Update on my First Novel

My first novel is almost complete! I’m past the 50k word mark. My plan was to produce 12 chapter with each averaging 4500 words, and write 1 chapter a week. I wanted to finish it before November so I can write a new novel for nanowrimo. I’ve kept that very close to consistent and now I’m finishing up the last chapter. I’m a little ahead of schedule- so I’ll have more time to plan my next book.

So… about my first novel: It’s a fantasy setting. I think of it as medieval with dragons. I’m not writing high fantasy, so there are no elves, orcs, dwarves, etc. There are several creatures: dragons, something similar to dragons but smaller, something similar to rhinos, but bigger, and something similar to a yeti.

The story: Two friends and one enemy/friend go on a quest to solve the riddle of a stone with mysterious markings. They’re caught in the middle of a massive war and one side want’s the stone. This leads them to a hidden Temple that contains the most powerful and dangerous weapon even known, and one side thinks they can control it. It’s called The Temple of Armaan Suun. I’m considering writing part 2 for nanowrimo.

Outlining your Book

Whether I’m writing fiction or non-fiction, I always write an outline for my book. There are many methods for outlining. Here’s a quick overview of my method.

For nonfiction I write all the major points that I want to make. I arrange the points in the order I want to cover them. This is the sequence that I want my book to follow. Then, I write some information about each point. Each of these points becomes a chapter and the information becomes a summary. When I write the chapter I use the summary to make sure that I’ve covered all the points.

For fiction I write all the major ideas and events that I want to happen. Then I arrange them in the order I want them to happen. Once I have the major outline I start writing more detail about the events. These become my synopsis of each chapter, which builds a synopsis of the book. When I’m writing the book I refer back to the outline and synopsis and this helps keep my thoughts straight and keeps me from having a character in two places at once (that can be¬†embarrassing).

Here are a few tips on outlining:

The more detail the better.

Use the outline to find plot holes, contradictions, repeat information, good flow, etc.

Use the outline to pitch the book or story idea.

Don’t be afraid to change it.

Well that’s my very brief overview of my outlining practices. Do you outline? If so, what are your outlining methods?

Writing as a Hobby

I love writing. Many people like the idea of writing, but don’t pursue writing because they think they can never be published. Well, in today’s publishing world self-publishing is easier than ever because of ereaders like the Kindle and nook, and the ease of creating PDF’s, etc. Practically anyone can self-publish, but – publishing doesn’t have to be the only reason to write. Writing is a great creative outlet. I almost always have a story idea bugging that just won’t leave me alone. Writing is a worthy hobby because it’s fun, creative, and helps keep your mind sharp.

One excuse I hear from would-be writers that are considering self-publishing is that they couldn’t make a living with it. That might be true, but even that’s OK. Selling even a single copy can be fun and make a difference for someone. It’s OK to not sell tons of copies if you enjoyed the writing process. Writing is the fun part. Even if there’s no icing on the cake with millions of sells, writing is still worth doing.

Writing is free. Many hobbies cost lots of money. Some only have a cost of supplies. If you have a computer, then writing is basically free. Of course there’s the cost of electricity and wear and tear on the computer, but that’s really negligible.

The main reason to write is because you enjoy it. Writing is a great hobby and I encourage everyone to give it a try.

What I’m Working On

I like to write both fiction and non-fiction. I’m currently working on several books in several categories. I plan to release them all on Kindle.

Non-Fiction
My non-fiction work is mostly Christian based. I’m almost done with a Bible marking guide. This one should be available soon. After that I will have several other books about the Bible and Bible study including journaling, Bible study how-to, and a few commentaries.

Fiction
I enjoy writing all types of fiction. I have too many fiction stories started, but I’m currently working on a fantasy adventure. I’ve plotted out most of the story and written over 1100 words of the first chapter.

I’m considering releasing it one chapter at a time like an ongoing serial. It could go on for one year, giving me 12 chapters to write. I have 9 chapters plotted so far. One reason I like the serial idea is that it brings results quicker. I could see something completed every month and have a feeling of accomplishment. This helps keep me motivated and focused. If it takes me too long, I tend to get sidetracked and never finish. A serial would work like a comic book. I haven’t decided yet, but I’ll keep you posted.