Yeah, that’s how I’ve been feeling these past few weeks. I am super-excited to be launching an indie career over the next few months. I’ve been writing professionally since 2008, and my first two works of fiction will go live on September 6.
That means lots of research. Over the years I’ve read my fair share of books on writing craft and the writing biz, but for some reason I’m starting to feel overwhelmed by all the information I’m trying to process. Maybe because I feel like I finally have to make choices with that info. Information such as…
- You can’t write a cohesive first draft if you don’t know at least the basics of your plot.
- You can write bird by bird, scene by scene, one word at a time.
- All first drafts are crap. Revision is your lifeline.
- Revision is for suckers.
- All good books have a three-act structure.
- Three-act structure is an artificially imposed construct. Feel free to ignore it.
- KDP Select and Kindle Unlimited are going to make you a fortune.
- Run as far and as fast as you can from KDP Select and Kindle Unlimited.
- If you write quickly you can make a living writing short fiction.
- No one makes money writing short fiction.
- If you’re going indie, you need your own imprint.
- Starting a publishing imprint for your self-published books makes it look like you’re trying to trick readers into thinking you’re not self-published.
- You shouldn’t…
- You should…
- You’re doomed if you don’t…
- You’re doom if you do…
Head. Exploding. Too. Much. Information.
You seen what I mean, right? So here are a few things I’ve learned so far:
One: Most of what I learn as an indie author will be trial and error.
You can’t necessarily replicate someone else’s results. So much of what I’ll learn won’t be from reading someone else’s blog post but from my own experience.
Two: If someone gives you a hard and fast rule regarding process, it might not work for you.
Just because outlining has worked for another author for twenty years, that doesn’t mean you’ll get there by outlining. And just because another author has written by the seat of his/her pants for twenty years, that doesn’t mean you can. Process is highly individual, so do what works for you.
Yes, all that information is still giving me a headache. And I will probably spend the next few years sorting out what works from what doesn’t work. Or the next few decades. (Seriously, I hope not.)
Lastly, a brief ROW80 check-in…
Writing: Did one last read-through of The Faerie Key and sent it to the proofreader. Starting a second draft of White Wolf, Red Cloak, a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. My goal is to finish that draft this week and get that story to the editor soon, and then start revisions on Spellfire’s Kiss.
Reading: Finished reading Twilight Guardians. Loved the world. As always, Maggie Shayne’s writing was excellent. Love her books. Currently reading Garden Witch’s Herbal by Ellen Dugan, which is packed full of flower, plant, and tree lore and magical correspondences.
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What about you? How do you handle conflicting writing advice? What are some of the contradictory pieces of advice you’ve received over the years, and how have you sorted them out?