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Why I Decided Not to Self-Publish

As I’m writing this blog, I’ve now sent out over two dozen queries to literary agencies, looking for representation for my first novel, Artifact of the Dawn. Finding an agent is merely one of the many steps on the journey of trying to become a published author. I could have just self-published this novel, which is the route I chose for the children’s book I wrote a few years ago, Dittle Little Lion and Dittle Little Bear, the Adventure to Coconut Island. I am more than familiar enough with the process of self-publishing now. Holding the first copy of that book in my hands and receiving the official copyright notice from the US Copyright Office was a great accomplishment for me at the time. I know many new authors these days are opting to self-publish. However, I will admit that marketing is not one of my strong suits, and that’s a Read More

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Deciding Whether or Not to Use a Professional Editor

I am still in the early stages of attempting to have my first novel professionally published. There are many aspects I hadn’t thought of until now, but I am grateful for all the online resources and writer’s groups that are helping to guide me. One thing I had always assumed was that I wouldn’t need an editor to land a publishing deal. That being said, I know trying to get a rough first draft published these days isn’t going to fly either. I spent two years working with a group of people who worked with me to improve my novel. I had an alpha reader, a group of beta readers and a proofreader go over my manuscript. They gave me a lot of fantastic advice in terms of fixing pacing, consistency issues, and improving the believability of some of the “science” I used in the story. So, while I’ve edited Read More

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Writing Fan Fiction

Besides the original novel I’ve written, I’ve also spent a lot of time writing fan fiction since early 2015. When I first began to write fiction, I started with fan fiction. The video game series Dragon Age has inspired me to write stories more than any other fandom had before. To date, I have written fifty fan fiction works, ranging in size from 100 words to 87,000 words, for a cumulative of nearly 635,000 words. What is Fan Fiction? Fan fiction stems from the desire of various fans of a particular movie, television series, book or video game to see certain storylines play out. If you have ever been a fan of something and asked yourself “what if that didn’t happen that way?” then you have the potential idea of a fan fiction story. Most fan fiction stories are borne out of what-if scenarios fans would love to see, but Read More

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My Writing Process

Besides blogging, I write both original and fan fiction. I have a different approach to my process for each type of writing that I do. I know every writer has their own process that works best for them, but I wanted to share my process for the writing that I do. Blogging When I’m blogging, I just let the words flow. I sit down and open a new post and start writing. Only three things need to be in place before I can really start; the topic, the title, and the featured image. Coming up with a topic is always my first priority. Once I decide on one, you would think I could begin, but I’ve always struggled to write if I didn’t have a title first, and for my blogs, I like to have selected an image to accompany them. Once those two elements are in place, I just Read More

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Writing First-Person, Second-Person or Third-Person in Fiction

When I write fictional stories, regardless of genre, I tend to write either from the third-person or third-person limited, perspective. While I naturally blog in first-person, I’ve never been comfortable writing fiction in first or second-person. So what exactly does it mean to write in first-person, second-person or third-person? Writing from the first-person perspective means that you write using the word “I” and you are writing from your (or the protagonist’s) perspective. Second-person focuses on “you,” while third-person use he/she/they pronouns and is written from the point-of-view of a narrator. Here are some examples: First Person: I woke up and rubbed the sleep from my eyes. Second Person: You woke up and rubbed the sleep from your eyes. Third Person: He woke up and rubbed the sleep from his eyes. When writing fiction, I personally find it very unnerving to write in the first-person, as if I were the protagonist. Read More

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Priorities vs. Inspiration

Sometimes I am torn between forcing myself to focus on what should be my priorities and allow myself to just write what inspires me. I didn’t understand the concept of a muse until I began writing fiction. Currently, my priority should be to polish the synopsis for my novel and write the query letter I will be sending out to the various literary agents I plan to solicit for representation. However, my muse has other ideas. One thing I have found is that my writing is better if I follow my muse. If I try to force myself to write something that doesn’t inspire me at that moment, then the writing just isn’t as good. It’s often stilted and feels forced. Even my readers have picked up on this in the past when I’ve posted a chapter in a fan fiction story for the sake of trying to get a Read More

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Next Leg of the Journey

The manuscript of my novel, Artifact of the Dawn, was returned to me from my proofreader and I finally put the finishing touches on the novel. There may be some future tweaking depending on what feedback I get from potential literary agents or publishers, but for now, I’m calling it good. It’s been a 2-year long labor of love, writing and editing this novel. I’ve had a lot of fun getting to know my protagonists while I was writing them. Now I am on the next leg of my journey and preparing what I need in order to try and solicit representation from a literary agent. Many require a synopsis of the plot, which I have been working on. I also need to craft a well-written query letter. Then I will begin sending out queries in the hopes at least one agency finds an interest in me. If somehow I Read More

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When the Words Won’t Come

Some days the words flow from my fingers like a water fall. Other days it feels as if the well has completely dried up. Sometimes I’m trying to work on a new chapter for a fan fiction story I’m writing, other days editing my novel or even just wanting to write a blog post. Yet, for the life of me, the words just fail me and I can’t seem to find a way to write what is in my head. I know many other writers who run into this problem, which is colloquially known as Writers’ Block. When it happens to me, I do one of the following things. Work on another piece of writing for awhile. I often have several fan fiction stories in progress at the same time. Spend some time focusing on something else entirely. Reading, taking a walk, doing chores around the house. Replaying parts of Read More

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Why I Love Editing

As much as I enjoy writing, I find that I enjoy the process of editing almost as much, if not more. When I edit anything I’ve written, be it a blog post, a piece of fan fiction or an original novel, it’s not just about correcting spelling and grammar errors. I re-evaluate every word and paragraph I’ve written and I often find better ways to phrase what I am trying to say. The first time I go through and edit, I often re-word earlier parts of the work to better align with what I know I wrote later. I like to play with words, and I to try and evoke a reaction from my reader, whether it be a slight chuckle or perhaps even fear for the fate of one of the protagonists of my story. I often have no idea if I succeeded or not, with the exception of Read More

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Why Must We Be Miserable?

I ran into a situation yesterday that still has me slightly upset and confused. I am a member of several writers’ groups on Facebook, and yesterday someone posted a silly meme that compared the writing process with jogging and the desire to just give up and die (the post was taken down so I don’t have the exact wording, but that was the gist of the post). I commented on the post, stating that I couldn’t relate since I cannot jog because of health reasons and that writing gives me joy. That’s when one of the group members outright attacked me, stating that if writing doesn’t make me miserable, then I must not know how to write or have ever written anything of length. I countered with the fact that I have written over 585,000 words of fan fiction, and I have completed my first novel. She continued to deride Read More