Welcome to another Literary Career Moves Day. Today I am featuring an article from my book The Writing Season.
The birth stage of the Writing Season is the completion of the book. The writer has gone through the long process of getting the book finished. It’s finally done. The writer may not have submitted it to an editor, agent or publisher but the book is now finished and the writing stage is over. So, what next?
Editing, re-reads, editing and more re-reads. At this point, the writer needs to get the book as good as possible. The writer may not have decided where to send the book but its perfection is needed at this time. So while the writer is in this stage, take a deep breathe and look at my checklist for the completed manuscript.
ü Did you tell this story the exact way you felt it should have been told
ü Is the story interesting enough to hold the attention of the reader
ü Did you do your homework and research
ü Did you check for small errors such as their, there, to, too
ü Did you get a fresh pair of eyes to read your book for opinions and errors
ü Did you decide if this book would have a prologue and/or epilogue
ü Are you satisfied
Here is another list, I posted at www.fromawriterspov.ning.com
- It’s best to do an outline. I do an outline with all of my novels. So that way when I do stop for a while and then later come back to the book, I have not forgotten how my story will flow. It also helps knowing exactly what you want to happen in the book and help remind you of the ideas you have come up with. An outline is always best once you begin to get the storyline in your head.
2. Do a Character profile. I found a website years ago that helped me do a character profile. This profile will basically help you bring your character to life.
3. Figure the title and chapter names later. All of that is not necessary in the beginning. When you have the need to write and you now exactly how the story will begin, write. Just let it flow. Don’t worry about mistakes because you can always go back and re-read and trust me as a writer, you will do at least five re-reads before it’s completed.
4. Dialog helps the story flow. If you are writing a story that has the main character telling it as if it already happened, remember to include some dialog on some of the scenes we will enter as this character tells their story. We want details and dialog that places us right there with the character. Be sure that your dialog is clear and helps the story flow. What is the character doing as she talks to her friend? Give a specific action that shows us what’s happening in the scene.
5. Let us see the characters. At some point in the book, we need to know what the character looks like. This is not a movie. We have no visual whatsoever so you have to paint the picture for us. Describe your characters to the readers so that we can imagine them as we read.
6. Be sure to get a fresh pair of eyes. I always make my friends read my books as I’m writing them. Getting someone else’s opinion is very important with your stories. They may point some things out that you didn’t see. So find someone you know who loves your work, someone you can trust and ask them to read the first few chapters.
7. Do your research. If you are writing a novel that has a storyline in it about someone getting sick or flying to another country, do your homework on these topics. Don’t write a storyline that has something to do with someone who dies of aids if you have no knowledge of this illness. Readers want realistic things to happen so if you are going to put a storyline in your book that you aren’t really sure about, do your research. You can get on the internet, ask a friend who has experienced it or go out and investigate it yourself. Whatever you do, make sure you know what you’re talking about.
8. Write what’s comfortable to you. I wrote a book recently that has four different characters in it. All four characters speak in this book but at the beginning of each chapter, I list exactly who is speaking. Some people thought it was confusing. I should change this or that. I didn’t change a thing because it was comfortable for me. If you have a book that you are writing, that’s a little different from normal novels, its ok. Continue with your creative work. We don’t always have to write about with the main character telling his or her story. Make it different and if you can handle it and make the story flow well, keep going. Or say you want to write a book with five stories in one. The choice is yours. This is your novel so do what makes you comfortable.
9. Edit, Edit, Edit. Be sure to go back and edit as much as possible. Leave it for a few days or weeks then come back to it with fresh eyes but remember to edit. Make sure things sound right. Do a re-read as much as possible.
10. Never force your work. When you get writers block, stop! Don’t force it or the story will sound wrong and some lines will get unnecessary. Stop when you have nothing else to say or don’t know where to go with the book. Just stop. It will come back to you later. If it does come back when you’re not by your computer, always carry a notebook to jot down your ideas.
Purchase the full book at www.literarycareermoves.com