A book goes through many stages before it becomes a compelling story with a gorgeous cover on your bookshelf. The amount of skill and hard work that goes into writing, editing, printing, and marketing a book is phenomenal.
This piece will be the first one in a series of articles called “The Magic of Writing A Book” where I will be giving some writing tips to outline, plot, draft, edit, and revise your novel!
When I started working on my first book two years ago, I knew so little about the industry and the writing world. I jumped head first into it, met wonderful people, and learned so much along the way. Each book you write is an experience that will somehow leave a lasting effect on you. This is why I wanted to share some tips that I learned while working on my book, and that I hope will help you fellow writers improve with each draft of your book.
Of course, this is all advice based on MY personal experience and on what I know worked for ME. I’m merely passing it on in the hopes that it will work for you, too. So, let’s get down to it.
- The first draft is YOU telling YOURSELF the story: it’s the first complete version of your book, and it’s mostly for you. It’s the first step towards building your story and you might hate yourself while rereading it, but that’s completely NORMAL.
- The first draft is NEVER perfect: in fact, it couldn’t be farther away from that. It’s messy, full-on inconsistencies, lacking in so many aspects, but you know what? That’s exactly how it’s supposed to be. The important part is that you learn to see your first draft for its potential, not for its perfection. Maybe your world-building is a bit all over the place, but your character development is great. So in your second draft, you’ll know what needs improving and what doesn’t.
- Choose your Critique Partners carefully. Your CPS are there to help you work on your first draft. CPs are the first people, to read your first draft. They go through it with you, pinpoint what works and what doesn’t, and give you their most honest opinions. In my case, I have two wonderful CPs— shoutout to @bayley.pepper and @author_kathrynmarie— who’ve been more supportive than I could’ve ever wished for. Now, let’s be clear, a CP isn’t there to tell you they love your book and shower you with compliments (okay, maybe sometimes they are, for the sake of positivity). But what they’re mostly supposed to do is be blunt, honest, and push you to be the best version of yourself as a writer.
- The first draft is the hardest part: getting your story down on paper, no matter how messy it is, is the hardest part. At least, that’s how it felt to me. Once you’ve done that, the rest is just editing and rewriting to polish your manuscript. So be proud of yourself, you did it, you wrote a book!
- No matter what people say, writing is NOT easy, so if you’re a writer; part-time or full-time, it’s important that you enjoy yourself when you embark on your writing journey, surround yourself with your best people, and have FUN! Because this is my parting advice for you guys: writing is equal parts stress, work, fun, and maybe a little bit of magic ;)