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The Writing and Publishing Process


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#1 Michelle

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 08:13 AM

Is there anything you'd like to ask our YA authors and publishers about writing and/or publishing?



#2 Athena

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 12:15 PM

I'd like to know what their average writing day looks like. I hope to one day perhaps, maybe, write a book or short book of my own and am always curious how writers spend their days.

#3 rkebook

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 03:43 PM

yes boss

I have a book idea in my brain its been a while,if I write it and publish it as ebook will it cost me much? :smile:



#4 kimberlyderting

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 06:30 PM

Athena - I’m not sure any day is particularly “typical” for me. I usually start checking my email very early in the morning, and after that, I generally get sidetracked by Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest—anything that seems like a shiny distraction. I try to rein it in within the hour and get started with whatever project I’m working on at the moment. Before I had an office with a lock, I would write in the kitchen, so chaos doesn’t really bother me. All I really need is my laptop, some comfy sweatpants, copious amounts of tea, and candy (preferably Skittles). Generally I work from right after the kids leave for school until early evening, sometimes later, depending on deadlines.

 

rkebook - I don't know much about self publishing, but traditional publishing shouldn't cost you anything, especially if you query via email ;)



#5 cassandra.rose

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 09:20 PM

I'd like to know what their average writing day looks like. I hope to one day perhaps, maybe, write a book or short book of my own and am always curious how writers spend their days.

 

I work part time as a college instructor, so I have to fit my writing schedule in with teaching and preparing for my classes. On a typical non-teaching day, the first thing I do after eating and working out and all that is write 500 words on one of my ongoing projects. Then I check email, deal with Twitter and website updates, work on class prep, and work on marketing stuff If I need to. Since I usually double up on revising and drafting, I like to do revision work in the morning if I can. Then I eat lunch (I like to watch TV while I do so, as a break.) After lunch I get my 1000 words in and take care of anything else that might need tending to (usually more revisions or marketing). A big thing that I like to do is set times for how long I'm going to work on a particular thing--so I'll say I'm going to revise for an hour, work on marketing for an hour, and so on. 

 

On teaching days I focus just on writing/revising and work out around my class schedule.

 

 

yes boss

I have a book idea in my brain its been a while,if I write it and publish it as ebook will it cost me much? :smile:

 

If you want to publish your work yourself as a Kindle ebook or whatnot, it's actually completely free  :smile:. However, most indie authors I know do pay someone to edit their work or help design an attractive cover, which helps boost sales.

 

And as kimberlyderting points out, traditional publishing is always free (except for postage, of course, but most publishers go the email route these days).



#6 Athena

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 07:49 AM

Thanks for your answers, really interesting :)!



#7 BryonyPearce

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 12:16 PM

I have no typical writing day.  I have two small children so I have to fit writing in around them.  I never use a daily target / word count as that way lies insanity and depression.  I do however, try and say to myself 'I want to get to the end of this scene / paragraph etc.'

That said, Riley (my youngest) just started school, which gives me more solid time, which I'm trying to organise sensibly.  I tend to write best when I'm in the mood though, which can be anytime from first thing to midnight. 

It'll be interesting to see how I develop with all these full days - maybe I'll settle into more of a routine.



#8 BryonyPearce

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 12:17 PM

If you are thinking of writing and publishing as an ebook I would still recommend using an editing service such as SmartQuill.  There are so many self-published ebooks now that maintaining quality is more important than ever.



#9 saskatoonauthor

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 10:22 AM

I live in Canada - I have a day job. First rule of being a published author: don't quit your day job because the vast majority of us don't earn out on our advance on royalties. I go to work at 6AM. I am up at 3AM to write for two hours each day. I do this every day. That's the other thing about getting published - you have to write every day because if you don't, you won't. Let's say you finally complete your manuscript. Cool. Now sit down and write it again after you've printed it off and gone through it with a fine toothed comb. Once that's done, you've got a second draft. Now get a group of beta readers - two or three - people who are not family members or friends - people who will be objective. Give them your manuscript. Then after a couple of months take a look at their notes and recommendations. Now take a look at your manuscript. What can you change? What should you change? Are you showing and not telling? Are there grammatical and punctuation errors littered throughout? Fix them all. Then when you are completely satisfied that it is a clean story, you need to draft a query letter and find an agent. 

 

I don't want to slam the self-publishing option because a lot of people are doing it these days but the vast majority of self published books are crap. Poorly edited, poorly conceived, badly written. I recommend finding an agent because of two things:

 

1) They have professional resources that will help you become a better writer

2) They have access to royalty paying publishers with distribution worldwide.

 

Oh ... and they have an interest in selling your project because that's how they make their money - they get a percentage. They also provide guidance, insight, support, encouragement ... AND they know the market better than you could ever hope to. So yeah .. find an agent.

 

Once that's done and your project sells ... you sign a contract and you work with your editor revising your project under a strict time frame. Then you have to promote it like crazy and hope for the best once the day of publication arrives.



#10 BSchultz19

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 09:45 PM

I'm extremely curious about being an author and becoming published. I'm currently only in high school, but I'd like to start writing stories and maybe even novels. 

 

My question is, is there some type of writers notebook that you use for ideas? Are there days where no writing happens, but only brainstorming? Do some characters, all characters, or no characters come from personal experience? 

 

How many projects are typically worked on at once?



#11 saskatoonauthor

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 12:43 PM

I'm extremely curious about being an author and becoming published. I'm currently only in high school, but I'd like to start writing stories and maybe even novels. 

