Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
I think I'll start tracking my progress in writing on here. I do have a separate writing-specific blog marielu.blogspot.com , but it's pretty small and not very many people see it. :)

Legend 2 progress: Finally had some decent writing yesterday and today after about a week of false starts and crappy chapters. I'm officially at 27,759 words. Hoping to get in at least 1,000 today, without having to go back and delete all of it like I've been doing. :) Day just got whacked in the face by someone. Poor boy.

-----

A commenter on my last entry suggested I should post some of the questions and my answers about writing/publishing in a new journal entry to make it easier to follow, so here I go!

Q: How did you go about deciding on what you wanted your story to accomplish, and figure out your basic plotline? Do you have any kind of suggestions about how to actually get through a first draft?

A: Plotting is extremely hard, much harder than I thought it would be before I started writing. I still have trouble coming up with good "what happens next?" plot points as I'm working on Legend 2. I think it helps to start with a catalyst event. What happens to set off a chain reaction of events in your story? That's the beginning. For example, in Legend, I came up with the characters first and I knew that I wanted it to be Day-the-boy-criminal vs. June-the-girl-detective. Then I thought about how I would get the two of them to cross paths. And from there, I created an event where Day would commit a crime that would force June into investigating it and hunting him down. What does one character want that another character doesn't want them to have? It helps to look into the relationships (and especially conflicts) between your main characters, and use that conflict between them to think of physical events that have to set off your story in motion.

Q: Do you think marketability is something that aspiring authors should keep in mind for their first novels; whether or not it will be easy to get onto the market?

A: It does help to keep a story's marketability in mind, to a certain extent. You still need to love the story you're writing. For example, I don't read a lot of vampire/paranormal novels (although I occasionally dabble). Even though they're really hot right now, I don't think I could write a good vampire novel because I'm just not as interested in it. And that will show.

The manuscript I wrote before Legend was a quieter historical novel about Mozart and his sister when they were children. I loved the story, but I also knew that it just wasn't a topic/genre that would spark heavy interest in the industry, and that even if it did sell, it probably wouldn't sell for a lot. It was purely a labor of love. With Legend, which was also a labor of love starring characters I'd had for years (any story of mine starring my character Day is a labor of love :)  ), I remember thinking to myself, "Ok, this should also be considered commercial. If THIS one doesn't get published, then it's never going to happen for me. This is as good of a story as I can write, and I don't think I can make anything else better."

Q: How would you recommend going through the drafting process? For example, do you pause to proof-read as you go or just keep going to the end then look back?

A: Ah, I do actually have a very set opinion on this! I always pause to proof-read before I continue, even in a novel's first draft. I know a lot of writers who don't do this and can continue on just fine, but it never works for me. I have to proof-read. I tried not proofreading once, and by the time I finished the first draft there were so many problems with the story that I just got discouraged and gave up on it. I think it helps to jump backward and edit so that the next chapters can go smoothly, because details you change early on can have a big effect on later plot points. I think it's best to get that down when the things you want to change are fresh in your mind.

If I'm having a really hard time with one particular chapter, though, sometimes I do just skip ahead to the next chapter. (I just did this last week, actually) I'll make a note to myself of what's supposed to be happening in the chapter that I skip, so that I don't forget. Then I go back later when I'm not so brain dead, and fill it in.

Q: How does the process of getting an agent work? Do you send your manuscript to them and then they decide whether or not they want to represent you? Does this part come before or after contacting publishers or does the agent like, help you with that? And maybe the most importantly, how much does it cost to do all this?

A: FIRST AND FOREMOST. None of this should cost you anything except your time (and occasionally stamps, if you have to snail mail query letters/manuscripts). If an agent wants you to pay them for representing you, RUN. That is a scam agent. Legit agents only take a 15% commission from the actual sale of your book to a publisher, and never before. Also, real publishers pay YOU, not the other way around. Any publisher that says you need to pay to have your book published is a vanity publisher, not a real publisher. Remember, you are selling your work to a company. Not buying. So they pay you.

For some details on how the process of getting a literary agent works, I have a tutorial in my dA gallery on that: fav.me/dhqq1f . It was done back in 2006, but it all still applies. The only difference might be that nowadays you can pretty much send email queries to all agents, as well as submit your sample chapters and entire manuscript online with Word docs.

-----

Hope this is helpful! :heart:
  • Listening to: Racketeers - Two Steps from Hell
  • Reading: The Scorch Trials - James Dashner
  • Watching: The Crazies
  • Eating: Veggie food
  • Drinking: Always agua
Add a Comment:
 
:icontheaebastian:
TheAebastian Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Wow thanks so much for all these tips!! I've started writing a story of my own, and im really liking it so far (still alot of editing to do) but anyway, i've been really worried about going about the whole process since I'm only 15 and I'm afraid publishers and agents wouldn't take me seriously If i ever decided to persue publishing. Any tips?
Reply
:iconmree:
mree Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2011  Professional Writer
Congratulations on your story! I have my fingers crossed for you!

