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Monday, November 28, 2016

How to Publish Yearly

As some of you know, I'm a pretty slow writer, and by the time I'm done with a scene and have it singing, I don't regret it. But not everyone writes like I do, and not everyone wants to write like I do, and I sure as heck don't expect everyone to. So today I have Paul Silver on my blog as a guest. Paul has made a goal to write one book per year, and he's going to share how he does that for anyone else out there hoping to do the same. He recently published a new book Shadow of the Arisen, that you can learn about here.

Also, real quick, this is your last chance to enter my Fantastic Beasts giveaway of Newt's vintage Hufflepuff scarf. I'll be selecting the winner on the 30th. Anyway, here is Paul:

Finishing a novel is no small accomplishment. Often, it takes well over five hundred hours to complete and the work involved is not easy, sometimes stretching you to your creative limits. I’ve talked to plenty of writers who wonder if there’s some sort of “secret method” to constantly publish a book every year. For the past five years, I’ve published one to two books each year. I’ve found that secret formula for myself at least. I’m sure the particulars about publishing yearly differs from writer to writer, but here are five core principles that should help any writer out when working on publishing yearly.

1. Start Small

If the page count of a novel is too daunting, instead, try starting with writing a novella or short story. For years, I just couldn’t seem to finish any of the novels I had been working on. They often became overly sprawling with the plot leading nowhere. After years of frustration and a growing pile of unfinished manuscripts, I decided to start with just finishing a 40 page short story. After I completed that, I moved on to a 70 page novella. After that, a novel. That has been one of the best things I decided to do as a writer. Start from scratch, work on the micro scale and slowly ramp up to taking on the beast that is the novel. It’ll swallow you whole if you just jump into it cold.

2. Make Time

Everyone’s schedule is busy. You’re going to have to cut things out of your daily routine if you want to publish a novel every year. Sorry, no way around it. If you’re going to dump 800 hours a year to write a book, you’re going to need to scrounge up time here and there throughout your week to make time for that novel, and sometimes, that means cannibalizing recreational time or streamlining your schedule to make room for writing.

3. Do the Math

You can easily produce an estimate of how long writing a 100,000 word novel will take you to write if you record your word count over the space of an hour. To get an accurate words per hour count, I’d record ten, hour-long, writing sessions and then average your words per hour count. After you have that number, you can divide 100,000 by your words per hour count and you’ll have a rough estimate of how many hours it will take to power through a first draft. The second and third draft usually take me just as long to complete. Proofreading and editing passes usually take the same amount of time as well. Formatting, ramping up marketing plans, taking care of the cover art and any art or graphics in the novel or on your webpage, and readying the document for publishing and dealing with publishers adds an additional 100 hours or so for me. Add all that together and you’re getting a close estimate of how many hours your book might take to see through to completion.

4. Make a Deadline and Schedule

Once you have a rough estimate of how many hours it is going to take you to see a novel through to completion, you can start to schedule how many days a week and hours per day you need to spend writing so that you can make your deadline. If you think it’s going to take you 500 hours to see a novel through to completion, and you want to complete the novel in 10 months, and you only want to write 5 days a week, then for a 100,000 word novel, you’re going to have to write 2.5 hours a day, 5 days a week. Each writer’s estimate will be different, but it’s worth spending a few minutes to calculate it out. That information is good to have up front before you start, especially if you promised your reader base a timeline or launch date.

5. Stick to It

This should go without saying, but I’ve found this is the number one hardest commitment to keep when writing a novel. Writers will stick to their schedule for a month or two and then one day, they’re just too busy to write that night. One night turns into two, and so on. You can’t afford to get sidetracked. If you miss a day, don’t beat yourself up too much, but resolutely plan to make that day up on the weekend or some other time. You have to stick to the schedule if you want to finish on time.

 Lover of high fantasy, Paul Silver writes exclusively in the fantasy fiction genre, weaving tales of myth and magic, from the dark forests to the misty mountains and beyond. Want to learn more about Paul Silver or his books? Check out his website at www.authorpaulsilver.com or visit him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/authorpaulsilver/

A fallen city fell victim to a ravenous army of the dead, one that has been festering and multiplying for a year unchecked. Now, the fallen city of Brigganden poses a threat to the neighboring lands.

Reza, a saren knight, and her elite scouts are dispatched to uncover the faceless army. Once inside the city walls, they begin to understand too late the danger they are in. As they struggle to survive the rising tide of evil, fulfilling their mission becomes the least of their priorities. The dead know of their presence—and this evil hungers for more than just flesh and blood.

Learn more about Shadow of the Arisen


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