Week 4 – Countdown to Book Launch – The  Hard Way

34 days from today!

I find it funny that they call it a book launch. I guess it is the day you launch your book out to the world. At this point, April 15th will be that day for The Hard Way.

The day of the book launching becomes the book’s birthday. Just like the birth of one of your kids, this day will stick in your mind as one of those important ones.

Publishing a novel the traditional way has a very worn path. For a long time, it was the only way for an author to make that dream come true. The decision of whether a book was published or not was up to the publisher. There were many books that were never published for that very reason. It was up to the author to find the right publisher who would take a chance on their book. This is still an available option for authors to pursue and has its own amount of work in sending copies of ones manuscript to agents or directly to publishers. If they are able to find the right match for their book, the publisher will cover the costs. For some authors, it is the route they choose to take.

Now, an author can choose put in the time and money and do what the traditional publishers do, but publish it on their own. Some authors prefer to be more hands on in the publishing of their manuscript, but this option will cost the author in hiring people to do the editing, cover creation, obtaining ISBNs and a copyright. Having a choice of how to publish has made the decision a more personal one for the author. It seems to be based on what the author wants to get out of their book. Are they looking to just make money with it? Or, are they out to share their book with others?

I did a lot of thinking about it and I know that there are pros and cons to either route. But, I decided to self publish my first novel.

So, where am I at in the process,

Last week I received a final edited copy of my manuscript from my editor. After multiple edited versions going back and forth between us, we still had a couple of outstanding questions about wording we wanted to finalize in this last edit. Glad we did this step. There was a piece of the story line that was not resolved. I found it and tweaked it. Now it is resolved.

While trying to save money for the editing and publishing of this one, I participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) two years in a row and got drafts of books two and three in queue. For those of you who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. It takes place every November. It is a challenge for writers to write 50,000 words in 30 days with the goal to have a novel by the end of it.

I consider myself very lucky to have the draft of my second book already written. By having it done, I had the opportunity to read through the beginning of it to make sure the flow of the first one would work with how the second one starts. So glad I did. I found the time line in book one wasn’t going to work well with where book two starts.

Now, I could have left book one alone and modified the start of book two. Instead, I made the changes to my final edited manuscript for book one so the timeline works the way I want going forward, which seems to work better for the series as a whole.

Other milestones accomplished this weekend, I purchased my own ISBNs through Bowker so I can start assigning them to my novels. I’m also researching the publishing options through Createspace and Ingramspark. I’ll talk about that more next week and let you know what I decided to do. I’ll also be working on marketing strategies for the launch and a cover reveal will be coming up in the next week or so. So much yet to be done but I’m excited and scared at the same time. It is a big step to making my dream to write and publish a novel come true.

Have a great week everyone. Stay tuned for more news leading up to launch day, April 15, 2017.

NaNoWriMo 2016 – Week #4

I did it! I won Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) for the second year in a row! I reached the 50,000 word goal on November 21, 2016. However, I finished the actual story on Saturday, November 26th with a final total of 58,547 words. I participated in three Nano sprints this year. They were my first three ever.

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_winner

This year, I made it a goal to write 2000 or more words a day to meet the 50,000 word goal by the end of November. With my daily word goal working for me, I wound up giving myself a little more time to do some plot development during my writing process.

I came into this Nano without too many notes and I let the story create itself. However, I did have some challenges concerning how to end my story. I planned on making this novel the last one in my “The Way” trilogy. So, I had to wrap up some storylines I had started in either The Hard Way or The Bully’s Way. And I wanted to end The Street’s Way at a point that would make sense within its story line. One of the Nano sprints I participated in helped me focus on just writing the end of the story and helped me come up with my perfect ending. Once I got that figured out, my next struggle was trying to fill the story in from the point I stopped writing to where I wanted it to end. You know what I ended up doing? I wrote it  backwards from the end of the story to the point in the story I had left off. It was a different way for me to approach it, but it worked.

