Sunday, January 31, 2010

How to Write a Fiction Book: Query Letters!

Okay, so I know that querying isn't *technically* an aspect of writing, but if you're wanting to get published, it's definitely helpful to know how to write a great query letter.

Some great advice here:

Basics of a Solid 3-Paragraph Query

Seriously, they're awesome over there at Writer's Digest. :-)

Back to How to Write a Fiction Book Index

Sometimes the right words just don't seem to come... :-)

Does that ever happen to you? Someone asks you a question and your mind goes completely blank? In an ever-changing world one thing will always remain the same: my complete inability to come up with clever spur-of-the-moment answers. :-)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How to Write a Fiction Book: Writing Goals Part I

One of the most important things I've learned as a writer is the value of goal making. Unfortunately, it took me a few years to figure out that in order to actually finish The Key of Kilenya, I needed to pace myself, have an end in sight, and force myself to be more disciplined. Towards the end of May of '08 I sat down and made a goal to finish the book by the end of summer. At first I procrastinated the actual writing, but once I started I couldn't stop. The story burned to get out so bad I had a hard time actually leaving my computer. It was finished, aside from smoothing things over, at the beginning of July - a month earlier than I'd planned.

Making and keeping goals requires discipline, but the rewards far exceed the pain of forced writing. :-) Sit down and decide when you want your book finished by. Then set monthly goals, weekly goals, and daily goals, making sure you reach them. Even if you end up deleting or changing what you write, it's still valuable. My first draft of KofK was 115,000 words long - 45,000 words longer than it should've been for my target audience. But, in writing something every day, I was able to delve deeply into the history of my world. I got to know my characters much more than I would've had I not written so much. :-)

How much do you want to write a day? Do you want to write for a certain amount of time, or do you want to write a certain amount of words a day? Some writers like to sit in one spot for two hours and not let themselves leave till they've written something. Others make daily word count goals. It doesn't matter which way you go, just so long as it works for you and you meet your end goal of finishing your book. :-)

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

How to Write a Fiction book : Intro to Writing My Book - The Key of Kilenya :-)

Today, I decided to relate my experiences in writing a book - the journey, where it took me, what I learned, etc., and hope others learn from my experiences.

The Key of Kilenya started as an idea I had for a magical key at the age of six. I built on that idea, and it evolved into what it is now: a YA (12+) fantasy about fourteen-year-old Jacob. It will be released this July. Yay! (For more info, check out my website)

I was a BEGINNER at creative writing when I started Jacob's story. I can't say that enough - I'd never before written anything from my imagination. Unfortunately, I didn't know how much of a beginner I was until I'd made many obvious mistakes (obvious to someone who's written fiction before). Like many other novices, I figured if Michael Crichton could write, so could I. :-) (The whole, "If Yan can cook, so can you!" motto seemed to apply perfectly. :-))

I learned rather quickly that this isn't the case. It takes practice, knowledge of dos and don'ts in writing, and an understanding of where your characters and story are going.

Due to my OCDness, I'll be keeping an updated list of each topic here and will refer back to this post with every future post. I can't promise I'll blog in chronological order, but this post, at least, will show the correct order, according to how I did things. :-)

Making Goals Part I

Where Is My Story Going?

What To Do While Writing

Stop Yer Procrastinating!

Writer's Conferences, Social Networking, and "It's Who you Know"

More on Social Networking

Networking: Twitter Tips

Query Letters!