The Marathon of Novel-Writing

I’m guest-posting on A Writer’s Path today, sharing my experiences as a novelist.

Come on over for a visit and check it out!

The Marathon of Novel-Writing

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A Title For My Sequel

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My Young Adult novel is working through the various steps to reach the Release Date finish line.

The main edits are completed. The cover art is done and approved. My manuscript is now in the hands of Managing Editorial for copy-editing, layout, and proofing. After that it will head to typesetting. So much goes into the creation of a book!

In between the days I watch and wait for these steps and the days I work on edits to my second book of the series, I’ve been racking my brain, trying to come up with a title for the second book.

No, Calmer Girls Two does not appeal. Either does Calmer Girls – the Sequel. I like a book title that has a double meaning – like Calmer Girls – or a title that borrows a phrase or a line from another work. That could even include inspiration from a line in a song, a poem, or a nursery rhyme. Think: Along Came a Spider, or Norwegian Wood. I also like titles that are taken from a line or quote inside the book, as many authors have done. Think: To Kill A Mockingbird, or The Silence of the Lambs.

There is advice out there now that suggests you should name your book while keeping in mind keywords, SEO, categories and literary genres, all a part of improving its visibility in the digital marketplace.

As much as I still prefer reading Print books as opposed to eBooks, I know I am writing for a largely younger group of readers who love their eReaders and almost exclusively read all their books that way. Keeping that in mind will be beneficial for the upcoming marketing stage as well.
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In my research surfing, I happened upon a wonderful post by author Anne R. Allen that may help me find a title. If you’re a writer, you may find it helpful as well. Check it out below:

10 Tips for Choosing the Right Book Title in the E-Age
by Anne R. Allen

For Writers:  How do you title your books? Any tricks of the trade to share? 

For Readers:  What are some of your favourite book titles?
Have you ever bought a book because you loved its title?

Please share in the comments section below!

Completing My First Draft: Three Things I’ve Learned

 

Two weeks ago today, I had a fabulous evening.

Late on that Friday afternoon, I typed the last word of the last sentence of the last chapter of my Work In Progress. It felt wonderful! What a sense of satisfaction filled me as I raised my glass of Cabernet and toasted to my awesomeness. What an accomplishment! I spent the rest of the evening, and well into the night, celebrating, mentally patting myself on the back and grinning like an idiot.

My euphoria lasted about as long as the hangover. Over the next couple of days as planned, I reviewed a few of the writing tips and tricks I had bookmarked for my upcoming revision and editing process, and I crashed back to sober reality. I realized there was still plenty of work ahead, and instinctively I know certain areas have to be improved, rearranged, and completely rewritten, and then there’s my iPad with an app full of collected notes, jockeying to make it into the finished product as well.

But that’s okay. Every writer knows the first rough draft is exactly that: a first run, a rough copy, and yes, some of it is just plain shit. But in among the steaming heaps that stank, I knew there were jewels just waiting to be polished, the little jewels that make it all worthwhile.

Here are three chief concepts I believe every writer, who truly wants to be a writer, needs to remember.

1. No one wants to read about a Goody Two Shoes. If I expect readers to keep turning the pages, my characters have to be flawed. Whether that makes you like them, or love to hate them, depends on the types of flaws they embody – and maybe it depends on the sort of person you are, and what types of characters you are drawn to and like to read about. As important as plot may be, really, it’s all about the characters.

2. If you aren’t having any fun while you write, I don’t know how you will ever make it as a writer. A writer writes because she wants to, she has to, regardless of recognition or book sales. The fulfilment is in the process. And it’s a hard process. The best piece of advice I read about writer’s block was to put the manuscript aside and try penning a poem, or exploring another creative endeavor.

3. You have to want to write another book as soon as you’re finished the one you are now writing, The sweet possibility of a sequel keeps whispering in my ear, and that excites me. If I do write a sequel, however, it doesn’t mean the first one will depend on it. The novel I’m writing now will be able to stand alone in its own right. Then there are the flashes of inspiration for other book ideas that come during my writing, to which I can refer and develop when needed.

I’m waiting another couple of weeks to give myself more objectivity, before I start revisions. In the meantime there are plenty of good books and other reading material that beg for my attention.

Then on to the Second Draft!

Please share your thoughts with me about your Work in Progress. 🙂

 

The Creation of a Novel: a Progress Report