First of all, my #SFF novel is available to purchase on Amazon! If you like my writing style, please check it out.
I don’t think most people realize much work we have to put on our novels until and after they’re published. I know I didn’t. I thought that after finishing the first draft, everything else would be easy.
Oh boy, how wrong I was. The first draft is a lot of work, but it’s only the first step.
But don’t get me wrong. I love every single part of this journey, even the *gasp* editing parts. Without editing, my novel wouldn’t be the literary masterpiece that it is.
As for the editing part, some say it’s not necessary if you’re going to have an agent and/or publisher. And this is true in many cases. However, my opinion is that in a crowded field, anything you do to improve your writing will get you ahead of other, similar, books.
Anyway, besides announcing to the world that my book is finally on the Amazon website, I wrote this blog to showcase the writing flowcharts I created. Note that this doesn’t include everything–far from that. There’s nothing about how to create the first draft, and I didn’t explicitly include blogging or social media here, for instance, or the amount of days I spent rolled into a ball and thinking how much my writing sucked at that moment. Not everything can (and should) fit into a chart.
Writing – Stage 1
This is the chart for stage 1. It contains everything that we need to do until we start querying.
Note that the first draft here is the version where you’re ready to get feedback. It’s not literally the first draft. I call those “draft zero.”
Also, writing the first draft is just the first step. I don’t show this to discourage writers, though. Quite the opposite. This is just to protect them. Some writers finish the first draft and bypass a lot of the other steps. Don’t query the first draft of your novel.
The truth is, if we don’t spend the time polishing our novel before querying, we will almost certainly fail. Do not start querying your #nanowrimo novel as soon as you finish it. Bree Crowder explains in this blog post that the point of NaNoWriMo is not to write a publishable novel in 30 days.
There are many places where you can get beta readers:
- Goodreads has several beta readers group. E.g. this one.
- Several writing forums have sections for beta readers. AbsoluteWrite.com has one for Beta Readers, Mentors, and Writing Buddies.
- There are also places where you pay for beta readers, e.g. this one.
Gabriella Michaelis has a blog post about how to find the right beta reader.
Writing – Stage 2
Stage 2 is if and when you get an agent. Since I bypassed this stage, I have no insights for it. If this changes in the future, I’ll update this section. AbsoluteWrite.com has a thread about this stage in the Rejection and Dejection subforum. It’s called “The Next Circle Of Hell.”
Writing – Stage 3
Stage 3 is when you finally have a publisher. Awesome. But don’t expect that your work is done. There’s a lot else to do. Here’s my chart for this stage.
Note that when I wrote this post, my novel wasn’t published yet. So everything after that was just speculation.
Please check my novel on Amazon, and review it if you like it. Together, we can make the reasonable expectations true.