The Christmas story I'm writing - which I'll tell you more about soon - is coming along nicely. It's now in the stage where I'm starting to put it through the various editing processes. While I work on arranging that, Jacob Blackmon is working on the cover for me. I had hoped to have all the editing done by now, but the past couple of months have been busy, so I'm a bit behind my original schedule. There's still plenty of time for me to have it ready for an official release right before Christmas though, so it's all good. Yes, there's time, even though there's only eight and a half weeks to go until Christmas.
Uh-huh, I went there. Sorry folks, but it's true... Christmas is only eight and a half weeks away. If you haven't already done so, you may want to start thinking about it... Especially if you're an author planning a Christmasy release or promotion . Although, you might want to do so regardless... Just saying.
That's right, it's almost November already. So, whether you're ready for Christmas or not, are you ready for NaNoWriMo? I'm not participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year, officially or otherwise, but I know several people who are. As the post I just linked to said, remember to worry about only the writing part for now... You can worry about rewrites and edits later, like when NaNoEdMo (National Novel Editing Month) rolls around in March. For now, just make sure you're ready to put pen to paper, or fingers to keys, when November rolls around in just under a week. Here are five lessons one author learned from NaNoWriMo, and some tips from another author for keeping your word count up, in case you're interested.
This may not be what you want to hear, but here are some truths about what you should think about if you've decided to start writing a book. If you really love to write, don't let anything stop you. If you're doing it for fame and/or fortune, you should probably do something else. Just saying.
If you've decided writing is for you, no matter what, and are starting the rewrites and edits for your own work, check out this post on mastering the art of the scene, and this one on how to make your writing better by changing one word. Then, when you're ready to do the formatting, remember to give your eBook as much love as your paperback. Of course, this doesn't have to mean fancy formatting, since you can just keep things simple like I do. The point is, do all you can to try and make sure your eBook will look good too, and bear in mind that some things don't work well on some eReaders, especially the older models.
Planning to self-publish? Check out the basics every indie author needs before publishing a book. Trust me, having those things in place - or, when it comes to the social media part, as many as you think you can realistically handle - before you publish, will help when it comes to marketing your book once it's released. Also, here are some "Do this, not that," promotional tips, based on things one author has learned from personal experience, in the hopes they will help you avoid the same mistakes. Oh, and remember to think outside the bookstore when it comes to release or promotional events.
Next, here's a great - and fun - way to flesh out your character(s) for your story: get to know your character over coffee. Character interviews of any kind are interesting ways to flesh out character profiles, and it's surprising what you can learn about someone in the time it takes to share a cup of coffee (or tea, if you're like me and can't stand coffee) and maybe a cake... Just to keep your energy levels up... *Wink* If you're lucky, taking the time to have coffee with your character will mean you can avoid the need to tame a wild character. No promises though. This list of ways you can explore your characters' traits could also prove useful to you in getting to know your characters, and may even help with your efforts in taming the wild ones. Oh, and here's a pretty good post for if you're struggling with naming your darlings. BabyNames.com is a good source for names too, by the way. Once you've got your characters figured out, make sure you bear these ten things every writer needs to know about conflict in mind. WARNING: the last post I linked to contains some strong language.
Or, perhaps you write poetry? If so, check out this post on writing haiku, which contains a short list of tricks any poet needs in their writing toolbox.
Last, but by no means least, and regardless of the kinds of things you write... Always remember that illustrating a children's book is a real job, and so is being an artist of any kind. So bear that in mind when working with your cover artist, illustrator, or whatever, and don't take advantage of their talents.