If you want to write a book, here are five actual tips. (Don’t quit!)

Okay, my fellow writers, we all know that Beast article sucked. Maybe it was trying to be a tough-love kind of motivation. (Yes, it takes dedication.) Maybe it was trying to relate a truth about writing. (Yes, it can be hard.) Maybe the author was just having a terrible time as a writer and wanted to ostracize the community he desperately wanted to become a part of. (Side-eyes the article again.)

Regardless, the article was poorly written, the author comes across as a villain, AND the “tip” he gives (write everyday) while good for some people, simply can’t work for others. The author’s idea of “if you want to write a book, write everyday or quit” is a terrible mindset to have. To that end, here are five tips if you want to write a book:

1.) Read. Read so many books, inside your genre and out, whenever you can spare the time. Why? It’s important to see what’s been done in the literary world, it’s a way to build your repertoire of words (sounds weird, but seriously, reading helps you build your vocabulary), and it’s also a great space to gain inspiration.

2.) Read your work out loud. Yes, this also seems weird and maybe don’t do this in a coffee shop or other public place, but reading the scenes out loud will allow you to figure out the sticky spots, the weird transitions, the too-long sentences. It can help with pacing, too.

3.) Consider having a Post-it note on your computer (or somewhere you can dig it up easily) with an inspiring quote from your favorite author or from your favorite book. It’s something you can look at when times are rough, or when that one scene just isn’t working, or when you can’t think of how to make this one MC amazing. For me, I have this quote from Patrick Rothfuss when he guest starred on Critical Role as Ker saved on my desktop: “There are many things that move through fire and find themselves much better for it afterward.” 

4.) Try not to edit your first draft while you’re writing. It’s hard, I know. I also want to go back and fix things, but if you do that, you’ll literally never be done with the first draft. Give yourself permission to have that first draft be shit. Write whatever the hell you want. There’s always the second and third drafts to pull it into the shape you want it to be in.

5.) And finally, my last tip is a tip of the hat toward the Beast article. If you want to write a book, write. Simply write. You can write everyday. You can write once every week. You can write for a marathon weekend or a marathon month. But if you want to write a book, all you have to do is write. Write when it’s best for you.

BONUS TIP: And please, for the love of all the writing gods and goddesses and muses in this world and beyond, please don’t give up. Your story is worth telling.

I hope you have a lovely weekend.
Warm regards,
Kellie

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Bookkus Publishing

Ever heard of them? Me neither! Until a few weeks ago that is. It’s a pretty interesting publishing company created by William Yatscoff. Based in Canada, they opened just last year. Bookkus Publishing use traditional publishing aspects – editors, artists, ebooks, printing, marketing – and new avenues not yet tried. For example, the biggest draw is that a community of readers gets to review the submitted books and only after a certain review quota (and enough stars) has been met will BP start the process of publishing the manuscript.

And I’m one of the Book Reviewers!

Granted… I’ve only just joined a few weeks ago and only reviewed one book thus far, but I’ve committed myself to three books per month and will do just that. (Maybe more if I can manage.)

It seems like a really good opportunity for both the reader and the author. As a reader, you get some control as to what ‘makes it’ and, as an author, you get some honest feedback about your book – praise or constructive criticism.

Alas, I must get back to the grind. Have a lovely weekend!
Warmest regards,
Kellie

Holy Hannah, I had one!

So I was reading a lovely book last weekend called Bird by Bird by Ann Lamott, we were on our final camping trip of the season – Hence why I didn’t post last Friday, sorry! – and I had brought the book along for a tryout. (It had been one of my assigned readings in college that I really didn’t *ahem* have time to read.) Turns out, I should have read it back in junior year because it was amazing! Such a wonderful book about writing, it was a how-to without being a “how-to,” written in a clean friendly style with tons of writing humor in it. I highly suggest it.

Anyway, while reading the book, I discovered a chapter on characters. It covered the usual points of interest: how you should always know about your characters, find everything out about them even the smallest of details, but it also went into detail about how you should let them go their own way, let them grow, how sometimes they might surprise you. Well since then I never had a surprising moment with my characters, usually I knew exactly what they were supposed to be doing and saying, how they acted and reacted, what they wore to bed at night and why. Everything was pretty much set in stone.

Yet (not to sound too overly dramatic… but here I go anyway), everything changed for me that afternoon. I actually had a revelation concerning novel’s my character! She’s not trying to “just survive,” no one is trying to “just survive,” she’s actively trying to survive so she can be a part of a group, a family of sorts, a love-interest to someone else. She’s trying to survive so she can belong! It was monumental for me because up until that point I was just making her survive the events. Not in order to belong anywhere, for real, just to survive the hell she was in. It was such an obvious motivator that I haven’t the faintest idea why I didn’t see it before!

Then, as if that wasn’t mind-boggling enough, I had another one! This morning, at around 12:30 at night, it was pitch black in my room, I was laying on my bed attempting to go to sleep and I blinked. (I literally remember blinking and *poof*) There it was, the reason why my main character is so troubled, the theme/message/whatever you want to call it that I want portray to others in my novel, heck, the revelation I want my girl to go through within the novel and the means to make her see it. It was amazing. I spent the next forty minutes scribbling madly on post-it notes, praying that the mechanical pencil wouldn’t run out of lead, and cursing wondering why the heck I didn’t have actual sheets of paper beside my bed like usual. It was pretty intense.

The crazy thing is… I went from reading a book about surprises and wishing I had some with my characters, wondering what it would feel like and kind-of doubting it ever happens to anyone, to having two in one week and being really really excited about it. Honestly, I don’t know if they will pan out but I’m so glad that I experienced those moments of clarity.

So I highly recommend this book, it is now my good luck charm for writing. I don’t know if it’ll work for you, but it’s certainly a good read.

Warmest regards,
Kellie