You might think you don’t need to do much research because you’re writing fiction. (Isn’t fiction just making stuff up?!) You’d be wrong.
Your readers expect to be transported to your setting and to understand your characters so fully, they seem like real people. Little things like using the wrong jargon or having your main character wear the wrong type of bodice can jar your reader out of the story and cause them to lose respect for you as a writer. If they can’t trust you to get the facts right, why should they trust you to guide them through a story?
Like it or not, research is a writer’s best friend. (Next to caffeine, anyway.) So let’s talk about how to conduct research for a book.
Names — character names or the names of people in real life — are a big deal. Parents-to-be pore over baby name books for months looking for that “perfect” name. Even naming a pet can take time. You want the name to be perfect, to mean something, to be unique but not too “weird.”
Naming a character, especially in a longer piece of writing, can be just as agonizing and is definitely just as important.
How long does it take to write a book? Writing the first draft of a book is a grueling, intimidating process. But it doesn’t have to be a slow process.
Ask one hundred writers how long it takes them to write their first drafts and you’ll get one hundred different answers. There is no perfect length of time to spend on a first draft.
You will find, though, that the writers whose answer is closer to a couple of months than to a couple of years are most likely more successful.
Today I want to talk about fear. Fear of writing, fear of sharing your work, fear of publishing—and how you can overcome it.
Writers face fear on a day-to-day basis.
The self-doubt. The fear of failure. And, oh, the vulnerability.
Writing is hard enough with all the self-evaluation and doubt about your abilities. But then sharing your work with other people so they can critique or review it? CRINGE.
When you sink into that fear it debilitates you. If you let fear hold you back, you’re ensuring you never achieve your goals. You’ll never write that book and you’ll never get published. All because you were too scared.
Are you the kind of writer that loves writing a first draft but has no idea what to do once you’re done with it? Do you worry that you don’t know how to edit a novel, and freeze up because of this?
Editing is hard, but luckily there are strategies you can take when editing your first draft (and others), or even if it’s your first time.
In this article, I’ll teach you the process I’ve learned after years of struggling to edit. But first, there’s one thing we have to get out of the way: