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Johne

The First Ten Steps To Write Your Novel

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I am absolutely, positively going to publish a novel in 2019. Here are some steps to help.
https://thewritepractice.com/2019-book/

 

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3. Write a premise

Who is your character? What is their goal? Who (or what!) is stopping them from accomplishing it, and what will happen when they reach it?

In just one sentence, describe these fundamental elements of your story.

4. Get feedback

Find three people you trust and share your premise with them. Do they want to hear the rest of the story? Or do they have suggestions for ways to make it even more exciting?

It’s scary to share your ideas and your writing with other people. But getting feedback now will help ensure that the story you spend months writing will be one people want to read, so don’t skip this step.

5. Read your competition

Find three books similar to the one you’re writing and read them. They’ll keep you inspired as you write your book.

 

 

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The competition part can be easy or hard, depending on how unique your premise is. This is how I did competitive research a few years ago (maybe there are better ways now):

 

1) Go to Amazon.com

2) Find your category, like Fantasy or Romance

3) Get the 1,000 top titles in the category by sales.

4) Read the one to two paragraph blurbs of every book.

5) Make a list of the ones that look closest to yours.

6) If necessary, buy electronic versions of one or two and read them.

 

To make it easier, I first read the book titles. I was writing a fantasy book at the time that DID NOT HAVE VAMPIRES. This made it easy; I skipped over all books with vampire in the title.

 

Paul

 

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The "Get Feedback" point looks interesting, but I am wary. When I am talking about my writing, I flood the room with enthusiasm. My idea would have to be horrible for my friends to say anything bad about it.

 

Paul

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3 hours ago, paulchernoch said:

My idea would have to be horrible for my friends to say anything bad about it.

I agree. I wouldn't want to argue with anyone who has been writing successfully, but it seems to me that goes along with having family and friends read your book.

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I still have problems with identifying the competition. I've not yet found anything close to what my book is. I have a hard enough time just trying to place it in a category.

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3 hours ago, carolinamtne said:

Maybe that would be a good time to have someone else read and and give some feedback at least on the category?

 

I would be delighted to have that kind of help. If there are any takers, I can send you a book to read and review. (It's paperback only, not an e-book.)

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21 hours ago, paulchernoch said:

My idea would have to be horrible for my friends to say anything bad about it.

 

I don't like to use friends for feedback.  I think it's better to find someone who doesn't know me, and is not concerned with my feelings when telling me something I need to know. 

 

I'm also a bit strange because I look forward to getting a manuscript back from my editor. She's old school and marks up pages with a red pen. I actually smile when I see a page littered with red marks, circles, etc. It gives me a sense of relief that despite how many times I've been over it, she found the mistakes that would've slipped through.

  

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12 minutes ago, Accord64 said:

I don't like to use friends for feedback.  I think it's better to find someone who doesn't know me, and is not concerned with my feelings

 

😀

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21 hours ago, paulchernoch said:

This is how I did competitive research a few years ago


Another thing a publisher will need to see in your proposal: Once you've identified your comp titles, you'll need to describe how your book is different from each. If you don't know, then a library or bookstore search will be more useful.

But for most writers, I wouldn't expect this to be a difficult process. If you're writing mystery, then surely read mysteries and have your favorite authors. If you're writing nonfiction, then surely you're an expert in the subject matter and you know the usual suspects. Yes?

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