 

My question is, is there some type of writers notebook that you use for ideas? Are there days where no writing happens, but only brainstorming? Do some characters, all characters, or no characters come from personal experience? 

 

How many projects are typically worked on at once?

 

 

Good questions. I know writers who use their smartphone as a notepad, some use their voice recorder to record ideas and some just use a small pocket note pad to scrawl down their thoughts. For me, I have an 8 GB flash drive that is about 1/3 full now. It's filled with ideas, paragraphs, partial chapters, openings ... you name it. That's my ideas drive where things I'm tinkering with wind up - I go back to it on a regular basis for ideas for new projects. For example, a YA Zombie Apocalypse novel my agent is now beginning to shop started out as a chapter on that flash drive. So really, every writer is different in what they use but I think it's a good sign that you want to record these ideas down because that shows you're taking writing seriously.

 

Are there days when no writing happens? Yup. Usually when I'm distracted by a good football match - but I try to keep that under control. Writing is a craft - you must always be writing to hone your craft. I think with the self publishing phenomenon the craft aspect of writing is going town the toilet as writers rush to get their project up on Amazon, complete with eye bleedingly terrible cover art. My recommendation for someone starting out is my one hour/day rule. Sit down and write ... something . anything for one hour a day. Do this for one month. If you can commit that hour each day to writing for 30 days and you still feel the same about writing, then you've now introduced the concept of strict discipline in terms of a daily writing regime to your life. Now you're well on your way.

 

I can't speak for other authors .. for me, I create characters that are usually an amalgam of characteristics from people I know. So I don't have one character is really my friend George. That character has aspects of George, Barb, Larry, Pete and Tom. And sometimes I just come up with characters off the top of my head. I'm a firm believer that character development is a natural extension of the flow and pace of your writing. When you;re digging into a manuscript .... you just, I don't know .... you just get into a groove. The story works. The words are flying out of your brain and into your word processor. That's when you are actually at your most creative and for me, that's where most of my characters come from.



#12 BSchultz19

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 03:53 PM

Thank you for a great answer. That was extremely helpful. 



#13 saskatoonauthor

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 04:50 PM

Not a problem



#14 vodkafan

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 05:00 PM

All good stuff thanks



#15 cassandra.rose

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 02:22 PM

I'm extremely curious about being an author and becoming published. I'm currently only in high school, but I'd like to start writing stories and maybe even novels. 

 

My question is, is there some type of writers notebook that you use for ideas? Are there days where no writing happens, but only brainstorming? Do some characters, all characters, or no characters come from personal experience? 

 

How many projects are typically worked on at once?

 

I don't use a notebook-notebook, but I do write my ideas down in files on my computer. I actually love the idea of carrying a paper notebook around and jotting down ideas as I have them, but I never actually do it, lol! But I do like having a place to jot down my story ideas even if it's just on the computer. Sometimes when I'm feeling blocked, I'll even go look at those ideas and want to start working on one of them!

 

Generally, I try to write everyday, but I also work on multiple projects at once. So while I might be drafting one novel, I'll be brainstorming another. I think when you're first starting out there's absolutely nothing wrong with brainstorming before you start writing! Even something like going for walk or daydreaming can be considered a sort of "prewriting," I think, just as long as that's not all you do. Eventually, you will have to sit down and start writing, but a lot of people like having a general idea of where they're going before they start.

 

I don't tend to base my characters on people that I know. If I do, it's only a small part of their personality. It can be awkward when you DO base a character on someone you know and they recognize themselves... that happened to me once, and I think that's why I'm wary of doing it now. 

 

I think if you're interesting in becoming an author the best thing to do is write something! Nanowrimo is next month and it's always a wonderful way to try and write a novel for the first time, even though I realize that November isn't the best month for students. The most important thing to remember when you're starting out is to just have fun!



#16 BSchultz19

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 08:30 PM

I don't use a notebook-notebook, but I do write my ideas down in files on my computer. I actually love the idea of carrying a paper notebook around and jotting down ideas as I have them, but I never actually do it, lol! But I do like having a place to jot down my story ideas even if it's just on the computer. Sometimes when I'm feeling blocked, I'll even go look at those ideas and want to start working on one of them!

 

Generally, I try to write everyday, but I also work on multiple projects at once. So while I might be drafting one novel, I'll be brainstorming another. I think when you're first starting out there's absolutely nothing wrong with brainstorming before you start writing! Even something like going for walk or daydreaming can be considered a sort of "prewriting," I think, just as long as that's not all you do. Eventually, you will have to sit down and start writing, but a lot of people like having a general idea of where they're going before they start.

 

I don't tend to base my characters on people that I know. If I do, it's only a small part of their personality. It can be awkward when you DO base a character on someone you know and they recognize themselves... that happened to me once, and I think that's why I'm wary of doing it now. 

 

I think if you're interesting in becoming an author the best thing to do is write something! Nanowrimo is next month and it's always a wonderful way to try and write a novel for the first time, even though I realize that November isn't the best month for students. The most important thing to remember when you're starting out is to just have fun!

Thank you!

I think I have a problem with brainstorming and writing every day different things because I love to go in order. It just isn't natural for me to write down what I'm thinking. That can be a block sometimes. 

 

I would love to try writing a novel, but November is busy and even in a month with nothing happening (does that exist?) I don't think I could write a novel. Maybe I'll just start one in November...






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