Faith Simone

All Things Written…To Inspire and Encourage

So You Want To Write A Novel?

Novel ideaSo, you want to write a novel huh? First off, kudos to you! The desire to write a novel is, well, a novel idea. (Que punchline drum sequence…are those birds I hear chirping too?) Anyway, I remember when I first decided to write a book.

I. did. not. have. a. single. clue.

Not one! I knew I liked to write. I’d read hundreds, maybe even thousands of books. How hard could it be? So I started writing. About 8-9 months later I ended up with a 150, 000 word manuscript of epic proportions. Literally, it’s the size of an epic story. Sadly, it’s not an epic genre type book. The exorbitantly high word count was my first mistake. Unfortunately, I also made quite a few more mistakes and that’s why I’m reaching out to you today. It all boils down to one thing:

DON’T DO WHAT I DID!

I didn’t mean to yell at you but, seriously, learn from my mistakes.  For the next month or two, I plan to tediously edit my novel for the gazillionth time. I’m not talking about a little light grammatical editing. Oh no, I’m talking full on hard-core content editing. As in re-ordering sequences, making crucial cuts, etc. It sucks. It all could have been avoided if I’d done one little thing. It’s the thing I want you to do before you even THINK about writing your novel.

STUDY THE CRAFT OF WRITING!

Ok, so I did mean to yell at you that time. It’s all love, I promise. I wish someone had yelled at me to study the craft of writing before I wrote a gorilla beast of a novel! If they had, I’d already have my first novel published and could currently be spending time happily writing my next one. Instead, I’m constantly re-writing that sucker. Now that I’ve spent time studying the craft of writing, I know how to make my book the best it can possibly be. But honestly, it’s a huge pain in my ba-donk-a donk!

I love my first novel. After all, it’s my baby. And I’m proud of the fact that even though I wrote it when I didn’t have a whiff of a clue, it’s worth all the re-writes and edits.  It’s a solid first effort and there’s so much to it that all of my laborious editing is time well spent. Going through this is a learning process that will serve me well in my future literary endeavors.

You, however, don’t have to engage in the same remedial learning process I’m currently experiencing. Save yourself the drama and take time to really learn all the ins and outs of novel-writing. This doesn’t have to mean going back to school and enrolling in a creative writing program. Although, if you’re blessed with the opportunity to do so, by all means, go for it. What I’m saying is take workshops and seminars on character development, plot outlining, novel structure, point-of-view, chapter spacing, etc. Read lots of books on the topic of writing. Attend writer’s conferences. Do whatever it takes to make sure you’re fully prepared to tell the story in your head with style, grace and respect for the art of writing.

You’ll thank me (and yourself) later.

Chime in y’all!

Newbies: What made you decide to write a novel? Do you feel prepared skill wise to write the story in your head?

Seasoned writers: What did you learn during your first novel-writing experience? What would you do differently if you could turn back time? 

Photo credit: duncan / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

 

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Monday E-Book Freebies for Kindle!

It’s that time again: free books to help us make it through another tedious Monday! Although to be honest, I’m feeling pretty good. I woke up early to work out and have the whole self righteous thing going at the moment. You know, the whole ‘I’m a responsible adult who understands the value of self care’ feeling…let’s hope I stick to it! But anywho, here are some great books I downloaded to my Kindle this morning. They’re currently my favorite price: free. I hope you find something that interests you!

Simply click on the book cover image to get yours via Amazon.com.

Speak NowSpeak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace by Lashanda Michelle

Genre: Christian Fiction

Book Description:

Dana’s dreams came true when Gavin proposed and they ran to the courthouse to get married. Everyone is happy for them, except for her new mother-in-law, who isn’t afraid to let her disappointment with her son’s decision show. It all comes to a head when the ladies meet each other for the first time, and Dana realizes there was an important conversation she and Gavin should have had before they became husband and wife.

 

 

 

Paris

Paris In My Springtime by Vernon Coleman

Genre: Memoir

Book Description:

While sorting through boxes in his attic, Vernon Coleman found a diary he had kept during a stay in Paris in the 1960s. He had started medical school but been taken ill and had to abandon his studies temporarily. He had two choices: a temporary job driving a fish delivery van or a trip to Paris. After much thought (lasting nearly a second) he chose to go to Paris. This is the story of what happened that year. He met some remarkable characters, had his first real romance and learnt a good deal about life. 
Vernon Coleman is a qualified doctor who has earned his living as a professional author for over 30 years. His books have sold over two million copies in hardback and paperback in the UK and been translated into 24 languages. An award winning film was made of his novel Mrs Caldicot’s Cabbage War. His bestselling medical books include Bodypower (the subject of three TV series and one radio series), How To Stop Your Doctor Killing You and many more. He is the author of over 100 books and a list of books available in kindle form is available on his Amazon Author listing. 

