Saturday, August 29, 2015

When It's Time to Let Your Novel Fly the "Nest"

Writing a novel is a little bit like raising a teenager. Or, so I assume. I haven't yet had the pleasure of raising a teenager. But, from what I gather, they're pretty much the same thing.

Pretty much.

Every parent gets to a point where it's time to take a deep breath, drop your kid of somewhere far from home, and pay someone else a buttload of money to turn them into a respectable member of society. To me, that's bares a terrifying similarity to the author/novel relationship. It's where I find myself right now, in fact.

Think about it. You've coddled and cooed to your "work-in-progress" for so long now that people have started staring at you in the self-checkout line at Stop & Shop. Sometimes, you let others look at your novel (kid) and half-heartedly listen to their concerns and thoughts on possible improvement. Maybe you've even bragged about your book (kid) on social media so much so that your closest family and friends have blocked you. No one wants to see pictures of your kid anymore... or hear about the novel you've been working on for the better part of the last few years. It's time to let go.

You've done enough.

Whatever will be, will be... right? At some point, you just can't edit anymore. You can't show it to anymore betas. You just need to open up the front door and say, "We need your room for our new craft-space/Ebay-room. So, get out."

While I'm not 100% there just yet (and who ever really is), I think I'm super close. I've nurtured this thing and pushed it along the best I know how. It's time to put it in someone else's hands and see what comes back. Sure, on some cold winter nights, I'll be sitting at home wondering what kind of shenanigans my novel is getting into. I'll be worried that it will connect with the wrong crowd and come back home to me unrecognizable and a total waste of my time and money.

God, that sounds awful. That's not going to happen, right?


Ah, well. The point is, sometimes it is just freaking time. Enough is enough.


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Yup, I'm Still Writing

Well, hello. Been a little while, huh? I know that I can, at times, neglect this blog and my readers, but I always manage to find my way back. Someway, somehow. Rest assured, I have still been at it. I've actually been writing, editing, reading, and revising so much that I've not had time to talk about writing, editing, reading, or revising.

You get the picture.

At first, I started with a legit break for the #AmWriting world and community. My book has been through two full drafts/rounds of revision. I've had the first pair of eyes grace the pages of the novel that I've been working on for, going on, two years now. As I've said, time and again, I find that I need to rest my eyes and "break" from my work-in-progress. I actually haven't returned to the book for the past few months, but that doesn't mean I haven't stayed busy.

For starters, I've been reading. To me, reading is the ultimate homework for an author. In particular, I wanted to read works of some new, semi-undiscovered, authors in my genre (YA SciFi) to see if my novel would play nicely in the current market and how it might compare to other books out there. After that, I made a strong attempt to read works that were completely different from my own. Classic works, a couple of Stephen King, and two more mindless Robert Langdon adventures by Dan Brown. I even started reading drafts of some friends' respective works-in-progress. Honestly, I have loved everything I've been reading and it has made me all the more thirsty to get back to my own writing.

But, I haven't immediately to returned to my novel. Instead, I've done something I claimed that I would never do. I have started working on a totally new project, of a completely different length, genre, etc. It's been fun and has given me the break I've so needed.

(more on my mysterious new work, coming in a later blog, on some other day, when I'm feeling like elaborating.)

And this brings me back to what I'm always going on about. Take breaks. Read new stuff. Write new stuff. It'll end up making your old stuff, more than just stuff, all over again.


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Thoughts From a Beta-Reader

Last night, my manuscript was handed back to me (by my first beta-reader) with a ton of revision suggestions. Most everything was scribbled into the margins, but there was also an extra page handed to me with some overall thoughts and comments. We had an opportunity to sit down and talk through her notes, questions, concerns, etc. Here's what I learned:

