Saturday, December 26, 2015

You've Finished Your Book; Now What?

   This week, I finished writing a book. It's the first in a trilogy so I know what my next project will be, but I remember what it's like to write a one-shot or finish a series. You start to wonder what you should do next. Should you start on your next book? Maybe edit the one you finished? There are many things you can do once you finish writing your book, whether it's your first or your tenth.

 Edit. Editing sucks, I know. It is frustrating and makes you feel like a horrible writer. But that's the point! Editing is about making your book as good as it can possibly be, so if you're reading your book and thinking, "Wow, this is a piece of crap," then that's good! It means that you can and know how to fix it to make it better! If you write a book, you have to edit it sometime--that's just a fact.

 Start on the Sequel. If you just finished a book, maybe you don't know if it's a one-shot or destined to be a series. How did you end the book you just finished? That's the way to tell. If you can feel that you can make it into a series, do it!
Shouldn't you edit before starting the sequel? Well, I don't because if I take something out in the first book and forget about it as I'm writing the second, I might mention that part by accident and then no one would have any idea what I'm talking about. So I edit when I'm done with the series to make it less confusing. But that's just me.

 Write Another Book. Maybe you want to take a step back from the series you're working on to write something different, and then later come back to finish the series. Who says you can't? That's awesome that you have another idea for a book! Go for it! You can always come back to the series. Though, I would suggest reading the first book before coming back to jump into writing the rest of the series. You don't want to miss any little hints that you had in the first book.

 Take a Break. Taking a break after you finish a book can be refreshing, unless you're someone that always has to write 24-7 to keep yourself sane. I fall into the latter category. If I fall out of writing, I end up reading a lot because I have to leave reality somehow. After I finish a book, I might take 1-4 days off from writing. I just can't go long without going back to my imaginary world.

 Let Someone Read Your Newly-Finished Work. Letting someone read a book you just finished is scary. I only let one or two people read my books when I'm done with them or as I'm writing them, depending. One of those people is my co-blogger over at Infinite Book Reviews, Nadia. She always gives sound advice and points out things that I miss. She's more helpful than she will ever know!
Letting someone read your book can help you fix plot twists, character structures and a whole bunch of other things that you might miss! This is called a beta reader. 
Beta readers are not explicitly proofreaders or editors, but can serve in that context. Elements highlighted by beta readers encompass things such as plot holes, problems with continuity, characterisation or believability; in fiction and non-fiction, the beta might also assist the author with fact-checking. (from Wikipedia)

 Do You Want to Publish Your Book? Are you considering trying to get your book published or self-publishing it? Well, before you do I'm going to suggest editing it first because you can never edit too many times. Polishing your work is good for you and it will help you get to where you want/need to be.
If you want to try to get your book traditionally published, your writing, characters and everything else about your book will be judged by those in the publishing industry because that's their job. They're looking for a book that will sell, but they won't want to spend months on editing your book.
If you want to self-publish, you're going to have to edit too because people aren't going to want to read something with a ton of grammatical errors and plot holes.

There are a few things for you to think about this week :) Good luck with writing!

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