Today I have a guest post for you from Liana Brooks, whose twisty sci-fi thriller CONVERGENCE POINT - the second volume in the Time & Shadows Mystery series - has recently been released. You can find out more about the book after the post, but for now, here's Liana!
First: Writing Goals
A lot of people will tell you right here that you need a daily word count. To that I say: Ha! Ha! Ha! No.
You don’t need a daily word count. You need realistic expectations and to write on your schedule. Take a calendar and look at the month ahead. When do you actually have free time? It doesn’t need to be much, but you’ll need at least 30 minutes kid, lover, and work free. Those are your writing days. Write as much as you can in the time you have.
Second: Learn to Say Goodbye
Hard truth: Your writing will suck.
Not every book you write is good enough to represent you in the international marketplace. It’s rough saying goodbye to beloved characters. It’s hard admitting that you’ve spent a year writing and editing a piece that isn’t up to snuff. But the sooner you learn to say, “This sucks! Rewrite! Do another book!” the less time you’ll waste.
Third: Get Your Squad Involved
No book is written in a vacuum. If you have any social life whatsoever there are people around you who are going to want to know why you didn’t stay late on Saturday night, or didn’t come to bed until 3am on Thursday, or why you’re skipping Sunday brunch to stay in.
If they know you have goals and deadlines, they can support you.
If they don’t support you, they aren’t your friends. Feel free to unfriend them on FaceBook. Send them to me if they whine.
Fourth: Outlines, Villains, and Twists
Do not sit down in front of a blank screen, smile, and expect a masterpiece to pour across your keyboard. Physically typing the words on the computer (or penning them in a notebook) is the last stage of story development.
Before you start writing, make sure you have an outline, your villain’s whole story (because the villain drives the story and pacing), and at least three twists planned. There’s a ton of information on outlining on the internet. You can check www.lianabrooks.com for my outlining and plotting methods, or you can make up your own. The important thing is to plan ahead, and set a deadline on the planning. If you spend eighteen years outlining the book it probably won’t get written in this lifetime.
Fifth: Don’t Let Rejection Knock You Down
Publishing is a business with highs and lows. Rejection comes in multiple forms throughout the course of your writing; from crit partners hating your favorite scene to the one-star review left on a book a century after you die. Everything is subjective. If you take any rejection as a sign you should quit, you will fail.
Take rejections as what they are: one person’s opinion.
Sometimes you’ll see a rejection and agree, that book needs to be laid to rest. Sometimes you’ll look at the rejection and wonder what the person read, because it clearly wasn’t your book.
Sometimes the rejection is internal. If you fail to hit a deadline you may feel like all is lost. Don’t. Take a deep breath, turn the computer back on, and keep writing.
About CONVERGENCE POINT
Agent Samantha Rose has already died once … and knows the exact date she’ll die again.
Having taken down a terrorist organization bent on traveling through time to overthrow the government, Sam figured she was done dealing with the unbelievable. Finally out of backwater Alabama, she’s the senior agent in a Florida district, and her life is back on track.
Until a scientist is found dead. And then an eco-terrorist. And then a clone of herself … again.
As the pieces start to fall together, they paint a picture that seems to defy everything we know about time and physics. But the bodies are all too real, and by partnering up with Agent MacKenzie once more, they might just figure out what’s going on. And when.
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Read the opening chapter: http://www.lianabrooks.com/2015/11/sneak-peek-first-chapter-of-convergence.html
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