  • Some of my characters are just written better than others. This was a little surprising to me, but I completely understood what my beta was saying. She felt that she just knew some of these folks super well and that others needed to be fleshed out more. Some of her most directed comments were about my protagonist. Eek. Sure, she's driving the plot and clearly central to the story... but, it was some of her supporting cast members that were the most vivid characters.
  • Some characters sounded too similar. This was extremely helpful. I didn't necessarily pick up on this while I was writing. It is super important for each character to have an entirely unique voice.
  • Word choice. There were some words/phrases that I used a bit too much. One in particular stood out to my beta: plopped. She commented that she saw it a few times and that she didn't think it really had a place in my novel... even once. Funny thing: I don't remember ever even using it.
  • Plot holes. She definitely dug some up and now it's my job to fill them back in. Fortunately, the two of us were able to chat about how I might do that. I already have a ton of great ideas.
  • Realistic injuries/healing time. She reminded me that my characters aren't Jack Bauer and that this isn't an episode of 24. She said that I need to make sure that injuries inflicted on my characters are given a realistic amount of healing time. She's right.
  • Consistency with a new alien language. The example given to me was Tolkien's use of language in LOTR/The Hobbit. She emphasized that when I allow a new species to speak in their own language that I must know exactly what they are saying at all times. There's needs to be consistency. If an alien character is saying "hello" in his/her own language, then he/she needs to say "hello" the same way each time. If I'm inconsistent, my readers will certainly notice.
There's more, of course, but this should give you an idea of some of the comments I received. I plan to spend today working on these revisions. I'm also giving myself a deadline of a week to make all of these fixes. I don't want it to sit too long before I hand it off to my next reader.

This is my process. As I always say, different authors won't necessarily do it this way, nor should they. Find your own process and make it work for you.

Keep checking back. Things are moving fast right now!


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Beta-Reader-ing in Real-Time

It's weird to hear my character's names coming out of someone else's mouth. My first beta reader (not coincidentally, also my wife) has been talking about the book, sharing in her general excitement, as she reads. I didn't exactly expect it all to go down this way. My assumption was that she'd read the manuscript and then hand it back with a bunch of red scribbles, a coffee-stain or two, and some general thoughts and comments. What's happened instead, however, has been completely unexpected and super-helpful.

What's cool is that I'm getting to see and hear her reaction to my words, in real-time. As she reads, I'm listening to what she tells me about characters she both wants to hear more about and characters she needs to hear more about. Her thought bubbles are right out there to see, which is great for me, as the author. I know if she's curious about the things she's supposed to be curious about and if her attention is focused on something that it possibly wasn't intended to be focused on. When she has a "woah" moment after reading a chapter, I'm hearing about that right away. When she's kind of like, "what just happened", I can start re-working that scene in my mind, immediately. She's doing a lot of foreshadowing and predicting on the direction of the story, which is so much fun to listen to. I want to know what the reader is thinking, chapter by chapter, line by line, word by word. So far, this experience is giving me just that.

If only we always could have such insight into what our readers are thinking.
Then again...


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Fresh Set of Eyeballs?

It's time. I've stared at this thing long enough. Right now, I'm half-way through my 3rd draft and I find myself consistently doing more reading than actual editing. That's not to say that there's not a lot left in my novel that needs re-working, revising, etc. I think though that, after looking at all of these words, after re-reading them so many times over the past year, I'm not really seeing it all that well anymore.

Take my first chapter. I can tell you that there's a lot that still needs fixing. I just am not sure that, this far in, my vision remains clear enough to identify what that is. I've let it rest in between drafts. There have been long stretches where I've done a lot of reading, separate from my book. My brain has taken a vacation, more than once. And still, I'm starting to realize that there are only so many times that I can read my work-in-progress.

It's time to set it all before a fresh set of eyeballs.

All along, I've told myself that I wouldn't let any beta-readers at this until I thought my manuscript was perfect. At this point, though, I feel like the entire process could use a real jump-start. Here's what I've decided to do: I've asked my wife to look at it. Once I finish my 3rd draft, she's going to do a read-through. Mind you, she has no idea (other than knowing the genre) what my novel is about. I want her to let me know what's working, 'cause I can't tell anymore. I want her to tell me what dialogue feels un-realistic or robotic, 'cause I'm now deaf to it all. I want her to pick out all the straggling clichés, cause, 'cause my hands are exhausted.

It tough, as a writer, to show your work to someone else when you know it's unfinished. In my case, it's especially difficult as this is my first novel and my wife hasn't really ever seen anything substantial written by me. To let her read what, in my mind, will only be a 3rd draft is tough.

Tough, but necessary.

I don't know if others would agree with me or decide on a completely different plan of action. Truth is, I don't really care. It is what, I believe, will work best for me. If I've learned anything throughout this process, it's that every author's process is his/her own.

So, what works for you?


