Tag Archives: writing process

Challenges in Writing a Book and How to Face Them

Challenges in Writing a Book and How to Face Them

Writing is both an easy and difficult process. It is easy because it is a very enjoyable process and a way for you to open yourself up to the world. You can express yourself in a myriad of ways through writing and it is through your own passion that makes the writing process easy. And yet the process can also be very difficult because there are so many obstacles that may come up in the future.

True you can start out the writing process without any difficulties but in the long run these obstacles may come up. So before you think of starting the writing process here are some examples of common challenges in writing and how to face them.

Writers Block

Of all the writing obstacles that you will face in the future, writers block may be one of the most difficult to combat. Imagine that you are just about to start working on a new book, you are so excited and everything seems so clear to you. You just sit down and type down the words on your laptop. You start out great, you make the setting of the book very intriguing and you are really enjoying yourself. Then out of nowhere you can’t seem to put two words together. You shrug it off at first then you stumble out a few sentences. They don’t seem to make any sense. You feel annoyed, then helpless and it dawns on you how uncertain you now feel. This is how writers block usually feels. It is an uncertainty on how you should proceed with your work. It will feel as if your mind is a blank and you can’t seem to think clearly. You can’t seem to make a coherent sentence no matter how hard you try.

Writers block in truth may stem from a lot of factors. It could be stress, overwork, anxiety etc. But no matter the factors though you should always tell yourself that you can still write. Writers Block is a challenge for any writer but it could be made even worse with self-doubt. The best way for you to face writers block is to calm your mind and look at it from a more logical perspective. Don’t obsess over the problem and take in one at a time. If you feel agitated with the situation you should try a change of scenery. This can help you look at the world through a whole new perspective on your writing.

Another great way to combat Writers block is to go out and take a walk, travel if you can. Do anything that will help you gain a whole new perspective in life. It is also good advice to take up a more healthy way of living because having a good overall wellbeing makes the writing process so much easier. It is also a good idea to refrain from writing for a while because writing with writer’s block is akin to an athlete who competes with an injury. You will not only be ineffective but you will also damage yourself as a writer further.

Loss of inspiration

Writing a story is a very intensive activity. This is because you not only have to work at it constantly and master your craft, you also need to have inspiration to write. Inspiration is like fuel for a writer and should be cultivated as much as possible. This is why the loss of inspiration while writing a book is a very hard challenge to overcome. If you are writing a book and you lose your inspiration don’t panic. Although it is difficult to regain inspiration when it is lost you should not lose hope. One of the best ways to regain your inspiration to write is to open yourself to new things and having a well-balanced state of mind. Just stay positive and try to look at life in a positive manner and eventually you will find your inspiration again.

Lack of confidence in your work

When you write you open yourself to the world. Your thoughts on life, your ideas and philosophies are broadcast through your writing. This is why confidence is extremely important when you write. If you don’t believe in yourself how are you supposed to convince others that your book is worth reading?

Bad work ethic

Yet another challenge for a writer is bad work ethic. Writing a novel is a difficult process and if you lack the drive and work ethic you will find yourself floundering the whole time. This is why you need to develop a good work ethic.

Having a good work ethic means being able to work at a consistent pace, to be able to will yourself to work no matter how difficult the process may seem. The best way to develop a good work ethic is by having a rigid work schedule. You should stick to this work schedule no matter what whether it is the holidays or a work day. Through this practice you will be able to develop a good work ethic.

Lack of support from family

Your family is your very first form of support and most of your creative ability and inspiration stems from them. Which is why it is so important that you have their full support. There are so many ways for you to get support from your family.

It could be through emotional support such as them cheering you on, encouraging you during hard times and just simply being there for you. You could also ask for their feedback on your book and any tips that they could give. All in all having your family’s support is very important when it comes to your continuing career as a writer.

Emotional problems

We all have chinks in our armor, no one is exempted from emotional problems. You could be going through a hard time or even going through a traumatic moment in your life. And because of these emotional problems your writing may also suffer. But in truth writing can be a solace to you. Think of writing as a form of therapy where you can let out your pain. You’ll be surprised at how effective it is.

