Friday, April 18, 2014

Going Indie: Finish the Darn Book


In the shadow of a calling I found myself . . .


Feeling hopeful of the change that is chomping at the bit to commence.

Musical Moment ~ “My Star” Boy George



I know what you are thinking. Why is she telling us this? I’m telling you this because it is very important to be “done” with your book. 

“Done” means you have completed the first, second, third, twenty-fifth, or fortieth draft of your book. This includes your original draft, and every single way you have edited and/or changed your manuscript until you feel you are pretty satisfied with the results.

Once you have gotten your novel to this fairly comfortable place, you need the fresh eyes of others to “see” the unsmooth and not-so-perfect aspects of your story that you – the writer – can no longer see.

Your loved ones have read your manuscript and given you feedback (I’m sure most, if not all, is over top positive.)  I’m sure you are feeling wonderful. However, while this encouragement is what our ego-minds needs, you now have to get real with your manuscript and have your critique partner(s) read and provide their feedback, which will and should be different from what your family and close friends have said so far. Having critique partners is key to editing, crafting, and drafting your story. Having the insight of other writers is important to receiving the type of critique you need. Your critique partners will give you what your family and friends can’t provide, which is give you the positive feedback and encouragement you want and need, but most importantly, they will view your work as writers and will point out the good and the not so good aspects of your story. (i.e. not enough or confusing dialogue, places where the readers attention leaves the story, head hopping from too many characters in a scene, etc.). These are the types of tips you need to pay attention to, but…

You are the writer of your story. You know who your characters are and what they want (or the topic of your story if you are a non-fiction writer). Within every critique you receive, be open to the feedback and take some time to let it sink into your psyche before reacting to it. Your instincts will tell you what to keep/discard or what to change.

The writing, editing, and getting to the place where you feel happy with your story is crucial to going indie, but it is a lot of work to get to this place and going indie does not make it any easier. Independently publishing your work is enlightening and a powerful step towards achieving your goals as a writer, but it too is a lot of work, especially if you want to gain a readership and get recognized by those who don’t share your bloodline.

So, the best advice I can give anyone contemplating or running toward Indie publishing is to finish that darn book.

Are you done with your book yet? How close are you to writing “The End”? Are you ready to go indie or are you overwhelmed by the prospect?
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