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Why I'm Not Ready for #PitMad

Why the image of this gross old crock pot, you ask? Just hang on a second, okay? I'll get to that. Calm, yo self. It will eventually be a lame attempt at metaphor-ing it up, but please be patient. First, I need to vent about my lack of participation in today's awesome #PitMad. For those of you who don't know, it's an opportunity for authors in the twitter-verse to pitch their book ideas to eager agents, in 140 characters or less. Now you know (if you didn't already). On to the venting:

Gah, this is excruciating. I'm sitting here, reading all of the awesome submissions for today's #PitMad and I wish I could participate. My book is so close, I've now been working on it steadily for just over a year, and I'm bouncing all over the place at the thought of throwing my pitch out there to the wolves. Granted, I expect it to be torn to a bloody-pulp, but even that sounds freaking amazing to me.

Here's the thing, though: I'm not ready. It'd be easy enough for me to tweet my pitch out there, to see what ya'll have to say to me (good or bad). I have a bunch of variations of my pitch ready to roll. I'm ready in that sense. But the book, what would inevitably need to be ready for someone's else's (an agent's) eyes, needs more time in the crock-pot.

See what I just did there? Crock. Pot. Let that just simmer a moment.

See what I just did again? Simmer. Like in a crock-pot.

No matter how much I want to get the agent-ball rolling today, it would be the wrong decision. Why work as long and as hard as I have on this thing to rush it before it's ready? I still have months of beta-reader-ing and revisions to do. Currently, I'm on what I'd call a third draft and, just yesterday, I realized how far away I still am. The worst thing I could do right now (at least from an inexperienced/unpublished-author-point-of-view) is to false start. I need to take a step back, maybe use this day to really explore which pitches are getting the most favs, and then continue on at my own pace.

Remember, there will always be more #PitMads and similar opportunities available. This isn't my only shot. I'm seeing that my next chance might be June 4th.

The questions is, will I even be ready then? My magic 8-ball says:
I guess I'll just have to wait until then to know for sure.
good luck to all you #PitMad-ers out there. I'm rooting for you all!
...wellll, maybe not ALL of you.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Why You Shouldn't Spam Your Book At Us

Maybe, I'm incredibly naïve. Maybe, if I'm ever lucky enough to end up finishing my book and getting it published, I'll want to repeatedly wave it into everyone else's Twitter-faces. Maybe. I like to think I'll do it a little, but that I'll also have enough perspective-taking skills (and modesty) to temper it a bit. I like to think that I'll be self-aware enough not to do that, but then again... who knows?

You know what I'm talking about though, right? You'll be clicking on the #amwriting thread and expecting to "run into" other fledgling authors out there, share in the misery of struggling author-hood, maybe even get some recommendations/ads for new books out there. Some. Yet, so often, when I'm cruising through that hashtag (and others), I see so many authors out there spamming their books, their services, whatever to us all. Not advertising... spamming. And, honestly, I don't get it. Occasional advertising, is one thing. Spamming (in some instances I've seen the same person post every few minutes or so the same ad for their book, over and over) is a totally different thing, altogether. I feel it's important to differentiate.

Advertising = okay. Spamming = bad.

When I walk into the mall, I don't expect vendors to chase me around, follow me from store to store,  repeatedly blasting their wares into my line-of-sight. That's not to say that they won't (or shouldn't) advertise or try to sell me their stuff, but they're not going to do it so much so that I choose to avoid the mall entirely on my next day off. That would be counterproductive as they'd likely lose my business entirely.

Now, on twitter, particularly on the #amwriting feed, I am not expecting to buy anything. My purpose scanning that hashtag is generally to hear from other authors sharing advice on their writing processes, tips about the publishing industry, success stories, etc. Even still, I expect to see some advertisements for new works. It's awesome, in a community of writers, to see that some of us are actually reaching that goal, getting published. It's great that we have the ability and the technology to be able to dance around in front of a community of fellow writers, shouting, "Look at me, look what I did!" I, personally, love to support new authors and if there's a book out there that sounds interesting, or up my alley, I'm in. Sign me up. That's totally cool. Please tell me about your book.

Just please, don't do it that much. And you all know how much I mean. We've all seen it.

Ok, so what do I do when I see the same ad, repeatedly, within a short amount of time? I get annoyed. Sometimes I get angry, 'cause I'm trying to relax and read new posts. And then? I block you. I don't buy your book. I don't follow you. I just block you. And then the next time you try to talk about your book, I'm not going to see it. Sale lost, follower lost, and any chance at making a future connection or sale... lost.

And that's the beautiful thing about twitter. Unlike the mall, you don't have to leave the building to avoid that maniacal salesperson. You can just block 'em. For-ev-ah.