 

Weight loss

The Complete Guide to Weight Loss Motivation by Bill Rockwell

Genre: Self-help

Book Descriptions:

Are you tired of trying various diets and exercises to lose weight, but which just don’t seem to work? 
Do you always “fall off the horse” because you start getting discouraged and frustrated when you see no results? 
Well, if you said “yes” to any of the questions above, say goodbye to all those doubts, because this book will help you to find the answers. This book will keep you motivated from the moment you start your weight loss journey until you have lost all the pounds you wanted to lose, and will help you maintain your weight. Motivation is the key to success; be motivated and prevent yourself from “falling off the horse” and having to start over again as you follow this guide. 
This book offers things to avoid – such as fad diets – in order to lose weight effectively. Also, it will offer knowledge behind the common reasons behind weight gain and how to effectively counter it. Wrong perceptions only lead to failure; the valid and invalid reasons to lose weight will make you realize what matters most and why you really need to lose weight. 

 

Romancing  Romancing Retha by Cindy Brea

Genre: Women’s Fiction       

Book Description:

Jaren Daniels is one of the most sexual attractive men Retha Lindo has ever set her eyes upon. Not only is the man gorgeous to look at, he is intelligent, considerate and generous to a fault. The fact that he is a Major League Baseball player and a superstar only adds to his appeal; he has the whole package. He is wealthy and a much sought after celebrity. These traits alone carry a certain degree of appeal, but Jaren has so much charm and personality it is hard not to gravitate toward him. His smile, which is genuinely beautiful, consumes his entire face and would leave almost any woman a little shaken. He is tall, lean, and muscular and wears well-fitted clothing that show off his style and physique to their best advantage. It is impossible for Retha to resist Jaren’s easy friendship or his generosity. She soon finds herself spending a New York vacation in his home and nights in his bed. Jaren has what he believes is a perfect life and no desire for an exclusive relationship with Retha or anyone else. After a great deal of effort to resist, he gives way to his urges to spend time with her but soon begins to run scared. Retha is torn between memories of a past perfect love, the love and devotion of a faithful friend, and the passion of an ill-advised affair with Jaren. She knows what she wants but is unsure what is best. As is sometimes the case, both Retha and Jaren have plenty of friends and family to offer advice and interfere in their lives, but each makes their own decisions. Will Jaren relegate Retha to an obscure shelf in his life alongside the other women who have sought his attentions so he can continue his free and easy lifestyle risking the possibility of losing her forever? Does Retha plunge head first into a relationship based on desire, choose the safety and reliability of a good friend, or will she cast both aside to remain in a dream world of past love lost? Fate assists Retha in making a choice which she comes to believe was a mistake. Instead of demanding and fighting for the love and respect she deserves, she chooses to take a cowardly action and violates the trust of one she cherishes greatly. Her deceitfulness complicates the possibility of an honest relationship and may cause her to lose both love and friendship.

I know it’s an odd mix, but hey, I’m an odd person. If  you decide to check any of the books above out, let me know in the comments below!

 

 

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Some Tips For When It’s Time To Submit Your Novel by Harry Illingworth

Faith Simone:

Because I wrote a long rant about self publishing yesterday, I thought I’d balance it out by sharing this great article on agent submissions today. I am nothing if not balanced… or does this qualify as unbalanced? Whateves. Enjoy!

Originally posted on DHH Literary Agency:

With the never ending excitement of London Book Fair 2014  this week, I thought it would be helpful to those aspiring novelists out there to give you some advice on how to submit your novel when it comes to that dreaded time. Give your novel the chance it deserves, submitting doesn’t have to be terrifying, but it certainly helps to know what you’re doing.

Follow the rules.

This may sound simple enough, but you’d be amazed at how many people don’t follow the instructions laid out before them. Every agency will have its own guidelines, all probably very similar, follow them. If they ask for 10,000 words, send as close to 10,000 as possible. If they ask for the first three chapters, send them. Don’t send what you feel are your strongest chapters. Don’t tailor the rules to suit yourself. You put yourself on the back foot from the…

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Why the Residual Stigma of Independent Publishing Needs to End

Gutenberg-Press

Gutenberg-Press

This will be a rant post. I rarely indulge in rants, but today I feel that it is totally necessary. Here are my personal thoughts on why the residual stigma of independent/self publishing needs to end. It’s a new day people.