Now I have a draft in hand that I can edit when I’m ready. Next month I’ll be getting back into editing The Hard Way and get that one ready to publish. My goal is to publish it on April 15, 2017. It will definitely take some work, but I think it can be done.

What did I learn through this year’s Nano?

  • That my process of a 2000 word per day goal made the whole thing a little less stressful. It gave me a chance to develop the plot which ultimately gave me more to write about.
  • That I can pick a point in the story and work backwards to get it written. I know I never tried to do that before, but it seemed to work for me this time. Another tool to put in my writing toolkit.
  • I enjoy the process of writing for NaNoWriMo. The challenge of it really excites me and the fact that I have an actual full draft of my third novel at the end is something to be proud of.

I’ve seen that Nanowrimo isn’t for everyone. To me, you win if just try.  All of the work that you put into it, leads to a reward at the end of the month. Either a full or partial draft of your next project.The whole idea behind Nano is that at the end of the month, you have more words written than you did at the beginning of the month. Writing 50,000 words is a great thing to try if you like a writing challenge.

It is time for me to put the writing on the shelf for a bit and do some reading. Be sure to look for a book review on the blog next week!

NaNoWriMo 2016 – Week #3

Lots of writing happening this week. At the end of Sunday, my Nano word count is at 48,808.  I should reach the 50,000 mark tomorrow. The manuscript will still have a little ways to go after that, but the Nano goal will be reached. I’ll continue to write the story until the draft is complete.

The story itself is coming together and I’m in the process of killing off my first character ever.  I’ve been struggling with it a bit. It has been an emotional journey for me to do.

Continue reading “NaNoWriMo 2016 – Week #3”

National Novel Writing Month 2016

Guess what I’ll be doing in November! Nanowrimo!

Those of you in the novel writing world have probably heard of National Novel Writing Month. According to Wikipedia, it is an annual, Internet-based creative writing project that takes place during the month of November. NaNoWriMo challenges participants to write 50,000 words (their minimum number of words for a novel) from November 1 until the deadline at 11:59PM on November 30. The goal of NaNoWriMo is to get people writing and keep them motivated throughout the process.

It winds up being an average of 1667 words per day. You can do more or less depending on your schedule, but to win, you need to have 50,000 by the end of the day on November 30th. Last year I think I had my 50,000 on November 24th, a couple of days before Thanksgiving. But continued to write to finish the draft of the story.

I participated last year and won with approximately 63,000 words and a rough draft of the sequel to The Hard Way called The Bully’s Way. This year’s novel is called The Street’s Way, which will be the third book in this series. Same characters continuing their story lines. Be sure to look for these books coming soon.

If you are also participating in Nano and want another buddy, I am in as SelmaPVerde. It is a great motivator to get the draft done and a fun activity to participate in with other authors on their writing journies.

The Secret Pond – Chapter 3 – Sally

Even with the editing and reworking of the story line that I’m doing, writing the story as I go is challenging for me. I don’t know if you have heard of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo.) If not and you are a fiction writer, you should check it out. They have events throughout the year, but their annual event occurs in November. I won in November 2015  by writing at least 50,000 words during the month. It lead to me having a rough draft of my second middle grade novel, The Bully’s Way, done and ready for first round edits.

While participating in NaNoWriMo, they have two categories that writers tend to fall into and it is based on how they create their works. Some writers are known as pansters (ones that write by the seat of their pants) and others as planners (ones that outline and plan what they are going to write). I tend to be more of a planner, but do some of my initial work as a panster. A true panster may have better luck at writing this story the way that I am. Thanks for hanging in there with me guys. It has been challenging, but a good exercise for me to battle through.

I need to remember that I am writing for me first. I want people to enjoy what I write, but that can’t always be my motivation to type the words and create the stories. Even though the writing journey may be challenging, it also needs to bring out my passion to write for me and my readers.

