Authors, Writers, Publishers, and Book Readers
When considering all that encompasses the process of becoming an author, one must always remember to ensure that, first and foremost, the story you choose is one that you love utterly and completely. Writing a novel is always a monumental undertaking, and that love is the only thing that will keep you driven when the work becomes drudgery. It will power you through any trial.
Let us consider all that constructing a novel entails...
At the most basic level, unless you have a superhuman capacity for typing and consideration, you will almost assuredly be writing your first draft for at least a few months. Once you have completed that, you are likely to spend another month or more reading and re-reading your new manuscript, scouring the text for continuity errors, misspellings, and grammatical mistakes that will, tragically, be riddled throughout. Then, when all that effort has been invested, you will hand your manuscript over to an editor, who will promptly find thousands more mistakes that you missed. Then you'll fix them, and give it one final read through, and you will find a small number of final flaws. And then you'll fix them...
Now, publication-ready, you will embark on the very long, slow, painful process of promoting your work and trying to get someone, anyone, to read it (and hopefully enjoy it.) You'll spend a lot of money and time and energy working to secure reviews and sponsor popular web services. You'll build (or pay someone to build) a website for your book, and you'll market your brand on social networking services and forums aggressively and endlessly. You'll talk about your book tirelessly, do countless interviews, host book readings and signings, and give free copies of your work to anyone who is willing to read it and tell their friends about it.
And when all this blood and sweat has been shed, you will finally be able to stand back, foist upon yourself a gleaming and unwarranted smile, check your sales figures and see the fruit of your labor: You have sold thirty copies... And this is the moment, when you're at your most vulnerable, that you must choose the topic for your next story...
It is because of this tremendous, and all too often unsatisfying, effort that it is important to only write of subjects that you personally enjoy. The act of creating the work should be the highest joy you expect from the entire process. If the book, at completion, manages to wiggle it's way onto a best-seller list, then that is wonderful and that moment should be cherished. But you should never write about a topic you don't find particularly engaging in a quest to achieve such an outcome.
In case you cared, this is how I choose my topic:
While everyone may have a different process, my method almost always begins with a high-level theme. I consider a general concept that I think would be interesting to explore and I write down a mission statement for the project. For example, "consequence of action and subsequent justification and self-delusion" was the general idea behind my first book, "A Line Blurred." My second book, "Shattered Wings," began as merely a desire to talk about the psychological effects of job loss and the crippling nature of addiction.
Once I have a theme in mind, I will spend some time considering possible plot directions for the concept. Often, this comes in tandem with the theme (and plot ideation may even give rise to a change to the overall theme, or the discovery of a new concept for a future work.) When I feel I have enough to get started, I will spend one evening and quickly jot down the first 2,000-5,000 words of a possible story direction. This doesn't have to be the beginning of a story, but it often is. I won't edit myself as I write, and the initial words are always extremely rough (sometimes never even making it to the final product.) The purpose is merely to create an archive of mental deliberation.
Once this initial treatment is finished, I put the words away in a file on my computer and work on something else. If all is happening according to schedule, that "something else" should be marketing efforts for the previous book. I allow myself at least a week (and in some instances, over a year) while I let the idea stew and percolate in the back of my consciousness, forming opinions and characters and plot points and determining overall direction. Once I feel I can no longer hold back, I return to the original treatment and begin the process of constructing a genuine story.
From here, my process tends to become far less formal. I rarely create outlines, and when I do I almost always break them. I just let my characters that I have mentally introduced, and likely developed unhealthy emotional attachments to, tell the story for me. You'd be amazed the direction a story will find itself going when you don't try and force it to where you originally intended it.
During this phase of the process, I will rarely work on anything else. After a few months, I have a first draft done and the whole process starts over again. It is a wonderful quest and I happily do it over and over again because the creation of a story is the ultimate joy, at least for me. I love telling stories and I love creating characters. Where it not for the innate desire, the same desire that almost every writer has, to have someone read their work and experience it for themselves, I would probably continue to write even without publication.
The story is always what must be most important if you want to be a "success."
Things have changed around here. I am now the published author by Trestle Press of “Down Low- Dead” with Vincent Zandri, “The Jersey Shore Has Eyes” with Big Daddy Abel”, “G.S.I Gelati’s Scoop Investigations Psychotic Detectives” with Thomas White, “Who Whacked The Blogger” with Benjamin Sobieck,and the soon to be released “Thad and The G-Man’s Most Awesome Adventure” with Thad Brown and “Hotel Beaumont” with B.R. Stateham. All the stories are available @ Amazon, Barnes & Nobles and Smashwords. I am also the host of the wildly popular The G-ZONE blogtalk radio show. Thanks for stopping by today; We will see you tomorrow. Have a great day. http://www.gelatisscoop.blogspot.com