I might be in the minority, and if that's true then this post is just me complaining about a pet-peeve of mine that others can't relate to. But I think, I really do, that when I finally finish my novel I will be more conscious of how my posts might be taken by others. Sure, I'll advertise. I'll shout to the world about my triumph, even. Just not at the expense of annoying followers/potential buyers of my book until they block me.

Love, Tom

p.s. I'm tweeting and blogging about my journey writing my first book. Check me out @RimerTom

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

That Time I Finished My 2nd Draft

After letting the first draft of my manuscript rest for what seemed like forever (it was only a month), I did my first read through. At this point, where my WIP currently stands, I'm calling it a second draft. What surprised me was that I did far more reading than I did editing/revising, if that makes any sense. Sure, I fixed the obnoxious errors, typos, and god-awful sounding sentences... but, I really just wanted to get an idea of how it all sounded, how it all flowed.  Quite frankly, there was a lot of really good and a lot of really bad. Here's some of what I noticed:

*The first half of the novel was not nearly as good as the second half. This surprised me. I've read so much about people, agents, etc. saying that many authors start with really strong early pages, but then sort of peter out. For me, it was the complete opposite. I found that, starting off, I was doing far more editing and getting through a single chapter without doubting myself as a writer was more difficult. As I moved into the second half of the manuscript, I was reading much faster and was finishing chapters/scenes feeling like, "Man, that kicked ass." The key for me now will be matching the tone, pacing, writing of the 2nd half of the story with the first.

*I noticed I was reusing certain words and phrases way too frequently. This I did force myself to stop and address because it was annoying me so incredibly much. I have nothing further to say on the matter.

*Definitely found some plot holes. That'll take a little bit more thought and eventual tweaking, but at least with this initial read-through I'm aware of them. I won't allow myself to be done with the next draft until all of those have been fixed.

*Some characters are just written better than others. This is natural, I guess. I definitely will want to spend some extra time hanging out with a few of them on the next go-around, though.

So, now, I'm faced with a few other questions. Do I pick this thing right back up and get goin' on my next draft? Does it need to rest yet again? At what point do I need to start thinking about beta-reader-ing? When is it time to let another set of eyes feast upon my words?

At this point no one, and I mean no one, has seen my WIP. Not even my wife. She knows as much as the rest of you do: that it's a YA, SciFi adventure. I'm just now starting to get excited at the idea of receiving feedback, in whatever form that might take. I can't wait to share my story with others. Up to this point, it's only resided within the confines of my brain.

And that, my friends, is a terrifying place.

find me and more of my bookish rantings @RimerTom

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Reading Keeps Me Writing

Something that I've discovered during this writing process, as I'm sure many of you have during your own journeys, is that the most difficult thing to do is to keep writing. To keep on, keeping on, as I like to say. Those who have been reading this blog know that I'm attempting to write my first novel. Along the way, I've experienced (and continue to experience) moments, periods, where I stray a bit and get distracted by life, work, etc. Sometimes I just don't feel the excitement to write, to edit, and/or to look at those same words all over again. The thing is, I have kept on. I've discovered a little trick that really helps me re-energize, in those moments where the experience isn't quite as fresh. Here's what I do:

I read.

Simple right? Of course it is. That said, simple doesn't necessarily mean it's not extremely successful. (It also doesn't mean it will work for everyone.) When I'm feeling like I need a restart, I pick up a book. Often it's the newest Stephen King. Right now I'm reading his latest, Revival. Reviving me is exactly what it's done. What happens to me is that, after reading his words, and again feeling that feeling you get what a book just draws you in, I start thinking, "Man, I want my book to do that. I want my book to make someone else feel those feels." And then, simply enough, I start typing again. Writing energy returned. I'm engaged and refreshed. A revival, of sorts.

Again, this isn't necessarily for everyone. We've all got our tricks. For me, I've got to be in the right place. Sometimes just seeing another awesome piece of literature can bring me back.

So, do your thing. Whatever it is. Just remember to keep on, keeping on.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

What Would Harper Do?

Of course I'm referring to the "sequel" to Harper Lee's magnum opus To Kill A Mockingbird that is apparently on its way to us. I wonder aloud (so much so that people in public stop plucking their groceries from the shelves and stare at me) what Harper has to say about all of this. By all accounts, she's quite elderly, blind, deaf, yada-yada. There has yet to be a statement released by her. We're all to assume that she's given the green light on all of this, but... did she?

