Written by Chrys Phillips
When I was asked to write this editorial piece, I instantly said yes. Mainly due to the fact that I would like to have a real account of a writer’s journey from anticipating ones’ story to actually publishing it and winning awards. Therefore, read on if you desire to write and want a true article on how it came about for my series and success.
You and I, and many others want to tell a story or stories, however the maze of information, options, so-called rules of writing/publishing and not to mention the media telling us… “Look! This person was plucked out of obscurity and has a bestseller and movie deal,” haha, now doesn’t that sound familiar? Okay, I guess we should start when I decide (as do many of you) to write.
Starting To Write
Prior to my Magic Wars Saga, I actually had written two other novels that I have never had published. I recall, it was a very hot summer evening after heatwaves of 40plus degrees Celsius and yes, my air conditioner decided to stop! I went to the fridge for ice water and went to my bedroom, it was around midnight. I lay there moody and upset with how hot it was and that I wanted to totally escape everything! I looked out of the glass doors and saw the moon. It looked cool and serene, the total contrast to what I was feeling. Then I began to think of a place I’d love to be in. In that very moment the coastal, humble town of Lakeview was invented, alongside its characters. I wrote notes and more notes and the sun literally rose and I knew this was the one I would diligently put my full creativity and passion into!
Thus sprung the writing process! My daughter was around fourteen and I asked her, what do you think of these characters? And she was hooked! Ask someone who is the age of what you’re creatin – not for you to get the tick of approval as all creativity is subjective – but to show you a sense of what needs possible buffing to suit a wider market. I had written the first two chapters and I was drinking lattes the following day in the many, as I had gotten no sleep. I didn’t write but I sat down and delved into the characters I had and other characters to come.
Okay, ask yourself this when planning your characters?
Is he/she important?
What do they offer?
What is their tone?
Do I like them?
Why do you as the writer have to like the characters? It’s like when I’ve written screenplays for tv and film productions, if the writer doesn’t like the character in some way, it comes out in the story. You need to feel something with each one on some level otherwise, it’s a flat essence for readers. When a writer speaks from what they know of, what they feel, then a sense of a character is real and the character then exudes that element. This assists in becoming a top seller as your audience feels it’s truth and relatability.
Creating And Inspiration
In my experience I found that setting a strict benchmark of the number of words as a daily writers commitment to reach, wasn’t free enough for me to create. As that number can dictate and either make one waffle-on to fill the word count or reduce important nuisances to reach that number. I see many writers tweet this and many in writers groups chat about it and though it may be fabulous for some, for me this wasn’t the scenario. I need the freedom to write as the creativity is felt, to create each scene, characters in an organic manner. Therefore, it is important you find a system that allows you to create. Also, for many, many writers it is in the wee-small hours of night, when the inspiration strikes!
Once you have your manuscript draft written and you’ve completed a first edit, it is a great idea to find an editor that you can afford in your budget. As they are not as close to the story as you and they can fine tune it more for you. DO NOT RUSH… if you cannot afford an editor try not to rush and send out an edited manuscript.
I had a lovely editor who also agreed to not edit the grammar of each immortal or mortal character to keep its uniqueness for each character and tone. Therefore, you could search for that if required. But, I do recommend an editor for when you want to enter competitions, book blog tours or even reviews, as editing is a major issue for many and that’ll become the focal point of a review and not your actual story.
Journey To Publication
When I had my completed copy, I was published with a publishing house that was a derivative of a leading publisher. I had minimal control over the books size or some of the content and I decided to move away from that and go forth independently. It was the most fabulous way to go for my series. This is a personal choice for everyone as by no means am I saying I don’t like leading publishers, I totally do and I have considered some again.
However, when launching the second editions, being independent allowed me to keep the full intellectual property for any film adaptions and sequels. In this situation ensure you have your manuscript copyright done and then pick which direction you feel your books need to go in – either route is fantastic. Also, many publishers prefer three chapters submitted, so ensure these are fully edited and ready with no errors, as you only have one chance to get their attention.
Once you have your book launched independently or with a publishing house the following is where you have desired to be. Published and talking to fans of your book. There is nothing more rewarding than that!
My Writer Life
I totally love meeting book fans at signings and conventions. Even on social media we have such fabulous chats about the series. Most importantly, as a writer you must always write, write and write, practice is key! No short cuts bring epic success, therefore be ready for its process. Also be ready to hear people tell you not to do it based on their experience or that it’s a risky unpaid job, ha! Stay focused on your goal and if you feel you have a great story to tell, then begin telling it and if you have any questions catch me on Instagram!
Cheers to you, in reaching your writing dreams…
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