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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Practical Advice for Beginning Fiction Writers by Adrianna Morgan #FMBBB

Today I am turning Full Moon Bites over to Adrianna Morgan, author of Once Upon A Fairytale Princess, to talk about her advice for writers just starting out in fiction.

The first time I actively set out to write a book, I was a freshman in college.  I had just won a writing award and was eager to embark on my writing career.  I had the perfect story; I simply had to get it onto paper.  It took me one month to write the first chapter…and six years to finish the 300 page book.  It is still unpublished.  It was also the single hardest thing I had ever done and I was disappointed it had taken so long.  Was this the life I was dooming myself to have? To spend half a decade writing one book?  My ADHD could not fathom such a thought, so I put the idea of writing from my mind until recently, when I decided to try again.
            This time, I decided to make my goal more attainable.  Instead of a 300 page volume, I aimed for a short story.  Surely, those would take a lot less time to write.  Needless to say, my short story spawned my first series, “The Blue Moon Trilogy” and in addition to the 5,000 word piece now introduced as the prologue, the series contains three 60,000 word books(200 pages) …and it took a lot less than 6 years to complete. 
            Have a goal in mind—a practical one—when beginning your novel.  How many words

 will the final manuscript have?  How many chapters?  Most publishers are looking for a minimum of 80,000 words for a full length novel.  Knowing this will help you stay on track and write the best book you can.  My formula is easy for my word count.  I average about 300 words per page and about ten chapters per book.  This allows me to easily calculate how many pages I need to write for a 40,000, 60,000 or even 90,000 word book.  This also allows me to know how many pages I need to write per day.
            Write every day.  It may feel as if you have so many things to do that you cannot write every day, but if you make that excuse, you can always find something to distract you from writing.  Like many others, I have a full schedule but I write every single day.  Even if it is three pages, it is three pages more than I had and three pages closer to the end of my story.  I read an author interview once, where the author claimed to write four hours every day.  Even if the work she produced was substandard and was not used in the final product, it allowed her to practice her writing especially on days when she did not feel like writing.  The mere act of writing will get those creative thoughts flowing and your book will be done in no time.
            As a reader, I like books which are manageable.  It could be my ADHD, but I have read a few books by first time Indie authors which I honestly thought could be broken up into two or three titles.  There is absolutely no need to write a 200,000 word single title.  I have read books of this length and a third of the way through found myself asking, “is it done yet?”
            Don’t sell yourself too cheaply.  Selling a book is serious business.  You wrote the story, edited, created your cover and have a product which needs to be put on the shelf for sale.  Don’t sell your 100,000 word novel for $0.99!  When you go shopping, you see the brand-name items, which are pricier and these can be your traditional authors selling their novels for $7.99 to $9.99.  But on those same shelves are other brands which sell for a few dollars cheaper.  They are by no means less effective items or for the “Dollar” store.  Readers see $0.99 and they immediately think Indie author or horrible book.  Already they are expecting the worst (and sometimes they get it), but many Indie books are wonderfully written.  Price your books accordingly but don’t sell yourself short.  If you want to build a fan base, write a few shorter pieces to sell for $0.99 but be sure to tell readers that the pieces are short stories.
            Edit.  Edit.  Edit.  I edit my books many times and they still end up for sale with mistakes.  You can never edit too much.  Even when you hire a professional editor, read over their work.  A trick my ninth grade English teacher taught me was to read your work out loud.  If it sounds awkward to you, it will to your reader.  It also slows down your reading so you can see missing words and other mistakes you might otherwise overlook.  It is a tedious process, but editing is supposed to be.  And that is the difference between a good edit and a poor one.
            As with everything, there will be other issues that pop up from time to time that might have you rethinking this idea to write.  But don’t give up; learn from your mistakes, your negative reviews, your rejection letters.  Whenever you feel depressed that another publisher said no, remember this, “Harry Potter” was rejected about 12 times before it was accepted and only because the daughter of the chairman of the publishing house insisted on the book.  So breathe, take it in stride and write.

 Purchase - Amazon

In a matter of moments, Ella Fitzpatrick’s life went from bad to worse. Her father’s boast pits her against every seamstress in the village all vying for the ultimate prize—guest of honor at the Prince’s ball. Once there, Ella catches the eye of the charming prince and manages to make a powerful enemy; one who is not above using magic to aid her quest. Now Ella is on the run, chasing the very villain who killed her mother ten years ago and who may be trying to kill her now. The only thing stopping Ella is her lack of knowledge about her own magical background—and Hunter, the Prince’s brooding bodyguard. Hunter Kirk has been in love with Ella since she promised to marry him when they were children. Now she is pledged to his Prince and someone might be trying to kill her. He has to get to her before the last Fitzpatrick sorceress is killed—and he loses his chance to tell her how much he loves her.

Adrianna Morgan was born in the Bahamas. Of both West Indian and African ancestry, she was exposed to the shadowy world of the supernatural at a young age. She was blessed with a mother that knew the importance of a good ghost story making her fascinated by anything that goes bump in the night. Adrianna is obsessed with werewolves, vampires and demons, oh my! A Marine Biology teacher by day, she is still intrigued by the weird and the unusual. Currently, she has 10 books on Amazon and has challenged herself to write one full novel per month this year, although she admits she is ready to throw in the towel. Almost.  Adrianna writes Urban Fantasy, Erotica and Romance. Visit her at  for more of her books.


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