Here we are at the start of another new year. Okay, so I didn’t hit any of my major goals last year, but I’ve moved forward. Life for me is all about learning. Whether that’s a new hobby, career and how to love again, it’s all about moving forward.
The beginning of a new year has always be viewed as an opportunity to putting the past behind you, and embrace a new future. Last year, I came a bit closer to seeing my novel published. I’d sent my MS out to 35 publishing companies, believing I had done everything possible to make it the very best it could be. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.
Editors, I’ve come to learn are very important when it comes to writing novels. The trouble with writing a novel is it’s a huge undertaking when you’re writing your first one. You can’t see beyond the ending. You are too eager to reach the last word and send it off, hoping someone will publish it, or at least give you the opportunity of tell you if it has any chance of becoming a bestseller.
In this day and age, there are thousands of new writers all busy writing the next bestseller. All eager to get their book out there, whether that be self-publishing, or through one of the many small publishing companies. So don’t be in a rush to join the many disappointed writers when rejection emails come flooding back.
It’s taken me three years to finish this my third novel. My first two I see as my learning curve, writing them taught me what it takes to write a novel. My third one is the first I felt had a market. Though Stone Angels isn’t finished yet.
Oh, it is completed in as much as I’ve got the story down. I know my characters well, the plot, the setting, and the ending too. But is it ready to be published?
No, far from it.
In 2018, I was lucky enough to have someone look at my novel who knows what they are doing. Kim went through it line by line asking me all sort of questions. She highlighted all sort of issues as a writer, I should have known myself.
That’s the trouble with being a writer when writing such a huge piece of work you have all the scenes in your head, so unless you put them in your novel, your readers won’t know what’s going on.
It’s a writer’s job to know what needs to be shown, and what needs to be left out. And this is where the problem lies. How do you know you’re put in enough so it makes sense to the reader without going over the top and boring them with too much detail or description, or saying too little so it makes no sense at all.
Once I’ve finished the edits , Kim has sent me, my novel will be unrecognisable. I just wish I had held back before I had sent it off to so many publishers. I’ve been lucky enough to get feedback from a few of them. They all told me that they were intrigued by my plot, but the novel needed more editing.
If only I had listened.
My advice to any serious new writer who happens to come across my blog. Don’t be too eager to send your MS out. There’s more to writing a novel than crossing the T’s. A good editor is worth their weight in gold. They are the ones who take your MS from a final draft and turn it into the bestseller you’ve always dreamt of writing.
Don’t give up, but stay focused.
Remember what Snoopy says…