I recently joined a group the other day that helps aspiring young authors and gives them tips and places to ask questions. If I had had this group back in August, I wouldn’t have had to bother so many people on Goodreads (that I didn’t even know) with absurd questions through messaging lol. But when you need something answered, you generally go to a person who has been through the experience before. So that’s what I did. I got rid of my pride and annoyed the hell out of a lot of people. But I can’t even tell you how much their advice helped. Without them there wouldn’t be Separate Ways. Well, Separate Ways just wouldn’t be out there for the world to read, I should say 😉
When I got the idea for my first book, it was WAY before I even thought to put it to paper (well, iPad keyboard actually). I had thought of the idea one night when I couldn’t sleep of a girl who met a world famous boy in a pretty humiliating way. Then each night I thought of a different scene, a new interaction, secondary characters and the such to go with it. And you know what got me to start actually writing it? Mortal instruments: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. I had just finished rereading it for the thousandth time, and it was a scene with Jace Wayland that made me think, Hmm, why can’t I do that? Why can’t I just put what has been in my head for months down on a keyboard? And that is how this whole thing started. It began with an idea, but I needed that monumental push to do more with it. So thanks Cassandra!
Okay, so now to how I write. I am so not one of those authors that thinks everything through before they begin writing. I don’t think of quirks for the characters, the plotline, or anything else they tell you is important in writing novels 101. For me, a scene pops up in my head and I have to go write it down. More times than most I think of a line a character could say, and that starts the whole process. And once that ball starts rolling, there’s really no stopping it. That’s how I wrote two books in two months. Everything starts to come together after I write that scene, and the process is usually pretty quick. Another thing that helps me, oddly, is watching medical shows (aka Grey’s Anatomy lol) while I write, and reading A LOT of the genre I’m currently working on. When you ever get writers block, I’m telling you, go read a book that you love or start a new book that has the same genre or theme as yours. I’m not saying steal their ideas, but take inspiration from that story and wield your own.
Another thing I have to point out, is that editing is a huge component. When I published Jump Start My Heart, I had wanted that baby out there as quick as possible, so I didn’t read over it as many times as I should. It’s not like I have a proofreader like a lot of authors do. I have my sister who helped so much that I’m giving her a salary with every check that I get. But it’s important, especially if you don’t have anyone to proofread what you’ve written, to read your book start to finish at least twice to three times before you publish it. Like someone once told me: editing issues can make someone give you a three star instead of a five. So it is super important that you take that time to make sure your story is perfect. Which is something I’m doing now because I hadn’t taken my own advice LOL.
I hope this helped anyone who is aspiring to write, but doesn’t have a clue how to begin. My main tip to you all is to ask people who have done it before. Go ahead and ask an author on their blog or on Goodreads what they did when they wrote, or tips they would give to a new author. Now I’m not saying go ask John Green or some insanely popular author. If you want to self-publish, then ASK someone who has self-published. And if you’re looking at publishing houses, look for the authors who have gone down that road. Who knows, you might make some friends along the way like I did 😀