Chapter 3 – Sally

When Sally got back to the house, she ran up to her room. She could hardly wait to write about her adventures with Lila today. From seeing the turtle to finding a nest of baby warblers. The mama bird had the nest hidden underneath the low hanging branches of one of the jack pines in the woods. Sally decided to look up some information about warblers and found out they are endangered birds. She decided she would keep an eye on and take extra care of them. 

She took out her yellow notebook and started to write. She took what actually happened and added some of the story she created with Lila’s fairy character. 

Lila wanted to go and see the unicorn so bad today, but it was a little far for us to go with the chance of rain popping up all afternoon. I told her we would try to get there sometime this week. Then we started talking about the turtle.

We went to the pond last week and learned that we had a new neighbor move in. There was a snapping turtle swimming in the pond. We named her Gloria. When we walked by her today, she was in the process of burying the eggs she just laid. We waited on the path far enough away from her to not startle her. She stopped for a moment to make sure we were just watching and continued to build the protection around her eggs. We are so excited to see the babies after the eggs hatch.

Sally closed her notebook and placed it on her bed. She thought about Lila and was feeling sad about having to leave her when she went off to school. Coming to school with her wouldn’t be what Lila would want, but Sally didn’t want to leave her here alone either. She didn’t want her to feel the loneliness that she felt for such a long time.

She loved to share her stories with Abigail. Maybe Abigail could take care of Lila while she was at school. Sally thought maybe she could bring Abigail to the pond and show her around? Sally had always seen it as her secret place though, and didn’t know if she wanted anyone else to know about it. But something told her that she could trust Abigail.

********

The next morning, after getting dressed and grabbing her backpack, she went downstairs to the family library where she and Abigail met for her lessons. The room was located at the end of the hallway and was two stories tall. It  was one of the tallest rooms in the house with the walls lined with shelves and filled with books from floor to ceiling. It was decorated in rich dark browns and reds. When Sally walked in, Abigail was reading a book at the long wood table in the middle of the room.

“Hi Abigail. What are you reading?”

Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickins.”

“Do you like it?”

“It’s pretty good. It was one of the books here in the library. I’ve been picking one out of the collection each week to read.”

She stood up from the table and closed the book.

“Should we get started?” She asked.

“Sure,” Sally replied.

“I thought we’d would start with math and get your least favorite one out of the way. Did you fill in those tables I gave to you yesterday?”

“Sure did. Stayed up pretty late to get them done.”

“Let’s see how you did.”

Sally nodded her head as she pulled the paper out of her folder and handed it to Abigail. She took out her red pen and began to touch each of the squares with it as she checked the numbers. Sally held her breath until Abigail was done.

“Looks like someone is finally getting the hang of this. Nice job Sally. Now I’d like to give you some problems to solve using the information in these tables.”

“O.k.,” Sally replied.

They both sat down next to each other at the table and Sally started working on the problems that Abigail had given her to do. After about an hour, Abigail sat back in her chair.

“You have really started to retain this information. That will be enough math for now. How about you read one of your stories to me?”

“O.k,” Sally replied and pulled her  yellow notebook out of her bag, “I’ll read you the one I wrote yesterday by the pond.”

“What pond?” Abigail asked.

Sally stopped. It was her secret pond. She wasn’t sure she was ready to tell anyone about it yet. She did think about telling Abigail yesterday though. Then she sighed. She had to tell her now.

“There’s a pond back by the stone wall in the woods. It is a secret place that Lila and I have been going to on our adventures,” she replied, sounding a little defeated.

 “I kind of wondered where you wandered off to after our sessions. Is it someplace that you can take me to? I would love to see where you and Lila explore.”

“I guess I can do that,” she replied starting to perk up.

“How about after our lessons today?”

“Sure,” Sally replied, kind of excited to share her secret place with Abigail.

“So, are you going to share your story with me?”

“Yes,” she said.

Sally opened up her notebook and started to read her story about Gloria. She hoped that Abigail would see her when they went to the pond today.