The Stigma

Back in the olden days of publishing ( a whole ten years ago) independent publishing was often times considered a last resort by most writers. Self publishing was a consolation prize. Authors tirelessly queried agents and/or the major publishing houses, and if they were not one of the chosen few for publication, they either published through a vanity press or self publishing resource. The upside was that they got their work published! The downside was that more often than not, said work was not up to industry standards. And so began the stigma of self published books.  Readers are discerning, and back in the day, they quickly learned that purchasing a self published book was risky. At the time, self published might as well have been synonymous with low quality.

The Evolution

Well, I’m here to proclaim that it’s time for the stigma to stop! Independent publishing has evolved at a rapid pace. It is now the preferred form of publishing for many authors. Even those that have previously published through one of the big five publishing houses. Many writers are no longer putting out sub par work, thanks in large part to the gigantic network of freelance editors, cover designers, and graphic artists. Lot’s of self published books can easily sit on the shelf next traditionally published books, and compete at the same level.

The Revolution

Thanks to the e-book revolution, independent writers are now able to reach a broad base of potential readers with little monetary investment. Previously, independent writers had to take a gamble on ordering and paying for x amount of books in the hopes of selling the majority of them. Now, an independent writer  with a successful marketing plan can easily sell thousands of books. Independently published authors also avoid getting locked into disadvantageous publishing contracts. There’s no stress over meeting the demands of a contract and earning beyond their advance check in order to see additional profit.

The Future

Ambition

Marketing Seminar

Self-published authors are so freaking phenomenal that they are often courted by major publishing houses. That’s right. The much sought after big dogs of publishing are known to reach out to a successfully independently published author because they recognize the writer’s talent and readership. That’s a game changer y’all. Could there actually come a day when major publishing houses only consider working with authors that have previously self published? Along with a query letter and synopsis, will publishing houses also require an independently published sales report? You might think I’m reaching, but I would not be surprised in the least if it happened in the next ten years or so. Remember that you heard it here first!

The Bottom Line

Independent publishers are mavericks. They are the cowboys of our literary wild west; the intellectual gangsters of the publishing underworld. They are entrepreneurs, risk takers and optimists. They are writers that like having options and complete creative control. But most of all, they’re awesome. Anyone who thinks otherwise should probably go take a long walk off a short pier.

What’s your take on self-published books these days? 

Photo credit: Foter / Public Domain Mark 1.0

Photo credit: GetAmbITion / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

 

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‘Voices from the Block’ Book Launching Party

This past weekend I road-tripped to Dallas, Texas for the “Voices from the Block” book launching party. This was my first official book signing and I had a great time! I learned a lot for future author related events, which I’ll share with you in another post. Like I said, I had a great time despite the fact that everything did not go according to plan. Namely, my hair was a mess, my shoes were murdering my feet (they were ridiculously cute though, lol), I was late arriving to the venue, I was crazy nervous, etc. But, if there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s to appreciate the good times.  This book launching party was one of those times, and I will always remember it as my very first book signing event. Lessons were learned and  moments cherished. I can’t wait to do it again!   For now, I hope you take a little time to enjoy some pics! By the way, the party was a success: we sold out of books :)

Pit stop on the road to Dallas

Pit stop on the road to Dallas

My sister Carolyn gassing up the ride

My sister Carolyn gassing up the ride

Chilling on the passenger side of my best friend's ride, lol

Chilling on the passenger side of my best friend’s ride, lol

 

Welcome to Texas!

Welcome to Texas!

 

The Venue: Southside at Lamar

The Venue: South Side at Lamar

 

Authors of Voices from the Block!

Authors of ‘Voices from the Block’!

20140405_210300

Poet: Lady of Vision, me and my friend Jasmaine

 

Something about holding your own book in your hands...

Something about holding your own book in your hands…

 

The shoes from hell

The shoes from hell

My niece and nephew

My niece and nephew

Mingling and talking to party guests

Authors Ann Fields, Bregget Rideux and Sharron Pete mingling and talking to party guests

 

Me and my Godsister Candice

Me and my Godsister Candice

Me and my friend Little Laura :)

Me and my friend Little Laura :)

Authors

Authors

Papparazzi, lol.

Papparazzi, lol.

Our books!

Our books!

Have you ever gone to a book signing? Was is what you expected? Share below! 

 

 

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