In truth writing a book is a difficult process and takes a lot of dedication and patience to get through. But always remember that as long as you work at it and do your very best you will accomplish your dream of writing your very own book.

How to Prepare Your Manuscript for Publication

How to Prepare Your Manuscript for Publication

What is a Manuscript?

When used in publishing terms a manuscript is the typewritten or handwritten draft of any literary work. It is understood to be an author’s written, typed, or word-processed copy of a work, as distinguished from the print of the same. Before the arrival of printing, all documents and books were manuscripts. Manuscripts are not defined by their contents, which may combine writing with mathematical calculations, maps, explanatory figures or illustrations. Manuscripts may be in book form, scrolls or in codex format. Illuminated manuscripts are enriched with pictures, border decorations, elaborately embossed initial letters or full-page illustrations. In short a manuscript is the prototype of a book before it is made into a book.

How do you make a Manuscript?

When you create a manuscript, there are many things to take into account. In truth when it comes to the book production process this is the most difficult because it takes a lot of time to come up with the main concept of the book. It takes a lot of hard work, soul searching and hours and hours of writing to make one. And it does not even count the additional hours of revision and double checking. It is understandable though, if you take into account of the fact that some books have at least 100,000 to 200,000 words. Which is why you’ll need as much help as you can when you start writing a manuscript. Here are some very useful tips.

  1. Make a writing schedule that you can keep, as it was stated before the writing process takes a very long time. So you should really make plans on what time you start on your manuscript and how much time you plan to give to this schedule. It can be anytime, just as long as you can regularly keep up with the schedule.
  2. Make your workspace as comfortable as possible, it can be a café, your room or even a cabin in the woods. All that really matters is that you are comfortable.
  3. Leave the formatting and corrections for later. When you make your manuscript, especially for the first time your full attention should be on the content.
  4. Make an outline for your manuscript. Think of it as the blueprints for your book, and like any blueprint your outline must be well thought out. Don’t rush the process.
  5. Read books for inspiration. This does not mean that you get their ideas for yourself. Just use their ideas to fuel your own creative drive.
  6. Ask advice from fellow authors. It pays to ask help from fellow writers because they are some of the only people that can relate to how difficult it is to create a manuscript.
  7. Have family critique your work. It is kind of difficult to have someone go through your work and point out the inconsistencies, but if you want to be a good writer you will have to toughen up and take the criticism. So it’s best that you have family and friends check your work because you know that their criticism is not malicious but is meant to make your work better.
  8. Make a deadline for yourself. This is not meant to pressure you or give you any anxiety. It is meant to give you a feeling of responsibility for your own work.
  9. Double check your work before you send your manuscript to any publishers.
  10. Have your work checked by a professional copyeditor. Although it is good to have trust in your abilities it is still a good idea to have your book checked by a professional. It just adds to the quality of your work.

How many words should a manuscript have?

When it comes to how many words a manuscript should have, there really is no set word count. It all really depends on the genre and whether it is your first time to write a novel or you are already a veteran writer. If you are writing an adult novel 70,000 to 80,000 words are quite acceptable, but 100,000 words seem a bit too much for an adult novel. For Science fiction books 100,000 to 150,000 words are perfect, not too short that it would lack detail and not too long to make it tedious. For middle grade books 20,000 to 25,000 words is the best amount. When it comes to Young adult novels 55 to 69 thousand words are quite acceptable. For picture books 500 to 600 words are good enough. For westerns 50,000 to 80,000 words are good. As for memoirs 80 to 89 thousand is perfect. These word counts are usually the format followed by a number of writers and is thus taken as a norm.

Why are manuscripts refused by publishers?

There are a lot of reasons why manuscripts are refused by publishers. Here are some examples.

