After ten months of rising early, hitting the sack late and irritating the hell out of my loved ones with the clicking of the keyboard and the dazzling glare of the PC screen at random times in the night. After buckets and buckets of self doubt, that could and would only be appeased by friends and family who were forced to read excerpts from the manuscript. After going to work writing in my head on the way, and doing the same once at the office. After God knows how many bags of sweets, chocolate, crisps and the occasional glass of 'Jesus juice'. After reading 'Velocity', 'The Good Husband', 'Misery' (Again), 'IT', 'On writing' (twice). After turning down attendance to parties and social functions to get on with my writing. After getting a little writers block (not cool)... insert second reading of 'On writing' and more self doubt >here< . After finishing and feeling like I could conquer the world. After handing it to my trusted Beta readers, praying to God they loved it, not knowing what I'd do if they didn't :( (No LOL trust me). After getting it back and realizing they thought it was brilliant, birthing comments like "I cried at that part" " that part was a little scary". Yes, result!!! After making the changes and reading it all over again and then again until satisfied. After sending it to my Editor Jane Hammett who might I add did a brilliant job. After pissing about with trying to create my own cover and realising I was on an indie book kamikaze mission, I decided to employ the services of Lilien Hoffman (website: Http://lilienhoffman.wix.com)who is responsible for Lilif's beautiful artwork. After all of the above - it is Lilif Launch Day 07/02/14 and all 89,540 words of my first novel are finally lay bare. Now I face the world armed with nothing but my faith that this story is both beautiful and brutal in the same breath. You'll probably cry, wince, laugh and scream, but you'll enjoy it I guarantee you... Please support Lilif!
Below are my personal top 5 tips for writing your first novel.
1. Read, read, read...You cannot write a novel if you have not studied the craft. You have to read to understand what constitutes good writing form, rhythm, style, unacceptable and acceptable types of written expression. This also helps you to develop your own style and 'voice'.
2. Make sure you truly love your story concept, or your project will go the way of so many that end in abandonment.
3. Don't listen to DOUBT! Make sure you finish it or you'll never finish any of them. YOU CAN DO IT!!!
4. After you finish your manuscript let it rest for about a month, dust it off and have a read. It's at this point you'll think WTF! Did I write that!! It's okay change it, make improvements and move on. You will learn to forgive yourself. Once past that stage let others (Beta readers) read it and get back to you with feed back that you'll hopefully take on board. Even if you are adamant cats come in pink, if your Betas disagree, you should at least review it. Try not to be too defensive. Make sure you get your book copy-edited (Jane Hammett). There is no way around this if you want to avoid a (sometimes angry) backlash!
5. Book cover...Man-O-Man... I tried to fight this one and had convinced my self that my sub-novice Photoshop skills would suffice. After two revisions, I realised I was only prolonging the inevitable. You're a writer not an illustrator. The book cover is the first thing people see and if it looks amateur-ish they won't even bother to read the synopsis. Yeah I know its expensive blah, blah, blah just get it made it'll be worth it, especially if you know the story inside is worth reading. I used a website called 99designs.com check it out.