Monday, May 26, 2014

So, You Want to Write a Novel? by KD Van Brunt - guest blog and giveaway

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My Six Recommendations
K.D. Van Brunt

You’ve decided you want to write a novel and get it published. That probably means you already have some experience writing, and maybe you even have a story inside you that you’re desperate to tell. What are the things you should be doing to put yourself on the path to success. Here are my recommendations:

1. Write every day. This sounds obvious, but it’s not always easy to do. You need to arrange your life so that you can write on a regular basis. If you write only when the mood strikes you or you’re feeling particularly creative, you’ll never finish. Find a time and a place that works for you and set daily goals.

2. Learn the craft. None of us are born good writers, but all of us can become good writers. For most, this means getting feedback on our writing—from teachers, critique groups, writing partners, etc. There may be some people who can teach themselves through stylebooks and guides, but for most of us we learn and improve by having someone point out our mistakes. In today’s online world, there’s no excuse for not getting feedback. Finally, it’s an ongoing process; there’s always room for your writing to improve.

3. Read, read, read. Everybody says it, and that’s because it’s true. Reading inspires and teaches. We often write what we like to read, and the more you read, the bigger the universe you have to draw on. On a more practical level, if you want to write in a particular genre, to be successful you need to know that genre backwards and forwards.

4. Write about what you care about. Write a story you feel passionate about; write about characters that matter to you. That’s what readers want, and if you don’t really care, they won’t either.

5. Recognize that all first drafts are crap. So, you just finished the first draft of your 100,000 word sci-fi novel, complete with your dazzling climax where the aliens are defeated and the hero gets the girl. Go ahead and celebrate; you should feel exhilarated. However, the marathon is only half way done. Now, you have to go back and rewrite what you just wrote, stem-to-stern. As good as that first draft may be, it ain’t nearly good enough. You need to put on your editor glasses and be absolutely ruthless—your mantras: (1) if it isn’t truly necessary, delete it, and (2) can say this better? Editing can be a tough, boring slog, but you have to do it. Editing and revising is where you take your diamond in the rough and turn it in to something nice and sparkly. While you need to be able to edit your own work, get others to read your draft too (a good beta reader can be a godsend).

6. Stay the course. As sure as there are peeps at Easter, your novel is going to be rejected by someone and that rejection is going to sting. Everyone gets rejected. The difference between the successful novelist and the unsuccessful one is that the former didn’t give up. So, stock your mental toolbox with whatever tools you need to cope with rejection, learn whatever lessons there are to be learned from the experience, and then keep on trying.

Jace has been the property of the U.S. Army since they found out about her when she was five, and now she has become one of its most valuable weapons. But Jace is not the only one of her kind. Gray is one too, but with the help of his sister, he has spent most of his sixteen years hiding from the Army.

Now, the Army has found out about Gray and they cannot allow him to roam free. Operating on the theory that it takes one to catch one, Jace is send out with a special ops squad to hunt Gray down. But Jace is not the only one pursuing Gray, and the competition is after her too. What ensues is a desperate chase through city after city as duty and honor collide with love and sacrifice.

About the Author: K.D. Van Brunt has been writing professionally his entire career and has published an extensive list of nonfiction works. Win the Rings is his first fiction book. When not writing, he reads and listens to audiobooks during his daily drive through the sea of gridlock that is commuting in and out of Washington, DC. A long time resident of Maryland, he can often be found tromping around the many civil war battle sites in the area. To find out more about K.D. Van Brunt, including bonus content relating to Win the Rings, check out his website and follow him on Twitter- 

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  1. Really enjoyed your comments on writing. Very interesting and very good.

  2. Very useful advice!


  3. Interesting post about writing, thank you.


  4. Thanks for the advice on writing! I used to write short stories when I was a teen but now I'm more into reading. Never know though!