Methods to Madness

So how does one write a book and self-publish it? How do you know your book is good enough? How do you edit a book? Self-market? Make a website? Gain a following? Succeed in the book world?

I guess, I’ll find out. I’ll let you know. I’ve already got a great start on a lot of this though, thanks to a long list of writers, editors, authors, and a book angel.

First off though, and finally, Writing. To start with I posted of my novella here on my blog. Under Wanderer’s Web, at the top of the site. Give it a look if you’d like. I had planned to withhold the final chapters until I posted them on Wattpad. A few people wanted to see how it ended though. How could I refuse?

I’ve also planned my novel, and started work on it. About 6k words in now. I wrote a short story as well, to help flesh out my characters and get my mind off issues from my second novella. It was supposed to tell the main characters backstory. Something tells me that belongs in the novel.( I’m learning to be flexible in my writing. More on that in a moment.)

I planned it using my own method, and the site Trello. The site uses a system of lists and mobile cards that you can move between the lists. It’s also got an app, that lets you view and adjust you boards from multiple devices.

Just go to the home page of the home page and click “Welcome Board” and it has a brief tutorial that shows how to make lists, add and fill cards, and then move them between the lists.

So I have Act One as a list and then in it I have Chapters as cards and written on the cards is actual content of the chapters. I have a few separate ones for characters and extras as well. Also I keep all the ‘cut’ cards, just for notes. It’s not complex, it’s very easy to use and dynamic for changes. It’s worked well for me anyway.

I’ve never planned a book or story in my life. I didn’t plan WW out at all and I feel the story suffered for it, so I changed my method. My writing has always suffered from my bad planning. So after telling you about my iron-clad plan to right a book…..

The one solid piece of advice I can give right now is to be flexible.

You’ve still got room to grow, possibly less or more than me, so just remember that. And seek what ever feeds that growth. Right now for me it’s blogs on writing. I read about ten posts a day, on all blogs I can find on the subject. I take notes and treat it all as homework, like any minute a bloggers going to throw a pop quiz on me about making a reckless ne’er do well come to life on paper. (Probably kick my door in too. %&$^ing bloggers.)

I’m starting over as a writer and trying to find something I failed to find before, I realize now.

My voice. I know you’ve heard that term, if you’re a writer , and for me it’s a kind of scary term. I can never settle down, never seek it properly. I need to plan out a direction and go looking.

Am I a fantasist? A horror writer? A romance? Crime? Historical? Erotica?

I wrote stories in all those categories and more when I was younger. I truly want to write it all, but to do so I’ve got to hone my skills. One day I’ll be pumping out bestsellers in all categories I can publish, but for now I need to see where I stand and where I want to stand.

Somewhere waiting in the middle is my voice, I hope. That which makes me whole as a writer. So I’m going to go for the one type of literature that will hold all my interests for now. Urban Fantasy.

Ahhh yes, Fairies in sewer tunnels, Wizards in trench coats, and monsters masquerading as sexy people in dance clubs. I loved it for as long as I can remember, but I’ve never actually written in it. So let’s pop on our trendy wizard hat and get going.

First step it to find out what’s current in my subject. I checked out a series of books and while they taunt me, I haven’t made a lot of progress. As I do though, I plan to take a few notes. What did I like? What drew me in? How are the characters? How is the plot?

I’ve only read for fun these past years. It’s a bit of an odd feeling. I’m poking in the footprints of giants, hoping to join them.

It probably sounds like a lot of notes at this point. It is. A whole lot. I filled a 11.5 college ruled notebook, just on blogs. For me writing something down helps it stick. So how do I know what I’ll need?

I don’t and neither will you. Just look in the subjects your interested in and expand. Make bookmarks of likely sources. Follow your favorite blogs.  You never know what will come in handy. Ignore some stuff, and keep some. Only you can make that call.

Pick your own subjects that pertain to your writing of course, and when you do seek out a beta-reader or editor, or writers group, search for one that specializes in what you write, or has open preferences.

Remember to search one out though. You’ll need it. We could all always use a friend to look at something and there’s nothing in this world that can replace the support of another human. It can carry you better than the muscles in your legs, and so much farther than most people realize.

Seek one as serious as you are as well. Some groups are more relaxed than others and they often loose focus, which while it is fun to not chat about writing sometimes, these groups will be of little help to the serious author trying for publications. The opposite is true as well.

Find what works for you and don’t be afraid to change things if what was working stops.What was good yesterday, may spoil tomorrow.

Updates:

First off I cleaned up the site a bit. I’m working on it at least. I have comments sections now and some other nifty bits. I also reached 81 twitter followers and managed to send out a few tweets without panicking. I’m getting better at least 🙂

Also, links! I made a few and they work. Next post will have pictures, even if they’ve got nothing to do with the content. (I hope you guys like pictures of my cat.) Getting better at this too 🙂

This post is about writing so I won’t add any more details about that besides a quick thanks to the people who’ve encouraged me this week. You’re the fuel to my flames, guys, thanks.

All I read was technical stuff. I need to add ‘reading’ to my schedule. I read the first 6 chapters of Chris Seabranch’s Butterfly Islands though. It’s a good read so far. Spirited and filled with swashbuckling. He’s writing six books in six months and yes, I’m inspired too (and kind of jealous). You can follow his progress at his site.

So what type of books do you want to write?

Why do you write?

Does asking questions at the end of a post engage you as a reader?

I’ll sign off there.

Good luck!

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