As far as your age, you have nothing to fear. Teens get book deals all the time, some of them major (i.e. 17-year old Kody Keplinger, 13-yr old Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, etc). When you're ready to pitch, I recommend not mentioning your age as it may come off unprofessional. Let your writing speak for itself. After your sell your book, then your publisher may use your age as a marketing point. Good luck!
Reply
:icontheaebastian:
TheAebastian Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Thank you :heart: And wow believe it or not I never heard of them, thanks for pointing them out to me! Some pages will be up soon so i hope you'll give them a look!! Thanks for your help!!
Reply
:iconemilynorthey:
EmilyNorthey Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2010  Professional Photographer
This is great! Thanks for putting it up here. Everything I've been told in school runs along the same lines you've said.

I also want to let you know that I alluded to the "How to get an agent" tutorial you made while we were having a publishing discussion in class. ;) SOOO glad you have that up here too!
Reply
:iconphotofairy:
photofairy Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2010   General Artist
what a lovely journal, and helpful too! i am writing a novel and also have found plotting very hard, overall story is nothing without those page-by-page events that drive it. thank you for your suggestions in that department. i have found that proofreading is essential for me too, and i am so sorry to hear about your story that got abandoned! but i can see how it can end up in a mess, especially if the plotline is complex and there are many characters.
best of luck with your book, and thank you for the tips in this journal, i found them very helpful :)
Reply
:iconyukikun13:
Yukikun13 Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2010  Student General Artist
This is SUPER helpful! Thanks so much! One of my friends said that he knew someone who had to pay to have his books published... Glad to know from someone who really knows! =D I wish I could fave it so that I could keep this in mind always...
Reply
:iconcarrotcakeninja:
carrotcakeninja Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2010
This is extremely helpful! I'm glad you posted these in a journal and thanks very much for sharing your knowledge.
Reply
:iconsythgara:
Sythgara Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
I did send you a question regarding copyrights some time ago. How do you go about copyrighting your book...or any unique character designs that you have...if you have any original races?

Thanks
Reply
:iconmree:
mree Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2010  Professional Writer
Hi Kasia :)

Technically, your book/character designs are automatically copyrighted in the U.S. the instant you create them. If you are really concerned about it, though, you'll need to apply for a trademark or copyright. I think trademarks are ~$300 for 10 years? I can't remember the cost of a copyright. But just know that even if you can't afford this, your work is still protected under U.S. copyright law the moment they're created. If you have enough evidence on your computer that you're the creator, then I would think it'd hold up in a court of law. Best thing to do is to do some searches on this issue, or talk to an intellectual property lawyer, if you are intent on getting a copyright in writing. :)
Reply
:iconsythgara:
Sythgara Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
copyright's are much cheaper than trademark. And yes the best benefit of having that registration is that you can sue people for money damage. I've been thinkin grecently....isn't DA a good bet for having your works backed up? (my original story stuff is in storage, but they still have original upload dates. Think that's wnough? Also I do use free copyright.com to register .
Reply
:iconmree:
mree Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2010  Professional Writer
I think you're safe enough. :) Yes, dA is an excellent form of proof of creation date for any of your creative work.
Reply
:iconsythgara:
Sythgara Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
okay thanks, and sorry bout the typos ^^ '
Reply
:iconno-2b:
No-2B Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Agreed <3
Reply
:icondepleti:
depleti Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
I really gotta thank you for taking the time to answer these questions people send you, and making those tutorials (which I hadn't seen before today!). The acts of writing and creating aren't what daunts me, but the technical parts of getting an agent and an editor and getting published are. Thanks so much for your time and being so accommodating. I haven't thought of any questions myself but it's nice to know I can ask you. :D
Reply
:iconkaminowater:
KaminoWater Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
C: That certainly helps, but I still have trouble forming my words and ideas into chapters XD I'll have to work on that!
Reply
:icondazedjahkari:
DazedJahkari Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2010
This is INTENSELY useful. I recall your agent tutorials (I read them a while back, will probably give them a reread). Thanks for all the info!
Reply
:iconceryk:
Ceryk Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2010  Student Artisan Crafter
Yeah, I have trouble coming up with the "what happens" part. I have the big overview in my head, but man, when I actually try to sit down and take a 1 or 2 page that's more like an entry in a history book and add all the meat, I keep getting blocked.
Reply
:iconrheah:
Rheah Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Man I wish you could fave journals because this is awesome.
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×

:iconmree: More from mree


More from DeviantArt



Details

Submitted on
November 7, 2010
Link
Thumb

Stats

Views
1,821
Favourites
2 (who?)
Comments
18
×