book Seven Signs was one of the most daunting experiences I have ever encountered. It was a whole new experience for me, though one I needed to get out of my system.
As a technical writer, I thought the transition to novelist would be an easy one. Wow was I wrong. I tend to write documents which need to be brief and succinct for executives at a corporate level. However, writing for the reader as a novelist, meant I needed to flesh out my ideas, create additional scenes, add in all the words I would normally delete.
Drafts, rewrites, edit, and re-edits went on an on and I wondered whether it would all be worth it. Yet here I am, finally. My book is published and doing well. I am writing the sequel and planning another totally different genre-and loving it.
If I was going to give any tips to new writers, it would be along the lines that Pamela Cook and Andrew Wilkes gave me as well as lessons I learned along the way. Pamela and Andrew are entirely different writers. One writes for general romance and the other, erotica.
I also took the Master’s class online and listened to great writers like Margaret Attwood and Dan Brown and took in as many ideas as I could before I finished. I joined the Author Learning Centre and read as much as I could and then I joined a book-club to make me read out of my comfort zone.
How long did it take me altogether you ask? Well I thought as a technical writer, my novel would be finished in a month. Eventually it was two years to get to the point where I felt I wouldn’t be embarrassed by it being published.
So, my main tip after all that? Well, make sure you get it done. You’ll regret it if you don’t.
My other tips:
1. Learn, read, listen to the best.
2. Don’t publish, until you feel it is the best you can do.
3. Make sure you ask as many people to read it before you finalise your last draft.
4. Go back and read each chapter for “page turning” events to keep the reader going.
5. Read each scene to ensure that the reader has sufficient immersion in the surroundings.
6. Look at each paragraph to make sure it flows into the next.
7. Write each sentence as though you were the reader.
8. Look at every word and decide if it’s necessary.
9. Get a mentor. There are programs out there for free.
10. Ask a professional to read your final draft.
11. Get someone else to do a final edit. Don’t do it yourself because you won’t pick up everything.