Never underestimate people: 1) you have to love them readers

All too often I read an interview with an independent novelist and see something along the lines of: I did it all myself. The writing, the editing, even the formatting!

The exclamation point is justified. After writing a book entirely on your own, and spending what may be years — in any case, countless hours — huddled over your laptop or pad of paper, you can put whatever the hell you want at the end of a sentence like that. I believe you’ve earned it.

But one thing I don’t think you should do is keep your work entirely to yourself before you publish. For some reason — or maybe several reasons — many independent writers feel that they can produce a decent piece of work without having it vetted before it goes out into the world. I won’t lie, there may have been a time when I thought similarly, but after my experience with The Number 3 Mystery Book, where more than a couple of people played a vital role in reading and reviewing, I wouldn’t dream of releasing a novel any other way.

As I’ve mentioned in the Thanks section of the book, people like Duncan Kerr, Will Fairweather and Yasmin Selena — herself a talented writer — did an amazing job of pointing things out which I could never have spotted. For example, even though he’s not a writer, Dunc pointed out the contrast between light and dark in the book, and that the piece as a whole might benefit some from being made a bit smoother, while Will spurred me on during one month where I was beginning to think the whole thing was a waste of my time. At the end of the writing process, Yasmin was amazing. She read the novel in just a couple of days and gave me detailed feedback on everything from spelling and grammar — it wasn’t perfect… — to style and flow. And that isn’t it by a long shot. There were many other people besides that who played a part. (And I could go on all day about the many fine people who have already read / are presently reading the book and enjoying it.)

I wasn’t going to write this post — I’m conscious that I don’t want to ram my novel down peoples’ throats — but now I have I hope it might help some people. Just know one thing: you can only get better by showing others your work. Never be ashamed of what you have produced, and chances are that someone out there will love it too.

More coming soon on the marketing campaign surrounding my book. People have been asking me how that’s going, so I’m going to give it to them. For now, goodbye!

Advertisements

4 comments on “Never underestimate people: 1) you have to love them readers

  1. AprilinWichita says:

    I’m in process with my first young adult novella and can’t imagine doing it without my reading group!

    Like

    • chrispink says:

      Oh yeahhhh, good for you Aprilin! That’s brilliant. Some people say there are already too many novels in the world. Have you ever heard anything so stupid? Keep writing and drop an update by if you like. Cpink is always interested.
      All the best,

      Chris

      Like

  2. Yasmin Selena Butt says:

    Bless you, baby! Chris, this was a very lovely blog to read : ) I’m proud to have played a part in your novel. I coined my own motto several years ago, I live by it: ‘Never feel the need to apologise for who you are.’ Be it as a writer, painter or musician, the best work is the stuff that’s most authentic to you, because it comes loaded with certainty. But as any writer with a modicum of humilty knows, it’s impossible to be impartial or read your words with total neutrality when you’ve lived, breathed and dreamed them. Someone who gets you or sees what you’re striving for, will enhance your self-expression with their critique or opinion. It’s like polishing an already precious stone. All the facets are already there, they just need careful handling. You opened my eyes too.

    I’m glad you wrote this blog, you’re not ramming your bodacious book down anyone’s throat. I think your posts as a first-time published writer will be great in demystifying the reality of writing a novel in the 21st century – and that can only be a good thing. It’s okay for the last leg to be a bit of a team effort. Writing a novel is really, really hard work, it can be very lonely, we both know that, but if you tell a fine story, well that’s something that’s going to last forever isn’t it? So take the time to do it properly.

    And even though it will always be your baby, for anyone who cares about the importance of your dream – it will genuinely be a little thrill to have carried your baby along, even a little part of the way.. x

    Like

    • chrispink says:

      Yasmin,
      Well, what a thing to have posted on my blog. That is splendid 🙂
      It’s always a risk handing your work over to someone else, but I’m really glad I gave mine to you for review. Even if the feedback would have been mostly negative, it still would have been valid — and you’re right about it being akin to polishing a stone. I’m glad your eyes were opened too. That information is crucial not only now, but to anything you write in the future.

      Yes indeed, books will last forever. That is really pretty cool: create a book and you can make something truly eternal. That’s got to be something special.

      No matter how far the book gets, it doesn’t really matter. I’ll always write more anyway — as I hope you will. But still, I’m pleased you read it…twice. It made a big difference to the finished thing, hence the blog x

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s