I used to think that writing a book was the only thing I needed to do to be a writer. I guess in a way I was right. By writing, I am a writer. Just not a published one.
Now that I have done some writing and even gotten a couple stories published, I know that the writing can be the easiest part (believe it or not) of the process. I was reminded of this when I looked at my most recently completed story.
As you may or may not know, on Sunday I finished writing my podcast novel, GalaxyBillies. It was a lot of work but it is finally done. At least, the podcast version is. I hadn’t been finished five minutes before I was thinking about what other things I needed to do with the story.
You see, if enough people enjoy it, I hope to eventually see it in print. So what do I have to do to get there?
Well here are the basic steps as I see them:
- Let the story rest for a few months. This is a very necessary step for me because it after leaving it alone I can see where the story is weak/too long/too short/etc.
- Pull the podcast script together into a book format.
- Rip out any pieces that were intended to aid in the flow of the podcast but aren’t necessary in a book.
- Do a first pass read to identify where I see any problems and put place holders where I need to add.
- Revise manuscript to fix problems and add additional story.
- Bring in Alpha readers to review manuscript.
- Revise manuscript based on comments.
- Bring in Beta readers to review manuscript.
- See step number 7.
- Put final polish on story and put together submission package including synopsis, elevator speech, list of writing credits and size of podcast audience (provided it was significant, of course).
- Research agents and/or publishers.
- Begin submitting.
Sounds like a lot of steps, doesn’t it? That’s partially because I’m trying to be thorough and partially because there REALLY are that many steps. Maybe even more for some writers.
Now do you begin to see why I say writing the story may be the easiest part?
There is one crucial item I left out: Keep writing. I know it might sound impossible with all the other things that need to be done, but it is imperative that you continue to work on your craft. Editing and revising take different writing muscles than actual storytelling so don’t stop.
I don’t tell you this to scare you away from writing either. I just want you to realize how much lurks beneath the waters, so to speak, so you don’t get to the end of step 1 and say, “OK, I’m done. Next project.” That might result in a lot of writing getting done, but it probably won’t get you published. Know the work ahead and rise to the challenge. That’s what I’m planning to do.
Yup, GalaxyBillies is done. I’m not sure it was all it could be, but I plan to edit it until it is and give fans of the story an even better one than they heard on the podcast.
I’m also back to revising the YA Novel. Last night I finished editing chapter 15 which means only 7 more to go before I send it off to the publisher. I hope they like what I’ve done with it.