We’ve all heard the saying, “the devil is in the details” or some variation of it. I’d like to think that this doesn’t apply to novels because a novel isn’t a house. It’s not an eloquently designed red carpet dress where yes, the devil is in the details. A novel is fluid and needs to flow smoothly. However, what I’ve come to notice is that when it comes to novel writing, sadly, the devil is in the details. These details can and will wreck havoc on your story.
Let’s face it…writing something new, a story that hasn’t been told before just isn’t going to happen. Not in this day and age.
Authors, our job is not to reinvent the wheel. Our job is to entertain, educate, enlighten, and entertain. I know I said it twice but I had to. Entertainment is just that important. It’s the reason most readers (and all of my readers) buy a book.
So, instead of pulling out your hair as you search Goodreads or Amazon in frustration, seeing title after title of that ploy you just KNEW was your original idea, BREATHE! Grab a cup of coffee or tea and let’s hash this out.
In regards to my own writing, this has been a hard month for me. From the minute you tell someone that you want to write a book, “Grow thicker skin” is repeated so much that it quickly becomes the indie author’s mantra. Let’s face it, indie authors open ourselves up for all types of criticism because we’re more accessible to our readers. Therefore, it is important to have thick skin.
But to some, writing a negative review isn’t enough. They take it as their personal mission to kick an author they don’t like in every way possible. It’s been happening to me all month and I’m seeing it happen to more and more of my author pals on a more frequent basis.
That’s why today’s tip has nothing to do with your book.
Whether it’s fiction, self-help, a memoir, or a comic book, writing is hard. It’s an emotional journey that anyone who sees it through deserves respect. It doesn’t matter if the book is an NYT Bestseller or a Dollar Store Bestseller.
CONGRATULATIONS AUTHOR! You wrote a book! That’s awesome! WELL DONE KIDDO!
When you’re down…when your publisher (or former publisher) crosses you out, when your readers feel it’s their responsibility to tell you that you suck, take a deep breath and go to your happy place. Look for other authors for comfort and to vent to. We’ve all been there, and while it doesn’t get easier to deal with, you have a support system.
No matter what that review said, no matter what that email or private message on FB said, you’re awesome because you’re doing something that few get to do. Live your dream.
Write the story that is in your heart and head. Don’t ever let anyone discourage you from doing the thing you set out to accomplish. Be excellent, be awesome, be great. What other people think doesn’t matter.
Author bullying is a real thing…sad but true. And sometimes ignoring the bullshit is easier said than done. It is during those times when you focus on the story in your heart and why you picked up a pen and pad in the first place.
If it was for a royalty check, you might have an easier time stepping away from the industry for awhile. But if you’re an author like me, you write because it’s one of the few things you’re passionate about. You’re writing because, like air, you can’t live without it.
You don’t have to write on demand. You’re not a microwave writer. Take the time you need to tell the story the way you want to tell it and the hell with everyone else.
They’re your words on paper. It’s your heart on that page. Your friends, readers, and those who care about you will support you and put a protective shield around your heart if you allow us to.
I previously wrote a piece on why editing is so important, especially for Indie Authors. I believe the general consensus among the writing community is that authors really need to stop publishing unedited or barely edited books.
However, I think there is a bigger problem. Before there was Jackie Chanel, the contemporary romance author, I was (insert real name here) behind the scenes doing editing work. It’s been a positive and negative experience.
I believe the problem lies with authors not understanding an editor’s job or exactly what editing is. Most people that I’ve come in contact with believe that an editor’s job is to correct spelling and grammar. True, but that is not all an editor does. In fact, if that’s all you’re getting for $.02 per word, hit me up because you’re wasting good money.