Saturday, December 10, 2011

8 MINDSETS OF A NEWBIE WRITER DEBUNKED.



MINDSET #1
          I have got a million-dollar storyline.....

          Most of the time this is always true, check out the synopsis of my first book titled THE SEPTAVALENT STONE, which by the way has been withdrawn from markets now....


Mrs. Ama never told Andrew that she was a renowned witch or that his uncle was a retired magical salesman who traded contraband dark magical objects. If she had, he would have known that:
1.    Traveling to his uncle's house to stay for a few weeks was a bad idea, and,
2.    Forgetting to search his box before leaving the house in case anything sinister found its way into it was also a bad idea.
            Instead, Andrew has to learn about his uncle the hard way as strange things begin to happen around him. As the medical schools in Africa grow worse academically, Andrew transfers to Norgads University in Ukraine where a group of fellow nephews-and-kids of mystic parentage have mysteriously convened, unaware that he holds, in his box, an ancient relic that belongs to a very powerful being called an elder.
            But just when he thinks he can settle down and finally study, he discovers the stone, and to make matters worse, his cousin, the wild and unpredictable Aloysia, arrives on her father's orders to retrieve it. With a second war threatening to repeat itself between the two families, and the power of the stone causing the school cadavers to arise and attack the students, Andrew and Aloysia must put aside all differences, and team up to solve the mystery behind the stone which leads him to learn lesson number three:
            There are some situations that two enemies cannot pass through together without becoming best friends.
 The Septavalent stone is an epic 80,000-word novel about family rivalry, secrets, campus life and supernatural beings, which will engage both loyal and casual YA readers, with cross-over potential for twenty-something men, (i hope). Andrew's story celebrates a broad multicultural and international appeal.

Yeah I know right, if you're a fantasy junkie in love with all things magic related, you'd love to devour this book with your eyes right. I though so!!!
But here's the thing, yes it's a million dollar storyline (as far as I'm concerned), the reaction I got from a veteran writer when she read the synopsis is clear proof of that, however a good book is not dependent on storyline alone.
          There's delivery, there's dialogue, there's grammar, there's character development, and a couple of other things. That is why most books with good summaries end up with bad reviews. In order not to fall into this mess of a thing, after you have written your first book, have it critiqued by worthy people, if you don't have that, then hire an editor, not just any editor, but someone you can work with, and most importantly someone reputable in the business.

MINDSET #2
          Your family are the worst people to ask for feedback on your book...

          Yes I totally agree with this, you don't expect your mum and dad to tell you that your book, which honestly is a disaster and has no hope of ever getting bought just like that, is not good. They'll be like, and in a distracted manner too, “It's lovely, interesting, you're very talented and bla bla.” But here's a way to trick them into telling you the truth without them even knowing it.
Select your best chapter, probably the first one, and make sure it's really short. Ask them to read it and let them tell you what they think. Also let them know that if they wanted to read the rest they could ask for it.
If after reading the short chapter, and they give you reports telling you how brilliant it is, yet they don't ask you for the rest or something, trust me their pants are on fire because they're lying.
If on the other hand, they go on to ask for the next chapters, you know that at least it is readable but that's not all, you still need an editor.

MINDSET#3
          My book is really good, I'll let it speak for itself instead of spending time publicizing it....

          Well you are definitely a newbie if you're thinking along this line. Really, are you JK Rowling or Stephanie Meyer, are you Stephen King? I did not think so.
It's not just enough to own a blog, you have to network, make friends on line, build a face book fan page, have a twitter account, and tweet sensibly; regularly, but sensibly. Do giveaways, read other people's books and blogs, add a comment or two, say hi, give honest and helpful reviews as you would want them to do yours. Do your research on bloggers, don't go giving your book to bloggers who instead of giving constructive criticism, rip your book to shreds just because he or she wasn't into it.
          NB. Chances are that they'll still get to your book whether you give them or not, but at least you didn't ask them for it.

MINDSET#4
          I've finished the book, I've had it edited and promoted, let me sit back and watch the sales sky rocket.....

          Same advice as mindset number three. There's no such thing as “I've promoted.” You'll be shocked at what a little bit more of promoting will do to the already phenomenal sales of the HARRY POTTER book, because the truth is that not everyone has read your book so the more you promote, the more sales you get if you're lucky. Also don't just stick to one book, you have to keep the thread going. While you promote you should be working on another project because whether you write a good book or not, you will be forgotten in a year or two except you get out another book which is equally as good, or better. So keep writing, and keep promoting because the work never stops which is why I believe that you have to love the art of story writing and all the baggage that comes with it before deciding to be serious about it.
          Neither Harry Potter nor Twilight was made in a day.

MINDSET #5
          I better follow the trend, I'm going to write about vampires now and make a quick buck off it.

          Chances are that by the time you finish writing it, the trend would have been over, then what are you going to do.
          Please guys following popular trend doesn't always work in one's favor. Just write what you love (like me I love all things paranormal and magic related) except you've been given a contract to write otherwise. Who knows you might be the one to set a new trend.

MINDSET#6
          If I follow other writers on twitter and face book, it'll help in getting my book out.

          Take it from me, if you think making a lot of friends with authors on face book and twitter will get them to read your book and refer you to an agent or something, then 90% of the time you're going to be disappointed. Notice I said 90%. There was this author I was fortunate enough to chat with on face book (it was an epic moment for me when she replied my message) she read the book blurb and wondered why I wasn't already represented, then she said she'll refer me to her agent.
          Now should I start getting angry that she hasn't' spoken to me since then, should I assume she was lying and was just too nice that she couldn't ignore me?
          No, here's why?
          She's busy too. She has books to write and has a life and family, so while she's handling that, it might not be convenient for her to pay attention to a newbie self-published author.
          What am I saying? If you really want to make friends on face book, don't limit it to other authors because you'll only get useful information on how to go about your book business, and it's usually from their status updates and stuffs, so that's a good thing. However you should also add book reviewers, normal readers who like your kind of books from the pages they like and all.
          Don't expect anything from it, but hope for the best.

MINDSET#7
          A good cover is all I need to rope them in.

          Then what happens to the book interior. I love reading books which have adobe garamond fonts or something close to that. A good cover goes a long way, but if the formatting and font is not so great, or too stylish, you might lose me as a reader. Just remember that simple is usually enough.

MINDSET#8
          Maybe if I pray and fast, God'll make my book a best-seller.

          Okay maybe I've gone bunkers putting this but it's true. If I could have this mentality, why not a few other people too.
Like I said in a post I did earlier, God is not a magician. Pray and fast all you want but if you don't put in the necessary effort you can to bring forth the best, the only thing God will do is to keep you healthy and keep your hands free from Parkinson's.

All in all what am I trying to say guys.
You can read this post a million times, but you're still going to have one of this mindsets but with time and experience you'll see.
It's not an easy thing to be a writer, self-published or agented. The work only starts after you've written the book then there's all the other things that follow in order to get the book up and ready.

Just put up the hard work and if you're into it, pray. If not, expect the worst and hope for the best. The best usually happens though, my other writer friends are testimonies.

3 comments:

  1. Well said. I laughed out loud at the last one. Very funny graphic. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. thank you guys for the commentz. @stacy, it was way cooler in my head.... lol

    ReplyDelete

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