We live in the most amazing times to be writers. The technology at our fingertips has made the craft easier than it’s ever been. It is likely the reason why so many fledgling authors like myself can successfully publish their works. We may not be in the same stratosphere as an Atwood or a Dickens but we certainly have the ability to share our stories.
I can’t imagine how authors like Jane Austen and others of that vintage ever got through their manuscripts. Paper and ink were the only tools available to them. I suspect they wrote rewrote and rewrote again… We live in too much of a fast-paced world for this to work. We needed better solutions and we have them.
There are so many choices, Google Drive, Evernote, OneDrive, with all these platforms offering amazing options for writers including my favorite – auto-save (my hero!). Think of the writing possibilities. With a Cloud platform, you can access your manuscript anywhere you have a computer or mobile device available. When an idea strikes, you are at the ready. My platform of choice is OneDrive where I can use Word Online – fantastic!
I live with my iPad securely attached to my hand most of the time. It is literally with me 24/7 whether it is on the desk beside me at work or on my night table when I go to sleep. It is always there. Many a night I have awoken to jot down an idea which refuses to let me rest. You can also use this medium to collaborate with others.
With a full-time job and a love of writing, I needed tools which would allow me to benefit from every spare minute I had to write. The Cloud has done that for me. If you are already an author, I am likely preaching to the choir but if you are thinking of writing, look to the Clouds…
While working on my second novel I was emotionally touched by a very powerful scene I was developing. It was to the point that as I typed, tears were streaming down my face. Although still in rough draft, the scene will be crucial in the book and I am pleased with it even though it will be difficult to read it again.
Other writers must surely feel this level of emotion as they write. And I am convinced these must become their most cherished scenes.
Author Manoj Arora had a brilliant response to the question of how a writer feel when writing and I had to share:
“It’s chaos. And from that chaos, an idea appears. And you have to see it, you have to feel it. I’m not being abstract. It actually happens; you try to visualize everything, you try to talk and walk and think like your characters do and you put yourself in the situations where your characters are just to see exactly how it feels…”
Manoj could not have been more accurate.
It is when we get this absorbed that we create our best work. Writing is not a chore, it is an extension of life and the emotions and feelings we create are what make the novel worth reading.
Recently, I received what I considered to be a wonderful review of my new novel.
I could not have been more pleased. This was not from a friend or a family member forced to read my book because of close ties. No, this was from an actual reader who purchased my novel and wanted to give me an honest and sincere review.
All I can say to this individual is “Thank You”!
It is through this type frank criticism that we grow as authors. You can be assured I am already heading these words as I work on my second manuscript.
Here is the review of my novel “Here and Then After”:
“This story has an interesting concept. While the pace feels rushed at times, the plot is captivating enough that it doesn’t matter. The main characters are well-developed and likable. I enjoyed it thoroughly. I couldn’t put it down and read it straight through.”
Yes, admittedly I agree the pace was rushed at times. When I was writing this first book, the ideas were flowing so fluidly, I feared I would lose some of them (I’m not as young as I used to be.). My first book was a whirlwind. I plan to have my second, be a gentle stroll. There are fewer unknowns and more enjoyment in this new installment. The honesty of this review has made me reflect and consider improvements in my approach.
Let’s stop considering reviews as simple marketing tools but instead use them for what they were really meant to do. Make us better authors.
I make no illusions of having written a best-seller or even one that will sell a few hundred copies. I am, however, extremely proud of having completed my novel knowing now the realities authors face.
I recently read a staggering statistic which stated only 3% of people who set out to write a novel actually finish and of those, only 20% will ever get it published. Are you kidding me? That’s only 6 people out of 1,000. (There’s that accountant again!).
There is a litany of reasons why this is the case including lack of a consistency, story blocks, etc. but the most prominent reason based on studies is disorganization. I must concur with this. When I started my book, I had no clue where to begin. I had a great idea (which came from a dream, by the way) and had put some thoughts on paper, but that was it.
Where do I go next, I wondered?
The most important step I took was to take a creative writing course on story structure and planning. It was invaluable! I learned that doing research, having your characters “built” and structuring your story, makes the journey so much more enjoyable. I couldn’t wait to write my next scenes.
Did this make me a brilliant writer? Of course not – not even close. But what it did do is help me get to the finish line which based on the stats, only a few ever do.
Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash
After months of revisions, editing and content re-writes, my book is finally self-published! Let me say that after this journey, I am in awe at my colleagues who have penned numerous novels as this is no small feat. I have, nonetheless enjoyed it so much I am already in the throws of the second novel in the Taylor Series.
Like anything, my hope is that I get better with practice…
Please visit my Author’s Site at https://www.amazon.com/author/dmporters
And don’t hesitate to provide feedback. I truly welcome it.
The dream is almost a reality. My first book (of hopefully many) is currently being edited and will very soon, be ready for distribution. It has been a wild ride from writing a story I just couldn’t get out of my head, to learning the complexities of self-publishing. I admire and applaud each and every fledgling author who has made this same journey.
Here and Then After is a sweeping love story that crosses time. It’s the first in my series of the Taylor Saga. More news to come on its release. Sign up to get more information soon. I can’t wait to share this with you.
Retired tax accountant, Elizabeth Edwards is devastated when she discovers her husband of 41 years, has been unfaithful most of their married life. What’s worse, she discovers this after he passes away, when deep, punishing secrets are revealed. She is left to struggle with the deception, and the fact that her life has been a lie.
Broken, tortured, and alone, Beth decides to leave her life behind and start over with what little time she had left.
She embarks on a journey to England that will change everything including time itself.
With her keen eye for antiques and her love of history, her plans include vising the English countryside to see its grand manors and estates. Then, the directions to a ‘hidden gem’, Taylor Manor, are disclosed to her and she is inexplicably drawn to it.
Faced with her own sudden death, Beth is given a second chance to live in the body of a beautiful, young woman living her own hell two hundred years before. In a twist of fate, the haven she is sent to is Taylor Manor, where she is to work as a maid. There she meets the brooding Lord Samuel Taylor, who has lived through his own pain and suffering.
Can Beth start over and learn to live in this new, dangerous world while resisting her growing attraction to handsome Lord Taylor? Can he allow himself to love while battling his own demons?
Love truly has no boundaries, not even time.