Updated: Mar 27
In my time I have read many magical, well-written stories from my fellow indie authors. What shocks me, however, is learning that a reputable publisher has yet to publish these authors. But then again, it’s a tough business.
We may have that story within us, but there is a method of finessing that story and breathing life into it. When I first started writing, I found myself overwhelmed with dozens of amazing ideas. It was difficult to say no to story B while I was working on story A. My advice is to write an outline of what your idea is, but go back to story A.
Once the first draft is complete, let it sit for at least a month, longer if possible. Your first draft is a rough outline of the story. It is not complete. There will be plot holes. There will be undeveloped characters. There will be events in the story that confuse readers. You must take time to fine-tune these. Do not rush the process. Let it sit and go on to story B. Trust me, do not rush this process.
Once story B is complete, then come back to story A. Read it through, take notes of needed changes. Return to the creative process and rework your story into what will become draft two. Let it sit and rest. Have an alpha reader, if you can find one, look at your work. A fresh pair of eyes is invaluable.
Once the alpha reader reads through, really listen to that person. Take a step back from your work and ask yourself if the feedback is constructive. Be honest with yourself. If there is a problem, fix it now. Then proofread, edit, edit again. Then bring in an editor once the finished product satisfies you.
Even after the editor is through, read over it once more. Make sure the story is what you want others to read. Then have beta readers go through the story once more. But again, do not rush the process.
Whatever you do, take your time as you work toward publishing your book. This is the one regret that I have from the first five books I published. I realize now that the stories could have been longer. I could have developed characters further. The finished product could have been so much more than it was.
It is an urge you will experience and must fight through. Rushing wins you nothing except a brief sense of accomplishment and a small handful of happy local fans. What it will bring are dissatisfied readers and possible bad reviews. Your story deserves the time it needs to grow and become what it was always meant to be.
If you have questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I make it a point to help indie authors if I can. Here’s hoping you have the next number one book on the New York Times bestseller list. You can do it!