For those of you who don’t follow me personally on Facebook, this week I started in on the second book in my new series called Empire Blue. Starting another book has brought up all the exciting prospects that come when an author plots out a new manuscript (MS). There really isn’t any author that can just jump right into writing a MS, but rather it takes time, patience, and a whole lot of research.
Rather than just tossing a bunch of pictures your way for this week’s Man Candy Monday – not that I think you all would mind that (winks) – I decided to walk through this process with you all for a few different reasons that I’ll list below.
I belong to a few different critique groups and every day I see new writers come aboard, each with the same wide-eyed trepidation that I remember all too well when I began this journey many years ago. Most are eager to learn, some may have a mindset that they don’t need to learn anymore (this frame will hurt a writer more than anything else), but most are terrified to put themselves out there. Unfortunately, on the last thing there, it is the one thing every writer MUST do if they ever want to succeed.
With a majority of these new members, I’ve been asked countless times how to go about getting your piece looked at, how I dealt with the initial shock of someone not liking my work (yes, it is hard to know that not everyone does, but that is a part of life), and how to make yourself better. The simple answer is, you just gotta rip off that band aid – literally – and get a second, third, fourth, etc, etc, person to look at it. The more, the better.
Why the reluctance, you ask, especially when authors eventually know that their pieces will be out for the world to see? Well, it’s because of a few reasons again. Authors critiquing other authors can be extremely harsh at times, sometimes more so than any editor or agent ever would be. Why? Well because we know the craft extremely well and are trying to not only draw the talent out of the other author, but also give them the “tough skin” that is needed in order to succeed in this industry. The other is because of the amount of time we go through in conducting research for the piece we want. Again, I stress that no author can just hop into a subject or idea and write out a novel – some sort, any kind of research needs to be conducted. And the first step – the idea – is only the beginning.
So while I introduce our newest Man Candy recipient, think on how you do your research or how you would – for those who are aspiring authors – and share some of your tips below.