I thought as I reach the beginning of the final stages in my publishing my novel I’d take time to highlight parts of the journey so far.
The idea for The Legend of Ignis sparked years ago in my imagination. It’s grown and evolved over the years but something finally clicked when I sat down to write it this year. Even then, it’s amazing to me to see how it’s changed from draft to draft. I’ve challenged myself to not just stick with the first idea I have for the story. Which is surprisingly hard for me to do .
The idea has gone from one central character to three, and one character has wormed their way to the forefront in a way I didn’t imagine or plan. That’s the funny thing about an idea, it starts out either big or small. If it starts out big you whittle it down until it’s focused and strong. If it begins small you build upon the foundation until you’ve created something people want to read. I’ve enjoyed this process more than I thought I would, though I’ll be honest the revisions have become longer than I expected.
Let’s Get Down to Business
I started typing before plotting. After listening to numerous writing podcasts I realize this is means I am a pantser. I wrote by the seat of my pants, I didn’t make a big character description or list of places, etc. Did you notice I said wrote? That’s because I am not going to pants a novel again, especially as I continue to write this series. I think it would be impossible to create a consistent plot across the series if I didn’t plot, plan, and know my characters before I continue to write their story. After filling multiple plot holes, I knew one way to prevent them would be to outline and plan. I’d rather do the work upfront than later on when I’m tired of reading my own words. It’s amazing what you learn from writing your first novel. I never thought I’d be a plotter, but I’m glad I learned this lesson. I honestly believe it will improve my writing without taking away the feeling of creativity I love from writing by the seat of my pants.
My first draft had as many plot holes as a West Virginia road. I would be reading the story and think to myself, ‘why?’ and how did I miss these holes while writing. I think I can point it back to the fact I didn’t plot. I came up with the ideas and story lines on the spot- which is fun from a creative stand point but it doesn’t work well when you’re writing a fantasy story with magic, different lands and creatures. I had the world a complete jumble and it almost descended into complete chaos, but I took a deep breath and brought it all together. At least I hope I did. Sometimes plot holes are sneaky and you don’t see them until you hit them and mess up the alignment of your car- or in this case story.
When I self-published my first book last year, Adelyn’s Amazing Adventures, I didn’t get help. I had a few people read to let me know if their kids liked it, my mom helped edit it, but that’s it. The biggest mistake I made was marketing the book on my own. I thought I could do it. This time around I’m not pulling my punches. I’ve already hired a Beta reader, I’ve hired an editor who is also going to check the format, and I’m looking at hiring a marketing person. I’ve used Fiverr so far because Reedsy is extremely expensive and I’m unable to put that much money into the book right now. I’m hoping as I continue the series I’ll be able to put more money into the production. But even with my limited budget I’m excited and happy so far with the people I’ve worked with on Fiverr.
I realized this project isn’t one I want to to DIY. I want to put my best foot forward and catch people’s attention with this exciting story of a broken kingdom in need of saving.
Are you an author or a writer on the self-publishing journey as well? Comment below! I’d love to support you in your journey and I hope you subscribe to this blog and follow along on my journey!