Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border

Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border
photo by Gene Tunick of Eureka, Montana

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tip O'Day #321 - A Young Author’s Advice

Guest blogger Zack Wall on his writing journey.

As a new author just barely out of my teen years, I found writing my first novel to be anything but traditional. Inceptum began as an assignment in college, but quickly developed into a passion I wasn’t aware I even had. I’ve learned much along the way. My biggest lesson was to never self-publish, except as a last effort to see your book in print. If you feel your story is worthy of being read by the public, then seek out a literary agent, or a small publishing company to get you on your feet.

There are thousands of agents across the country, and chances are high that at least one or two will show an interest in your book, provided it has been professionally written and edited. One way to achieve this for free is to contact professors at a nearby university, and ask if they’d be willing to review your book for grammatical errors. Many in the education field would be glad to offer their services for free or inexpensively.

Another mistake first-time authors make is with scheduling their writing sessions. If you feel you’re an “inspired writer,” that’s great, but you still need to balance time spent in front of the computer, or you will burn out from overexposure. After I completed my book, I was so sick of reading it that I didn’t even touch it for several months. Make time for yourself during periods when you won’t get distracted by anything, and sit down for at least an hour to create your story.

If you’re having trouble finding the inspiration to write, consider sitting back and ask yourself why you’re writing this particular book. What inspired you in the first place? Is the story going anywhere, or is it dead in the water? Don’t be afraid to delete a chapter here and there if they aren’t contributing to the overall flow of the book. My story was science fiction, so to find inspiration I would watch my favorite science fiction movies.

The best advice I have ever heard is to write a story you will want to read over and over. It shouldn’t matter if you never sell a single copy of your book. If you are happy with the finished product, then any sales are an added bonus.

I plan on writing many more novels in the future, as well as working on a sequel to Inceptum.

You can find Zach’s book at his website, download the Kindle version on Amazon, or follow him on the novel's official Facebook page.

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