I can't help but consider the wide spectrum of emotion that this news has brought to us bookophiles of the world... I've seen both outright jubilation and abject horror (once from the same person). Many of us recoil at the sound of To Kill A Mockingbird II: Return of Boo, but couldn't our concerns be eased a bit if Harper herself came out and was like, "Look, guys. Chill. I wrote this. Trust me, I wrote it. Oh, and by the way, it's pretty freaking awesome."

Would that be so hard? That's all it would take, by the way. I mean, if she is actually coherent enough to give the "go-ahead" on the new novel, her second ever, wouldn't she also be capable of issuing one little statement?

What do you think of all of this Harper?

While we're at it, here are some more sequels of classic works that I think would be equally amazing/horrifying to myself and others like me. Fortunately, none of these ever happened.

Lord of the Flies: Part Deux. The Curse of Piggy

Macbeth 2: Dead and Loving It

The Stranger II: No Longer a Stranger

Blue Eggs and Ham: Still I Am

Sleep Tight 'Ya Morons!: A Collection of Bedtime Stories from the Mind of Holden Caulfield

On the Road. Again.

Paradise Found.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Author Panel: Transitioning from #AmWriting to #AmEditing

It's been almost two and half weeks since I finished my first draft. Everything I've read has told me to let the manuscript rest for a while (a week, three weeks, a month, longer) and then return to it with fresh eyes. The thing is, I'm struggling to stay away. All I want is to get back to it, to hang out with my characters again, and to revisit the story that I've been working on for so long. In an attempt to distract myself/get a bit more insight on what others have done, I've spoken to a group of authors about this very topic. I posed the same question to each of them and got a wide spectrum of responses. They each come from different backgrounds and with a range of publishing experiences. Some are traditionally published, some self-published, and some still unpublished. It was great to hear from so many authors, each handling this confusing stage in their own unique way. Every one of them has their "thing", their process. In a way it gives me hope. There's no one right way to make the switch from #amwriting to #amediting.
Here's what they had to say:

James Schannep ~ author of the Click Your Poison book series.

No matter what I'm working on, my first draft is terrible. Why? Because I don't let myself go back and edit until I'm done with the first draft. If something drastic changes, I'll rewrite the opener, but usually I press on until I get to the end. My first effort is this hideously deformed beast that only a mother could love. In the meantime, I leave myself copious notes about what to edit. In my Click Your Poison series (an interactive, branching-path narrative with 50+ possible endings) this gets complicated quickly. So no, I don't wait to edit. Otherwise I'd probably forget what I was doing. I keep meticulous track of "parallel paths" so I can go back and make sure they jive. After I've done rewrite after rewrite (as an example, some passes I go through looking for one specific character, to make sure their voice is distinct), I'll turn to beta-readers to make sure the story makes sense. After all, the whole story exists in my head, but readers will each have a unique journey through the book. It's quite the juggling act. But if I've done my job, each story you read will seamlessly flow from beginning to end without any hints of the surgery I've performed to get you there.

Lucas Heath ~ author of Erased, BoX, Betawolf, and the upcoming Sightless.

My editing process begins as I start writing a book. Instead of finishing a manuscript and sending it to my editor, I send chapters for her to edit while I'm writing, which helps immensely because it's easier for her to spot problems or plot holes. When it comes to my own editing, there are often times when I have writer's block and it's hard to continue on to a new chapter. When this happens, I go back to previous chapters that I haven't read in a while and edit them, which helps fight the writer’s block. When the manuscript is finally complete, I send the entire thing to my editor, with her edits and mine, and wait about a month for her to get back to me with new corrections. I make the suggested edits and then, one final time, I read through from beginning to end to make sure we didn't miss anything. Once I am done, I consider the book finished.

K.M. Zahrt ~ author of Odd Man Outlaw and Thanksgiving with Pop-Pop

The writing process varies somewhat from project to project based on a variety of factors: inspiration, time to work on it, research, etc. For book-length works, when a first draft is complete is hard to tell sometimes. On my first novel, Odd Man Outlaw, I wrote the first draft by hand. Then I made revisions while typed the thing up. I guess I would say that was the completion of the first draft. After that, I took two years off from working on it while I was in graduate school, but I wouldn't say I always take time off. For that one, the creative distance was helpful. I took another year off after the third draft before making the final revisions and edits. But, with some projects, taking time off is really disruptive. The novel I'm working on now is that way because it requires more specific research, keeping facts straight. So, it's easier for me if I can sort of stay focused in on it.  I usually do have more than one project going. Right now, I'm working my second novel, but I'm also writing short stories, when the time is right, for a new collection. I'm also a regular contributor to Michiganders Post, where I write mostly nonfiction--personal essays and reviews, so that's usually a little different. Some writers may have a strict process that works for them every time, but for me, each project takes its own trajectory. The process is easier and shorter for some projects; longer, more difficult for others. For short stories, I usually like to get through the full story arc while the idea is fresh in my mind, maybe one or two writing sessions. But that doesn't necessarily mean the final product will be much like the first draft. Some are; some aren't. For longer projects, I may do some editing along the way to help me moving forward, when new pages seem impossible to produce. That can help get me back in the story. The novel I'm working on now is that way. I drafted nearly 200 pages, then revised/edited many of those pages before moving on. Then, oddly enough, I drafted the last 50 pages of the story arc. I'm working on connecting the two sections now, which is a completely different approach to the way my first novel got done. Long story short, it depends.

Jasmine Brown ~ unpublished author
I tend to be so relieved I actually got through the first draft that I just sort of flop down and do nothing for maybe a week or two. Sometimes you get so freaking sick of your characters and the story that you just want to throw them out the window and not think for a min. You come back to it though, of course. There's a reason you stuck around to finish the book, and that's because you can see it being a book. You always have to keep in mind, though, that the first draft is supposed to suck ass. It's not going to be good. It'll be terrible. Once you accept that, you can face the first draft. Cringing and cursing and possibly crying the whole way, but you can face it. Another thing: there are drafts for a reason. It'll take a while to get through the first one and you'll want to edit as you go. Don't. Easiest thing to do is to make notes and comments on the side for things you want to change. It keeps it neat, and you can revisit later. It's a bit by bit process. It takes forever. A lot of people think the editing is easier than the actual writing. It's not. Might be harder. But it's worth it. Once you're past the first draft, and the second, you can start to see the story turning into a book people want to read. Just gotta keep the faith, I guess.

Travis Hightower ~ author of Bastion of Terra: Dreamland, Prime Time Spies, and the upcoming String Theory, Eye of the Tigress, and Tides of Pacifica

Once I complete a first draft I often go over the book itself by re-reading it and making whatever updates I can, but then I use author forums and networking with other authors to trade works and critique each other. I do this right away. Once I have chopped away at my story until it becomes THE story, I try to find a professional editor for mechanics only.

Philip Tolhurst ~ author of George and the Dragon and the upcoming Nicholas North - Schoolboy Detective

This largely depends on the project; mainly the size of the first draft and whether or not there is a deadline. As I'm self-published, the only deadlines I have to work to are either self-determined or set by publishers of anthologies I'm submitting work to. For example I'm currently reworking a Shakespeare play for an anthology and that's past its original deadline so that has gone straight from first draft into revising and editing. Both my other current projects, the sequel to my début novel and a short story set in the same universe, will go straight to editing once they are complete with very little delay. This is because I wish to publish the short story for free as soon as possible so that I can then concentrate my efforts on the sequel as I have a specific publication date set for the sequel that I do not want to miss. Other projects, like last years NaNoWriMo and the year prior to that, have barely seen the light of day since I wrote them. Last years NaNoWriMo project I intend to split into three novellas. So, later this year, I will return to that, split the work up and then edit each work separately. I'll then aim to publish them via KDP Select at some point starting in the autumn. 

Lynn Almengor ~ unpublished author of Limit Break
My novel alternates between multiple-POV’s, so I used a non-traditional writing plan that wound up working better than I hoped. Wanting to make sure that each of my four characters had a completely developed personality and story arc, I wrote their sections one at a time. When each first draft was done, I’d immediately content edit to make sure it was a cohesive whole while it was still fresh in my mind. Then I’d put it aside and start right away on the next character. When I had four complete stories, I put the chapters into the right order and then content edited everything a second time, as a lot had changed along the way. Again, I didn’t wait more than a few days before editing, but only because it had been so long since I’d touched the earlier characters that they felt new to me again.

To all of the participating authors: Thank you Lynn, Phil, Travis, Jasmine, K.M., Lucas, and James. I'm so happy that you all agreed to sprinkle bits of your collective wisdom on the rest of us.

To the rest of you: If you liked this and/or would like to participate in the next go-around, let me know! I'd love to hear from as many voices as possible as I continue on in my attempt to finish my book.

Share this post with your friends and check me out: @RimerTom