Montana Sky was my first novel and while I’m very proud of it, even I know it could be better. As with most things in life, live and learn and learn some more. There’s always room for improvement. Since the book’s release, a few have shown interest in how I got started and steps they should take to start writing themselves. I am by no means a professional. I’m far from it, in fact, but I have learned a few things that I hope will give some reassurance.
My answer: research and research some more. Learn everything you can because once your work is out there, it’s really out there. I have been fortunate enough to receive good reviews and feedback, but that may not always be the case.
With my current book, BACK TO ME, I’m doing my homework. I am compiling and collecting as much information as I can, whether it’s ideas on word play, sentence structure, repetition, use of new words, etc. I am really and truly putting forth that 110%, atta boy try. And I want to. I have purchased many, many, many books where the storyline was really good, but it lacked the potential to be great simply because of the way it was worded or the lack of enthusiasm from a character.
I am also guilty of telling myself that I MUST sit at my desk and write for a set amount of time, no matter what. I have two children and a husband so my time is valuable, and I find that sometimes I FORCE myself to write. Well …… no more. If it isn’t coming naturally, don’t force it. I have, just within the last day, wiped two complete chapters because they were awful. Really and truly awful. Why were they awful? Because I felt rushed. I felt pressured. I felt I HAD to write in order to feel like I’d been productive. That’s not what I want for my readers. I don’t want to give them a good story, I want to give them a great story.
I welcome feedback. I read blogs and websites. I use checklists. With a little research and time, you can find many valuable tools to help you succeed. Use them. And do your research.