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Chapter Twelve: The Sophomore Approach

So you've written a book. Now what?

After publishing "When the Stars Fade," I found myself starting a familiar habit: procrastination. After all, I had just labored intensely to put out a full-length novel. I had coordinated the cover-art, marketing and distribution across multiple channels, all without the help of a traditional publisher. 

And, after all of that, I had no idea what to do next. 

Obviously, I needed to write the next book. I had momentum coming off the first title, and that added push could help propel through the intense creative process, shortening the gestation period by a huge factor. 

Write, I did not. 

Instead, I studied my sales reports, focused on anything else, and let the book gather dust. It was, in every sense, the wrong approach. 

When I finally returned to the universe to create more, I found my skills had dulled from lack of use. Like anything, writing takes practice and grows stronger with application. The months off, few though they may have been, left me struggling to put words back down on paper. 

Looking back, I regret not moving into the next book immediately. The lost time, and momentum, can never be replaced. More than that, I second-guess my decisions in this new draft and constantly recheck the first book to ensure I'm staying true to the tone and character of the original. I wouldn't have those issues if I had just moved directly into the sophomore story. 

So what does this come back to? WRITE ALL THE TIME. 

Every author and screenwriter worth their salt will tell you the same. You need to be writing every minute of every day. You need to collect your thoughts in a journal or diary and follow-through with everything. You never know which idea is going to strike gold, so don't discount those crazy threads. Tug on the and see what is on the other side. 

More than that, you need to treat writing as a career if you ever hope to have a career in writing. There is no better way to improve at a task than by doing said task.

Here's an exercise for you. Go out and buy a journal. It's six bucks, you can live without than mocha-frappe-latte-extra-foam-no-crack. Buy a nice pen and keep the two together, and on you, at all times. Keep the journal by the bed at night and take it to work every day. Every single thought that pops into your head (and by "thought," I mean story idea), WRITE THAT SHIT DOWN. 

At the end of a week, look at the journal. How many ideas are in there? Now go through and sort. How many are good?


Now, take any idea that interests you can write a one-page synopsis of the story. It will take some doing, but force it out. Now take one of the ideas you think is absolute garbage. Write the one-sheet. 

How do they look now?

I promise you will be surprised at what is able to come out of your head, but more importantly, you will be writing. Even just capturing your thoughts is enough. 

Learn from my mistakes, people. Now go write something. 



Chapter Eleven: Arrival

WTSF_FrontCoverOnly IT'S HERE!

After ten years of writing, a year of editing, and enough stress to make me go bald all over again, it is finally here.

I have published my novel "When the Stars Fade."

First and foremost, I should acknowledge that I am self-publishing, a route which may cause some concern. The truth it, after a year of reaching out to publishers and agents, I was really burned on the experience. Considering how many authors are having success with the solo option, I opted to forgo the usual path.

And it has been great.

Sales are picking up on Amazon, reviews are coming in, and I am overwhelmed by the support of the ever-growing writer community.

I'm allowing everyone to download the first three chapters free from my website. Click here and grab yours now!

And, if you would like, you can purchase it from Amazon as well.

Most importantly, if you have any questions about the self-publishing game or any of the trials and tribulations I've been through, just ask.

Next up for this blog...the sequel!



Chapter Ten: Nobody's Perfect

I am walking away from the manuscript. 

It's taken roughly a year from decision to this point, but I am much closer to publishing now than I ever was before. "The Gray Wars" has been a passion project since I was in high school, a little nugget of unbridled imagination that tumbled about in my head from time to time. In a few months, with a lot of luck, it will be picked up and turned into a novel. 

I know precious little about the publishing process. Everything I think I know comes from reading forums online or books written about writing books. It's all very meta. What I have garnered is one bit of advice that I wish to share now. 

Your story will never be perfect. 

Look at any award winning story, be it film, TV or literature. There are plenty of plot holes, slow chapters and typos floating freely in the otherwise captivating words. Those authors found themselves at a point where the manuscript was unable to be made better by more work. Think of it like a house. Sure, you can keep hitting it with a hammer, but it's not going to get any more built. 

Writing the book has been an incredible experience, and one I look forward to repeating soon. I have two more novels set in this universe already, and I just started brainstorming a new series yesterday. At the same time, it has been a rough education. I did not know just how hard this process would be, especially when it came to editing and rewriting. When you've had a scene in your head a certain way for so many years, it kind of hurts to let it play out a different way. 

But the story is made better by those changes, and that is the most important thing.