Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Writing is just the beginning

When the five of us tossed around the idea of putting together Romancing the Muses blog – I jumped at the idea.  Working with these ladies, who’s writing rocks my socks was so exciting.  The blog was designed and of course our amazing avatars were created – it was all very exciting.  It took us more months than we had planned to hammer out the when and what of it, so many schedules to co-ordinate took a bit of planning. 

When we finally had the game plan all penciled out, I was totally gung-ho and ready to go ... then my brain kicked in and I sat here trying to figure out what my strength was in all of this.  Each of the RtM authors have areas they excel in and I was left wondering where mine was.
Then it hit me.  Organizing is my strength.  Taking all the things that have to be done and getting them done on time without missing out on something is what I do best. 

Am I qualified to do this? You betcha!  I am a mother to five (four of my kids still live with me) - a grandmother to one – I work 60-80hrs a week managing a cafe with a staff of roughly 15 to serve over 2000 customers a month – I hit the writing industry at full speed ahead having eight books written before I ever submitted one ... and of course instead of submitting one at a time I sent them all!  The last year has been a whirl wind of editing, promoting and trying to learn all of the things I need to know. 

With all of that being said, here is a post I put in my own blog almost a year ago – it’s all the things I’m going to be discussing in the next while (of course some days I’ll just be posting rubbish also, but it will be helpful rubbish as well).

Writing is just the beginning...

So you have this fantastic idea for a story. It takes a few days to jot down all possible ideas, figure out character names and fill in all the blanks in the plot.

We won't even discuss complete scenes popping into your head when you've finally remembered where your bed is - scenes so good you feel around for your note book and pen in the dark (the one that lives beside the bed) and start scribbling this scene down (so you can SLEEP), figuring out what you jotted down in the dark the next day is always an adventure. 

You write in note books, on the back of pages, type for hours and more hours and THERE! It’s finished your awesome story! Of course the first three times you read through it, you find humorous typos, missing words and endless pieces that seemed like a good idea at the time, but not so much now. So that's it, it's done!

Wrong! Now you need to go through it AGAIN and figure out a summary (synopsis = bad word) to send to the publisher. I do my synopsis after the story is finished, because my characters NEVER behave and do what I've plotted them to do. I'm not sure if it's easier to do it before you write or not ... hmmm.

It's sent to the publisher, you're done! Not really! When a contract is signed, after you're finished the happy dance and telling E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E you possibly can. Your begin edits. These are much different than your own personal way of doing edits, these are the proper edits. It's entertaining at times to see how someone else interprets what you've written, mostly in a good way. Edit 1 , 2 and 3 is done! (sometimes this turns into 4,5 and 6...)  Whew!

Hopefully somewhere in all of this you get the proof of your book cover - which becomes your new picture on facebook, myspace and pretty much anywhere you can put it! The cover artists are completely brilliant and have with one picture made your story real to you! You take your fantastic cover and turn it into bookmarks, posters, ad's ... anything you can come up with that will help at some point promote your book.

Excellent! But we're not finished yet ... final edits, more changes and fixing really silly (aka stupid) lines that aren't right, but were right in your head at the time...

YES! We're finished. The book is released. Kick back and relax ... not! Who is going to know that YOUR book is out there to buy if you don't tell them? P-R-O-M-O-T-E  anywhere, everywhere and then promote some more.

This has been a whole new learning experience for me. I am great at jumping in and helping any author I've read or talked to, promote ... but promoting my own that has been interesting to say the least.

I've managed to find the places, or some, to do the promoting and let the readers know that my book is now available. Book chats, loops, blogs and pages. Not to mention book stores and libraries. We can't forget facebook, myspace, twitter and Ning either. There are websites for books, for trailers and for authors too. The lists are never ending, the updates never stop.

ALL of this and its only for ONE book so far, there are more on the way... you have to stop and wonder how authors that have a long list of books out there do it. When do they have time to write the fantastic stories that they write? The fantastic stories that I need to absorb like most people do sunlight? Truly, they are amazing people!

I only hope I can live up to the title of "author" in comparison to the brilliant people that I've met in the past few months that have welcomed me and encouraged me when I jumped in without looking ahead.

Now that I've got all of that out, I think I'll go do some writing. Just remember the next time you read a book that you loved because it made you laugh, or cry or both - drop the author a thank you note and tell them about it. They're writing it for YOU and working hard to get it to you.

Until next time...


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