Wednesday, 16 December 2015
Saturday, 12 December 2015
I'm really chuffed at the moment as I have written 74,000 words of my adventure thriller within two months. That was possible because I set a goal, aimed for my standard word count, and wrote everyday, but I'm kind of exhausted so I have decided to give writing a break for a week - get my breath back, read a book -the Revelation Code by Andy McDermott - and then return to the laptop and write another 50,000 words and then the 1st draft is over.
Monday, 7 December 2015
During my break from novel writing a few weeks ago, I have been reading an excellent adventure ebook called "The Vault of Poseidon" by Rob Jones. It's a really fast-paced book with a memorable hero called Joe Hawke. Below are the links to "The Vault of Poseidon" on Amazon if you want to check it out. He's also got a new ebook out, called Thunder God, which is the second book in the Joe Hawke series.
The Vault of PoseidonUk -https://t.co/w5sYnA96wm
Rejection is a dirty word to aspiring authors - and all the top authors have experienced it before getting an agent/publisher. We all know about J.K Rowling, that example is quite legendary; William Golding's book Lord of the Flies had been rejected 20 times. And John Le Carre was rejected and was told "he had no future". So this just proves that the gurus of the book industry aren't always right -they can be dead wrong. And most of us unpublished authors always use this fact as a crutch, especially when one gets a kick in the teeth via a short, albeit robotic letter which was copy and pasted in an email and sent to us, and it all varies to being very cold to atleast warm - unless we get a feedback, to us it always looks like it has been served cold.
My first adventure thriller had taken me three years to write, and I definitely felt like Ben Hur after the chariot race when I had completed it. In my mind I thought: yeah, I'm going to impress someone, cause I believed in my book. Maybe I was naive. But I always believed that one has to be hopeful, but perhaps I was too hopeful. On October 2014, after years of slogging with my manuscript, I sent it to the agents - mainly in the UK - and I thought I would get a full manuscript request - so I waited and .... Progressively, on each week, the rejection letters kept piling up, killing my hopeful attitude dead. I did get some feedback, however minuscule, but rejection, no matter how it's dressed, is rejection. For my second book, I was hopeful but overly so - the bruises attained from my last setback dampened it a little, but I sent the submission to 28 agents - not all in one go - and the answer was the same as the last.
To be honest, with my second set of rejections I felt very dejected, annoyed, and downhearted. Perhaps, it was a confirmation that there's something wrong with my writing, or its not what they're looking for. Whatever reason it is, it's not a good feeling, its a very gloomy feeling; sometimes I felt that getting a date with Scarlet Johansen was much more likely than getting agent.
The question is: how do we cope with these feelings and not throw in towel. Most experts would say, don't take it personally, and just write your next book. I agree with this advice 100 percent. What made John Grisham, John Le Carre and J.K Rowling eventually overcome rejections? Persistence. And that's what I'm doing; I just concentrate on my next book whether than being bitter, and remember, the publishing business is a business - they aren't charities. The unfortunate fact is that not every one of us can get published, but the thing to also remember is that no one knows their luck, not until they try it. But the one thing that spears me on is my love of creating new plots and characters - if we try to remember what had made us write in the first place, then that would be a great help.
Also what can help to make you feel that you aren't alone in this quest to find an agent is by joining a writers forum, or tune into social media, converse with other aspiring authors who have tasted the bitter pill of rejection. Or read author interviews about their journey to publication.
And another thing to consider is self-publishing - before, if you got rejected by an agent/publisher it was the end of the line, but self-publishing is an avenue that can allow us to reach a readership. I have personally decided on this venture, and hopefully I'll have an ebook out on amazon.
Sunday, 6 December 2015
There are risk takers out there, people who aren't afraid to make a business decision that can just hurt their careers, or jump out of a plane without a parachute ( perhaps that isn't a good idea) but there are people who like to take risks or charge into something not knowing the outcome, or at least not caring for it too much. I'm such a person, no, not in jumping out of a airplane or any other def-defying endeavour. So in which avenue am I a risk taker or a go getter?
Yes, you've guessed write ( I hope) - in writing. How? My natural feeling is too jump into a book after a small contemplation of what to write, and just go into it, hammer and nails, not knowing if the plot would work, or not knowing the characters too deeply. I normally just learnt about the characters as I went along. I'm a pantster, and it has it's plus points: excitement of the unknown, spontaneity, lack of rigidity, to name a few. The downsides are obvious: lack of planning leads to writers' block, a messy and an incoherent 1st draft, and a lengthier time writing the 1st draft pitted. The latter plagued my first adventure book, which took me four years.
Now before I say how I counteracted the lengthy writing time, let me put plotting in a nutshell - its the opposite of a pantster and the plotting writer, to varying degrees, plans the book more ( some really plan to the last detail.I.E. Jeffrey Deaver) and has to know the characters and their goals and motives more. Pantsters would call this boring and over methodical and plotters would call pantsters fly by nights, who start fast and then fizzle out cause they don't know their plot inside and out.
As a pantster, I always disliked overly planning, and still do, but I have realised that a little planning makes a more smoother journey, and that's how I wrote my last book's 1st draft within four months. I adopted at least forty percent of the planning method, melded it into my daredevil writing method and voila, I finished the 1st draft in four months. Plotting cuts down delays or the unsureness of writing which contributes to days of not writing, or the writing flowing.
Now I'm not saying you should do the same - if either sides suits you, then fine, but I feel that adopting this method helped me. Likewise, plotters could try being more spontaneous and less OTT in being meticulous.
Whatever it takes to get the job done is the motto.