, I was supposed to undergo as well.
Who do you think you are for you to make my life your aim?
I was a human too, so don’t tell them what you did was sane.

Didn’t want to blame you but it was your fault.
I was on my way but it’s me you can’t exalt.
With my father, you slept with; but you couldn’t face the result.
You did the action, and the outcome you had to halt.

How stupid of you to taste the pleasure.
But with pain you want to run away.
Don’t put the charge on pain and pressure
Because it hurt you even more the moment you went astray.

I know you won’t hear me but there’s nothing to waste.
So give me the chance to say everything that I have to say.
I was pure and innocent, and you were far from chaste.
Why did I have to be rebuked for the sin I didn’t make?

To be honest I could have loved you.
You could have raised me alone, even in poverty.
But what have we both turned into?
You’re a murderer and I will forever be a mystery.

The moments for us made to cherish
Had now become a forever of unrecognized.
For your act you became a total foolish,
Let yourself at least be despised.

What was left for you and me?
There’s nothing here and you’re not even guilty.
It was my home – inside your belly.
Was I really your misery?

I am alone in this pit of darkness.
You’re not just a killer but also a thief.
I should have lived in the world full of brightness.
But the real deal is – do you even grieve?

You made the deed, I paid the price.
Where is justice; is it suffice?
I was a human too – not just your child.
Did I really deserve to be exiled?

Crazy Little Thing Called…

Writing!

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!