  1. The manuscript follows recent trends too closely. Although it is understandable that some authors want their books to be relevant. But sometimes following trends tend to make your book too common and in the end lose its uniqueness.
  2. The manuscript has too many errors. Although it is quite acceptable that there are some grammar mistakes on your manuscript, too many mistakes may deter the publishing house from accepting your work.
  3. The characters are too boring. When your characters have no personality and are as bland as stale bread there really is no reason for a publishing house to take it up.
  4. The plotline is predictable. It is very unlikely that your work is selected if your plots are too linear and the twist can be seen a mile away.
  5. It is too preachy. Although it is a good idea to have a moral in the story, being too preachy in your manuscript could make your book boring and unattractive to prospective publishers.
  6. It is too repetitive. The story may be moving too slowly and tends to repeat itself.
  7. The story may seem too orchestrated. One of the things that a publisher usually looks for in a story is authenticity. If the story does not seem feasible in real life, there is little chance of it getting published.
  8. The words used may seem pretentious.
  9. The story has no cohesion. The storyline is all over the place and the events and characters do not seem to mix well with one another.
  10. It is just plain boring. Although there are no glaring errors, the story in itself is just to plain, it does not seem to pop and can’t get the reader’s attention.

Where should you submit your manuscript?

In submitting a manuscript, there are two options. You can send your work to a traditional publishing house. A traditional publishing house has both advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that you need not pay a thing for the production and promotion of your book. The disadvantage is that you will give up a majority of creative and monitory rights to the company. The other option is that you can send your work to self-publishing houses. When you self-publish, the advantage is that you will have overall freedom for your book. The disadvantage is that you will have to pay for the production and promotion of your book.

7 Easy to Follow Tips to a More Effective Writer

7 Easy to Follow Tips to a More Effective Writer

The writing process is a truly strange and multifaceted thing. You can have a million dollar vocabulary or have all the time in the world, but if you don’t know how to be an effective writer your efforts are all for nothing. To convey something through the written word you need more than just words. You will need a combination of skills and qualities that will truly designate you as an effective writer.

Here are 7 tips on how to be a more effective writer.

1. Read, read and read some more!

Famed novelist Stephen King once said

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”

What people do not understand sometimes is that great writers, are not born they are made. These great writers have always had a love for reading and through their own lifetimes have read countless books that have helped shape not only their writing style but their own perceptions on life. Reading in many ways is how the writer trains himself before he starts on the writing process. Like a boxer who continually looks at himself in the mirror to perfect his jab, the writer constantly reads so that there will be a constant influx of ideas that he could draw inspiration from.

2. Brush up on your grammar

Grammar is the most technical part of the writing process. When you are writing you have to have a firm mastery of the English language and still accept the fact that you have to be a little flexible when it comes to making some of the sentences.

3. Make rough drafts

When an artist creates a work of art, he does not just go about creating it. No, the artist usually creates a rough draft of the artwork to root out any imperfections in his design. The same could be said for writers, before you can even get started on your book you should make a rough draft or an outline of your work. That way should there be any corrections, you can implement them efficiently.

4.Write, write and write some more!

The same way that effective writers read to get inspiration for their work, writers must also write as much as they can. Practice truly does make perfect, and it could not prove truer when it comes to writing. You can practice writing by keeping a diary or better yet create a blog where you can share your perceptions on the world with other people.

5. Re-write old drafts

A common mistake by some writers is that they do not know how to be their own critic. What I mean is that some are too lazy to look back and admit that they could make their work even better. You should always assume that there is always something you can do to improve your work, whether it’s just a minor tweak here or a complete overhaul of your story. Never compromise when it comes to your art.

6. Never give up

The writing process can be a hard and arduous journey. All sorts of obstacles can spring up and block your train of thought. But should that ever happen never give up. Just know that it is part of the writing process and can be overcome with perseverance.

7. Believe in what you are writing

Great writers of the past have had their own shortcomings and failures before they succeeded in their own careers. This is very important in writing. You should always believe in yourself, your skills and your work.  Belief is a truly powerful thing and a total belief in your skills as a writer are the corner stones to a good writing career.