1. topimerlin

    topimerlin New Member

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    Just self-published my first novel. Five quick tips I've learned writing it.

    Discussion in 'Self-Publishing' started by topimerlin, May 11, 2017.

    Hey fellow writers!

    I just got my book fresh from the print. It’s amazing to feel it in your hands. It’s real folks, I’ve actually made something.

    I’ve been working on my novel on and off for about three years. I’ve always sort of written inside my head, coming up with witty and not so witty things – but three years ago I wanted to give these ideas a voice, characters and a story.

    That’s when I started writing my dark humor/post-apocalyptic story about two depressed loud mouth bounty hunters, who want to rid the world of normies. If you want, you can check it on Amazon, just search for "No more normies"

    Here’s a few quick tips I compiled for you, things I learned and realized writing it.

    It’s just a book

    I think it’s common for writers to be super personal about their novels and what-not. I too used to be, that was until I finished it. I was drunk on the grand dream that my book will re-define prose again, how it will be on everyone's lips and what brilliant social commentary its full of. At one point I was afraid that it would become so influential that I’d have people on my door with torches.

    But none of that is true. We’re not as good as we think, and this is not the dark ages. What I’ve said and written has been said and written before, same thing probably with your book. It’s entertainment. Arranged black marks on bleached pressed cellulose. It will be forgotten, like the millions of better (even classic) books before.

    Don’t take it too seriously. You’re not writing Mein Kampf. Whatever grand cause or motive you have in your heart and pages, people will most likely not invade Poland because of it. People just won't care. It’s just a book. Even if it ends up sucking, you are not your book.

    So just chill and keep writing.

    Hone your diamonds, hide your shit.


    There's a popular belief that to be successful you must train your weaknesses. And you probably should, to a certain point. But don't waste too much you time on it. The average things in your book won't make your book. It's the better things.

    I've read enough Nabokov to know my descriptions are ameba-tier. I won't waste too much of time on them. Instead I focus on characters and dialogue, two things I believe I'm good at. That way readers won't smell the shit so much.

    Writing is hard and lonely work.

    You will always be writing, in some way. And you will do it alone. Don’t tell too many people, because most of them won’t care. And that’s fine. People have their own books to write and lives to live. You know this because you don’t care much about other’s doings either, do you?

    You’ll be thinking about the characters, the plot holes, your prose and how much you hate it, that one chapter that is full of rot and you can’t manage to get it right. You’ll be thinking about them all time, and all the while you’re supposed to enjoy a normal life outside writing. Your cappuccino and that friend you’re supposed to be talking with will get cold from all your thinking. At least, this is how I am. I found it very hard to just calm down and relax and stop thinking about what all my characters would say, cool twists of plot etc.

    Habit helps with this. Mornings are good, write in the morning and forget it for the rest of the day. At least try to. And only play video-games in the evening. If you start the day gaming you won’t end it writing. Oh, Overwatch.

    YOLO YODO

    Ditch yolo, welcome YODO. You only do it once. You only have to do it once. You only have to get it right ONCE. So make it perfect, as perfect as you are. Read through it a thousands times. Perfect every scene. Don't embarrass your future grand children too much. Rewrite, rewrite.

    When I thought I was done, I was actually 1½ years behind.

    When you’re done you can just dump it / burn it / publish it and forget about it. And then write another, better book.

    Read popular good and bad books.

    Bad books will make you feel good, good books make you humble again. That’s a good position to be in.

    Twilight and Hemingway make for a good contrast.
     
    J.D. Ray, Ryan J, Lifeline and 10 others like this.
  2. Catrin Lewis

    Catrin Lewis Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Brilliant line!
     
  3. Feodor Zarubov

    Feodor Zarubov New Member

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    "Read popular good and bad books." - I like that advice!
     
  4. Lew

    Lew Contributor Contributor

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    Congratulations, @topimerlin! There is nothing like the feel of your very first book in your hands! Good luck and good sales!
     
  5. topimerlin

    topimerlin New Member

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    Thanks :)
     
  6. 5537 Ferr

    5537 Ferr New Member

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    Many congratulations!, great honest advice.
    Best of luck
    Cheers
     
  7. Hervey_Copeland

    Hervey_Copeland Member

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    Congrats on publishing your debut novel, well done!

    I think writing is a very personal thing. What works for one person might not necessarily work for someone else.

    I think it’s important to come up with a “recipe” that works for you, and stick to it.

    I’m in the final stages of editing book number two - which hopefully will be published on Amazon within the next couple of months - and what I do is to sit down and go over all the “scenes” before I start writing. Once that is taken care of, I spend a few weeks trying to develop the characters, figure out what their personalities are like etc. Then I sit down in front of the computer and start writing.

    Works well for me.

    H.
     
  8. topimerlin

    topimerlin New Member

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    I think I'm in some sort of book purgatory at the moment, can't decide whether I should continue the series or make a whole new standalone book.

    Are you writing a new book or a continual?
     
  9. Hervey_Copeland

    Hervey_Copeland Member

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    It's a stand alone book. I have also written a synopsis (brief description of all the scenes) for my third book.


    Once I have published book number two, I'll start working on number three.


    Fingers crossed, I'll have a rough draft in three to four months time.


    H.
     
  10. topimerlin

    topimerlin New Member

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    Do you feel any different? For me writing my first book made me feel I actually have already made something. I feel like I don't have to hurry as much with the second book. No fires under my butt.
     
  11. Lifeline

    Lifeline North of South. Staff Contributor

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    I haven't published my first (and I won't), but I got the exact opposite feeling. Now, with my second story, I have fire under my butt. I won't make all the 'mistakes' I made with my first, I learned a lot and can learn a whole world more.
     
  12. Hervey_Copeland

    Hervey_Copeland Member

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    No, not really. It's all about storytelling. You've done one story and you move on to the next one.

    I felt excited when I started writing my second book. I knew what I was going to write, and I wanted to see if it was anything like the "version" I had in my head. It was, and I'm very pleased with the product so far (2nd edit). Only a few more edits to go now, and it's done.

    Very rewarding.

    H.
     

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